Father James Albert Thoennes, 80, died April 26 at North Ridge Care Center, New Hope, Minnesota. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at noon on Wednesday, May 1, at Our Lady of Seven Dolors Parish, Millerville, with burial in the parish cemetery. Visitation is from 4 to 8 p.m., with a vigil service at 7 p.m., on Tuesday, April 30, at St. Mary’s Cathedral, St. Cloud. Visitation will continue on Wednesday, May 1, from 10 a.m. to noon at Our Lady of Seven Dolors.
Father Thoennes was born on Sept. 7, 1938, in Millerville. The son of William and Margaret (Schecher) Thoennes, he attended grade school in Millerville and high school at Crosier Seminary High School in Onamia. He received his seminary training at St. John’s Seminary, Collegeville. Father Thoennes was ordained on May 30, 1964, at St. Mary’s Cathedral by Bishop Peter Bartholome. He celebrated his first Mass June 7, 1964, at Our Lady of Seven Dolors Church in Millerville.
After his ordination, Father Thoennes served at St. Anthony, St. Cloud; St. Mary, Melrose; St. Joseph, Waite Park; St. John, Foley; St. Anne, Kimball; Sacred Heart, Dent; St. Leonard, Pelican Rapids; St. Joseph, Bertha; St. Edward, Henning; and as chaplain at St. Mary’s Villa, Pierz. He also worked in the archives of the Diocese of St. Cloud. In 2002, he was removed from active ministry according to the norms of the “Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People.”
Father Thoennes is survived by his sister, Irene Thoennes, housekeeper, Judy Berry, and two nephews, Thomas (Katie) and Robert (Elizabeth) Sherman, great nieces and nephews, Emma Ruth, Jacob, Aden and Emmalynn Sherman. He was preceded in death by his parents, sister, Ruth (Charles) Sherman, and brother-in-law, Charles Sherman.