Father Abram Dono was born in Brooklyn, New York, in 1936. He has four brothers and one sister. Fr. Abram entered St. Joseph Preparatory Seminary located in Holy Trinity, Alabama, in 1952 for his sophomore year of high school. He was fulfilling a dream of becoming a priest and a missionary that he’d had from his earliest years.
During his seminary years, Father Abram was known for organizing dramas and for planning and executing shows for the entertainment of all at the seminary. One of his fellow missionaries once said of him, “If he had not become a priest, he would have been an actor!” This talent has served him well as a priest leading celebrations and Masses.
After his ordination in 1964, Father was assigned to the Congregation’s Vocation Ministry. He moved from that ministry to the missions in Mississippi where he was a pastor in various places. He became a leader in the Cursillo Movement and helped to make it a vibrant force in Mississippi Catholic life. After many decades in the South, he moved to the Shrine of St. Joseph in Stirling, New Jersey in the late 1980’s. While at the Shrine, he distributed over 10,000 free Bibles to pilgrims who visited. He encouraged Catholics to read the Bible and led Bible study courses, earning him a reputation as the “Bible priest.”
In the 1990’s he returned South where he was assigned pastor of Holy Rosary Indian Mission, Tucker, Mississippi, where he ministered to the Mississippi Band of Choctaws. Currently, Father Abram works with Native Americans at our St. Kateri Tekakwitha Parish in South Tucson, Arizona.
“If Jesus had a cheer-leading squad, Fr. Abram would have been on it!” reflects a Missionary Servant priest who has worked closely with him through the years. “People appreciate the affirming way he has with one and all. He can always see the good in others even when very few can. The simplicity of his life is almost remarkable. He is a priest and a missionary first and last and always above all.”