Father Norman DuKette

Father Norman Dukette

Father Norman Anthony DuKette, was the first black priest of the Archdiocese of Detroit. “The Duke" as he was called by his friends, was born November 11, 1890, in Washington D.C. to John Henry DuKette and Letitia Greenleaf DuKette.

During his middle school years Norman moved to Detroit and met Rev. Joseph C. Wuest, S.S.S.P., pastor of Old St. Mary's Parish downtown. He volunteered his services and assisted in organizing the city's first black mission, St. Peter Claver.

Fr. Wuest encouraged him to pursue seminary studies Norman Dukette applied for the priesthood in the Roman Catholic Church. He became the first black student at Loras Academy and College in Dubuque Iowa from which he graduated in 1922 and finally the first black Catholic priest ordained for the Archdiocese of Detroit. After several years of service in Detroit as Pastor at St. Benedict the Moor Parish his ministry led him to the diocese of Saginaw where he founded and pastored Christ the King parish in Flint until his retirement in 1970. DuKette passed away on March 31, 1980.