Carmelite Priest Donald Buggert Dies

(May 23, 2023; Darien, IL) The Province of the Most Pure Heart of Mary (PCM), Order of Carmelites, mourns the death of the Reverend Donald Buggert, O.Carm., who died at the age of 82 on May 23, 2023 in Naperville, Illinois.

Visitation for Reverend Donald Buggert, O.Carm., will be held at The National Shrine of St. Thérèse, 8501 Bailey Road, Darien, IL 60561, on Wednesday, May 31, 2023, at 4:30PM CDT, with funeral following at 7:00PM CDT. For those unable to attend, the Funeral Mass will be livestreamed at Interment will take place the following day, Thursday, June 1, 2023, at Mt. Olivet Cemetery, 2755 West 111th Street, Chicago, IL 60655, at 10:00AM CST.

Donald was born to (the late) William Buggert and (the late) Marcella (Daley) Buggert Prim on August 1, 1940, in Harvey, Illinois. His given name at baptism was William Frederick. He is survived by his sister, Mary McDermed, and her husband, Edward H. McDermed, and his step-sisters, Jean Zenere and June Englehardt.

William attended Ascension Parish Grade School in Harvey, Illinois. He then attended Carmelite Junior Seminary in Niagara Falls, Ontario, from 1954 to 1956, and The Carmelite Junior Seminary in Hamilton Massachusetts, from 1956 to 1958. He attended Mount Carmel College in Niagara Falls, Ontario, from 1958 to 1960 and professed simple vows with the Carmelites on August 15, 1960, taking the religious name of Donald. In 1964, Donald received a B.A. in Philosophy from St. Bonaventure University in Olean, New York, and then continued his graduate studies at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, from 1965 to 1967. He took his solemn vows with the Carmelites on February 5, 1964 and was ordained to the priesthood on May 28, 1966. He went on to be awarded an S.T.L. in Theology (1967) and S.T.D. in Systematic Theology (1978), both from Catholic University of America, Washington, D.C.

Father’s first assignment was at St. Leo Parish in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, from 1967 to 1968. He then served as faculty at DeSales High School and Bellarmine College, both in Louisville, Kentucky, for one year. He served as instructor of Systematic Theology at Washington Theological Coalition (1969-1972) and, following a leave of absence to work on his dissertation, as Chairman of Systematic Theology and assistant professor at Washington Theological Union (1978-2011). He also served as Chair of the Joint Committee of Catholic Learned Societies and Scholars (1986) and Executive Secretary of the Commission of Bishops and Scholars (1987).

In 2011, Father retired to St. Elias Priory in Joliet, Illinois. Wishing to remain active, he taught one semester at Washington Theological Union (January to May, 2012), and provided Parish assistance for the Diocese of Joliet from 2012 to 2023 at St. Mary Immaculate Parish in Plainfield, St. Joseph’s in Rockdale, and St. Patrick’s in Wilton Center. On February 4, 2023, Father suffered at stroke and was admitted to St. Joseph Medical Center in Joliet, Illinois.  In May of 2023 he was moved to St. Patrick Residence and Rehabilitation Center. On the morning of May 23, 2023, Father passed away at Edwards Hospital in Naperville, Illinois.

May he rest in peace.

Donations in honor of the Reverend Donald Buggert, O.Carm., may be made to the Society of Mount Carmel, 1317 North Frontage Road, Darien, Illinois, 60561.  For further information on the Reverend Donald Buggert, O.Carm., or the Order of Carmelites, please contact Carmelite Media at (630) 971-0724 or visit the Carmelite website at