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Archived from our former blog, The Beacon.

Seeking Freedom: Father George Dunne

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George Dunne has been a Catholic priest since 1982. He came to Chicago from Dublin, Ireland for a one year sabbatical in 2000, but after traveling to Florida during the chilly Chicago winter he fell in love with the people and the country.

A Catholic priest for nearly 30 years, Father George Dunne fell in love with the U.S. during a sabbatical from his home country of Ireland

A Catholic priest for nearly 30 years, Father George Dunne fell in love with the U.S. during a sabbatical from his home country of Ireland.

Father Dunne has been a priest at the same Winter Springs, Florida parish for 10 years. The Diocese of Orlando helped him apply for work visas, a green card, and this last step - U.S. citizenship. When asked why he decided to apply for citizenship, he said that he had "connected here - with the people, with the country."

He was naturalized at a special Independence Day ceremony at the Kennedy Space Center in Orlando, Floriday on July 1. He said that Independence Day is about "seeking freedom. It is at the heart of the U.S. story." His parish is having a big July 4 celebration for him on Sunday. It will be a very special day for them all - it will be the first time that he will be able to say the Pledge of Allegiance with the parishioners.