Fr. Michael Champlin, OP died on November 21, 2022 at his home at the Thomas More Center for Preaching and Prayer in Webster, Wisconsin. He was 83 years old.
Michael Allan Champlin was born on January 15, 1939, to Noreen M. (Kirby) and Smith M. Champlin in St. Paul, Minnesota. He attended Nativity Grade School (1945-54) and Cretin High School, both in St. Paul. Following high school Michael attended Loras College in Dubuque, Iowa (1957-59) in preparation for entering the Dominican Order.
On August 30, 1959, Michael received the Dominican habit at St. Peter Martyr Priory in Winona, Minnesota. At the same time, he was given the religious name of Eugene. He made his first profession on August 31, 1960, after which he moved to St. Thomas Aquinas Priory in River Forest, Illinois where he was solemnly professed on August 31, 1963. At that time, he was granted both a Licentiate as well as an M.A. in philosophy.
Following his solemn profession, he began his theological studies at St. Rose of Lima Priory and the Aquinas Institute of Theology in Dubuque, Iowa. He was ordained a priest on June 3, 1966, at St. Rose after which he undertook studies in Communication Arts at Notre Dame University and later did graduate studies in education. From 1967-69 he was a professor at the Dominican studium. Around that same time, he took the opportunity to return to his baptismal name of Michael.
In 1970 he became a member of the Dominican Evangelical Preaching Team in Denver, Colorado. This began a lifelong passion for evangelical preaching which was to continue for the remainder of his life.
Michael became a founding member of the Thomas More Center for Preaching and Prayer in 1979, in Webster, Wisconsin, with his brother, Carson Champlain, O.P., who preceded him to eternal life: Nicholas Punch, O.P.; and Sister Joan Bukrey, O.S.F. Together they shared their gifts for preaching internationally, especially throughout the United States and Australia.
Michael joined his parents and brother Carson in celebrating God’s loving mercy on November 21, 2022, after a lifetime of touching and transforming the lives of countless women and men throughout the world.
The funeral Mass for Michael was celebrated at 10:00 a.m. at Saint Vincent Ferrer Parish in River Forest, Illinois, on December 15. Interment was at All Saints Cemetery in Chicago, Illinois.