Cyclist fatally injured while driving in Rosemount was a priest at Burnsville Catholic Church


Parishioners at a Roman Catholic church in Burnsville mourn the death of their spiritual leader, who was struck by a motorist and killed while cycling in Rosemount.

Risen Savior Church announced Tuesday that Father Dennis Dempsey, who came to the parish only three months ago, was the cyclist traveling on the shoulder when he collided with a car on the road at around 3:20 p.m. on Monday. County Road 42 westbound, near 145th W. Street. By the time the police arrived, Dempsey was already dead.

Motorist Trejean D. Curry, 26, of Minneapolis, was arrested at the scene and jailed on suspicion of homicide at the wheel of a vehicle in connection with grossly negligent driving.

Court records show that at the time of the accident, Curry was driving after his license was revoked. He has been convicted 10 times for this offense in the past three and a half years.

“We know this is a complete shock, and [we] all unite in prayer for Father Denny, his family and for the parish of our Risen Savior “, read a Facebook review of the house of worship. “We will live our faith knowing that God will provide. We will continue on the path Father Denny set out and come together as one resurrected Savior community.”

Parish communications director Marianne Brass said Dempsey often cycled to church from the rectory about a mile and a half from Apple Valley.

“We compared it to the Energizer bunny,” Brass said. “He never stops.… Riding a bike was what he loved to do.”

Dempsey, 73, came to Risen Savior in July after doing missionary work in Venezuela for two years, said Before that, the Minneapolis native was at St. Dominic’s Church in Northfield for 15 years after a missionary stay seven years in Venezuela.

“Everyone thought he was going to retire when he left Northfield,” Brass said. “He told the Archbishop that he was going to do missionary work in Venezuela. … It was his passion.”

Risen Savior is one of the largest parishes in the Twin Cities, with at least 2,300 families, said Dave Hutton, a 20-year member and one of the parish administrators.

Hutton said the number of Latin families is increasing and is on the verge of reaching a 50-50 split between English and Spanish speakers.

“It was one of Father Denny’s goals to unify the English and Latin communities,” Hutton said.

As prosecutors considered indicting Curry, executives at Risen Savior were receiving advice from Twin Cities Archbishop Bernard Hebda and his staff on how to continue serving his faithful after losing their only priest.

One of the first steps for Hebda is to appoint an interim pastor, Risen Savior revealed in his announcement of Dempsey’s death.

The events at Risen Savior on Saturday and Sunday meant to be a welcome for Dempsey “will become an opportunity for us to come together and remember our beloved pastor,” the announcement continued.

“His energy and love was contagious,” Hutton said. “It didn’t matter where you came from or where you were from. He had a special affinity for the marginalized.”

Brass said parishioners quickly came to admire Dempsey’s ability to tell a story, including his account of leaving on a 165-mile bike ride from Prior Lake to Lake Okoboji in Iowa many years ago. many years with $ 10 in my pocket.

“About 75 miles from my trip, I had spent all my money and was exhausted,” Dempsey wrote in a Risen Savior newsletter. “Reality was starting to set in. Around 5:30 p.m. I still had 50 miles to go. I was going down a long hill to Trimont, Minnesota, when a kid on a motorcycle came out of town, climbed the hill, turned around and came over to me. “Are you hungry?” he asked. “I am,” I replied. “

Dempsey arrived at the child’s home where his parents had spotted him earlier outside Mankato, made dinner and waited for him.

“I reached my destination around 11:30 pm with a full stomach and a grateful heart,” Dempsey wrote. “” I learned a lot that day. I learned that I can do 100 miles a day. … But above all, I learned, as did the disciples whom Jesus sent two by two without food or money, to have faith that somehow God will provide through his angels and its living saints like this family in Trimont. “

Paul Walsh • 612-673-4482

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