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Fr. Arne Panula, director of Catholic Information Center, dies

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Father Arne Panula, 71, a priest of the Prelature of Opus Dei, died July 19 after struggling for many months with cancer. He is survived by his three sisters, Lynne, Amy and Pat, their husbands, Wynne, Ralph and John, and 11 nephews and nieces.

Father Panula was born and raised in Duluth, Minn. He attended Harvard University where he was on the crew team. After graduating in 1967 with a bachelor of arts in English Literature, he moved to Rome to study theology where he lived with St. Josemaria Escriva, Opus Dei’s founder.

He was ordained a priest in 1973 and earned a doctorate in theology from the University of Navarre, in Pamplona, Spain. After ordination, he served as chaplain of The Heights School in Washington in the mid-1970s, after which he exercised his ministry for many years in Northern California, working with high school and university students. From 1998 to 2002 he was vicar of the Prelature of Opus Dei for the United States in New York.

Since 2007, he was director of the Catholic Information Center in Washington where he carried out rich and fruitful work of spiritual direction. He also expanded the mission of the center by creating the Leonine Forum to educate men and women early in their careers in the core tenets of the church’s social teaching.

The wake will be held Friday, July 21, from 4 p.m. until Saturday, July 22, at 8 a.m. at the Catholic Information Center, 1501 K St., NW, Suite 175, Washington. The funeral will be offered by Cardinal Archbishop Donald Wuerl July 22 at 9:30 a.m.at the Cathedral of St. Mathew the Apostle, 1725 Rhode Island Ave., N.W., Washington.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Catholic Information Center.


© Arlington Catholic Herald 2017