Diocese removes Dahlberg from Hudson churchIt was announced at Hudson’s St. Patrick Church Sunday that Father Dan Dahlberg — former rector of Superior’s Cathedral of Christ the King — is leaving the parish after allegedly taking about $10,800 from the parish charity account for his own use.
By: By Doug Stohlberg, Hudson Star-Observer, Superior Telegram
It was announced at Hudson’s St. Patrick Church Sunday that Father Dan Dahlberg — former rector of Superior’s Cathedral of Christ the King — is leaving the parish after allegedly taking about $10,800 from the parish charity account for his own use.
In a letter distributed at church Sunday, it stated: “It is very likely that this misconduct is the result of a serious gambling addiction, which has led to personal financial issues and impaired Father Dan’s judgment.”
The letter, signed by church board trustees Samuel Cari and Claire Zajac, also recommended the Diocese support Dahlberg in obtaining the professional assistance he needs. The letter said arrangements have been made for Dahlberg to repay the full amount.
The parish charity account involves funds to help needy families in confidence. It is the one fund that the pastor has sole access to, and discretion for its distribution.
“We have no reason to believe any other parish accounts were affected, including our collection/income accounts or parish/school accounts,” the letter said. “We have a system of accounting which is based on checks and balances and permitted us to detect this misconduct and take action to rectify it.”
Dahlberg, 68, conducted his final services in Hudson Sunday — the same day the information was disclosed to parishioners. He has been placed on administrative leave, according to Richard Lyons, director of administrative services for the Catholic Diocese of Superior.
Dahlberg came to Hudson July 1, 2009, replacing Father John Parr, who was transferred to La Crosse. He came to town with 43 years of experience.
After being ordained in 1967, Father Dahlberg served numerous congregations. They include Rice Lake, Barron and Cameron, New Richmond, graduate studies, Iron River, Port Wing and Herbster, River Falls and Osceola, Centuria and Balsam Lake. Dahlberg served as rector at Cathedral of Christ the King in Superior from 1998 to 2009.
Diocesan officials, who have the ability to look over parish transactions, found nothing questionable in other accounts where Dahlberg served, according to Lyons.
Dahlberg was vicar general of the diocese from 1998 until November. In that position, he worked with the bishop on various projects and was a member of each parish’s corporate board.
The decision to replace Dahlberg as vicar general was no reflection on the quality of his work at that point, Lyons said. He was just located too far away. The diocese is in the midst of updating parish corporations and there is a lot of paperwork for the vicar general to sign. So the diocese chose one who was situated closer and makes regular trips to Superior, Fr. James Powers the pastor of St. Joseph’s Church in Rice Lake.
St. Patrick Church is the largest in the Superior Diocese. Dahlberg said when he came in 2009, the parish had 1,800 to 2,000 families.
Father Gene Murphy has been appointed temporary Parochial Administrator at the church. Bishop Peter Christensen will be in Hudson for services Saturday and Sunday and will answer questions. The church also plans to hold a previously scheduled town hall meeting Sunday, March 27 from 1 to 3 p.m. and will address the situation at that meeting.
Telegram staff writer Maria Lockwood contributed this report. The Superior Telegram and Hudson-Star Observer are Forum Communication Co. newspapers.