Father Donald Hawes to celebrate his 65th Jubilee and 90th birthday July 1 at Wexford

Fr. Donald Hawes ...
Fr. Donald Hawes ...

The 65th Jubilee Mass of Father Donald Hawes has been scheduled for Sunday, July 1 at 12 noon in Immaculate Conception Church, Wexford. In addition to celebrating 65 years as a priest, Father Hawes is also planning to celebrate his 90th birthday.

As part of the celebration, Brian FitzGerald and Martin McCormack of “Switchback” are planning to lead the music for the Jubilee Mass July 1. They will present “The Hibernian Mass,” one of six Mass settings they have written. The Hibernian Mass touches on Switchback’s Celtic roots and portrays the arrival of Christianity to the Irish people through the venerable Saint Patrick. After Mass they will also present a brief concert.

Everyone is invited to join Father Hawes in celebrating 65 years of priesthood and nearly 90 years of life that Sunday. Those attending are asked to RSVP by Sunday, June 24 to Holy Family of the Bluffs by calling 563-538-4171 or emailing Father John Moser at DBQ115@dbqarch.org or Lane Rich at DBQ115sec@dbqarch.org.

Those unable to attend may send a card to him at 2423 Wexford Hollow Drive, Lansing, IA 52151.

Donald John Hawes was born December 22, 1928 to John and Ellen (Conway) Hawes of Wexford, rural Lansing. He was baptized December 24, 1928 in Immaculate Conception Church, Wexford.

His father, John, died suddenly May 9, 1935. Following that tragedy, his mother would raise Donald and his siblings on the family farm.

Donald Hawes graduated from Loras College in Dubuque in 1949 and from St. Mary Seminary in Baltimore, MD in 1953. He received his sub-diaconate at St. Mary Seminary June 6, 1952. Father Donald Hawes was ordained a priest May 16, 1953 in Christ the King Chapel on the Loras College campus.

His parish and school assignments as a priest include the following:

St. Martin (Cascade) from 1953-1956; Holy Family (Mason City) from 1956-1960; St. Patrick (Dubuque) for the summer of 1960; Faculty of Wahlert High School (Dubuque) from 1960-1967; Principal of Newman High School (Mason City) from 1967-1970, where he served two years as executive coordinator; St. Agnes (Plymouth Rock) from 1970-1985,  where he served as executive secretary and principal of Notre Dame High School, Cresco; St. Mary (Waterloo) from 1985-1997; St. Joseph (Waterloo) from 1995-1997; served as Metropolitan Coordinator of Catholic Education for the Waterloo-Cedar Falls area from 1985-1989; St. Aloysius (Calmar) from 1997-2015; St. Wenceslaus (Spillville) from 1997-2015; St. Patrick (Waukon), St. Mary (Hanover) and St. Mary (Dorchester) from 2015-2016; and he retired from parish ministry in July of 2016.

He has been State Spiritual Director for the Catholic Order of Foresters since 1990. He was the 2015 Fraternalist of the Year for the Catholic Order of Foresters; he is a 4th Degree member of the Knights of Columbus; and he has served as the Spiritual Director of the FCSLA (formerly Catholic Workman) in Spillville.

Father Hawes enjoys gardening, canning and freezing abundant produce each year. Every Sunday after parish Masses he would come “home” to the family farm. Monday mornings Fr. Donald and his brother, Msgr. Cletus Hawes, celebrate Mass in their home parish church.

Many trips and cruises have been enjoyed by Msgr. Cletus, Fr. Donald, their mother and numerous other family members through the years.

Some of the quotes Father Hawes often shares with others include the following:

“I thank God for the special gift of faith life I have experienced in Wexford.”

“I’ve often said, you got a job here, and if you’re going to succeed in the job, you have to be on the job.”

“God calls us to be faithful. We’re not always successful, but we’re [to be] faithful.”

“Wexford is the very heart of God’s country.”

And his favorite Irish blessing: “May the road rise to meet you… May God hold you in the palm of His hand.”

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