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This profile was last updated on 4/14/10  and contains information from public web pages and contributions from the ZoomInfo community.

Fr. Richard Kunst

Wrong Fr. Richard Kunst?

Employment History

Board Memberships and Affiliations


  • St. Meinrad
34 Total References
Web References
sponsoringdioceses, 14 April 2010 [cached]
Fr. Richard Kunst
Diocese of Duluth - Catholic Church in northeastern Minnesota, 11 Dec 2008 [cached]
Rev. Richard Kunst Auditor
vaticanduluth04, 12 Nov 2004 [cached]
At a press conference held prior to the public viewing of the "Vatican Comes to Duluth" exhibition, Fr. Richard Kunst carefully handles a rare illuminated manuscript.
Fr. Richard Kunst, a priest of the Diocese of Duluth, Minn., is among those rare collectors of the unusual.
For some nine years, Kunst has gathered the largest privately owned collection of Catholic religious artifacts in North America.
Before he began collecting church-related artifacts, Kunst gathered celebrity memorabilia.
Hughes gave the seventh graders a tour and Kunst guided eighth graders.
During the tour, Kunst posed the question, "Why do popes wear white?"With the students stumped, Kunst answered, "Every pope wears white because of Pope Pius V. He was a Dominican and Dominican's wear white.Every pope after Pope Pius V has worn white."
Included among the displays were two Swiss Guard uniforms.Kunst owns one of these uniforms, dating back to the papacy of Pope Pius X, 1903-1914.The other shown was lent to Kunst in an exchange with the Vatican and is an example of a uniform worn by a modern day Swiss Guard.
"In 2006, the Swiss Guard is celebrating their 500th anniversary," Kunst said."They don't have a Swiss Guard uniform from the time of Pius X and asked if we would lend ours to their yearlong exhibit for 2006.It's rare that the Vatican lends out Swiss Guard uniforms.There is only one other in the Western Hemisphere and that's in Washington, D.C., at the Pope John Paul II Cultural Center."
Current policy, Kunst said, requires Swiss Guards to return their uniforms if they serve under five years."The tour of duty is actually two years, so most guys wouldn't be able to keep them," he said.
The uniform owned by Kunst was purchased from an antiques dealer in Chicago."What probably happened is that somebody had served for more than five years, was able to get the uniform and moved to the United States," he said.
Kunst's collection of papal signatures includes one from the man who went on to become Pope John Paul I. The signature of Albino Luciani, Kunst believes, could be the rarest papal signature in the last 500 years.Luciani had been a cardinal for only a short time prior to his 1978 election as pope.
Kunst often uses modern technology to build his papal collection."Through the Internet, it's very easy to make connections with European dealers," he said."There are a lot of manuscript dealers.If you deal with manuscript dealers in Europe, you are a lot more likely to get papal-related or church-related manuscripts."
Through the Internet Kunst is in constant communication with both manuscript and antiques dealers around the world who sell church-related items.Kunst has built a reputation and dealers often contact him before an article is available publicly.He explained that there are only a few other collectors of papal or church-related items.
"Because it's a unique hobby, we know each other," Kunst said."That's thanks in large part because of the Internet."
The Pope John Paul II Cultural Center has approached Kunst to display his collection."I haven't answered them yet," he said.
Besides Kunst, Duluth's Bishop Dennis Schnurr also lent items for the exhibit.
Duluth Area Catholic Schools ~ Pre K through 8, 15 Dec 2009 [cached]
Fr. Richard Kunst St. John, Pastor
Budgeteer News - Duluth, Minnesota, 25 June 2004 [cached]
The collection of manuscripts, coins, clothing, documents and other items belongs to Father Richard Kunst of St. Benedict Church in Duluth.
Father Kunst has about 1,000 items in his collection now, but it was an autographed photo of President Jimmy Carter and his wife that led him to amass the collection of papal artifacts.
Not long after these first two popes I was able to add Pius VII and Pius IX," wrote Kunst, in a history of the collection on the exhibit's Web site. He later sold his large collection of memorabilia from modern day celebrities and political autographs and used that money to purchase religious-themed items.He uses the Internet to find leads for rare items and has connections with dealers in Monaco, Italy, France, Austria, England and Germany.
There is the white zucchetto (skull cap) of Pope John Paul II, which Kunst received himself by means of the ancient practice of swapping zucchettos with popes.During his first visit to Rome in 1998, Kunst bought a white zucchetto from the pope's tailor, in hopes that the pope would trade with him.When he met Pope John Paul II, he declined.Kunst waited until his next visit to Rome in December 1999, but this time he approached the pope's secretary, Bishop Dziwisz, with the same request.He also declined, but just before mass started he approached Kunst and asked for the zucchetto.During the Mass, the pope traded zucchettos with Kunst. There is also an autograph of John Paul I, the most rare papal signature in the last 500 years.Because he was not expected to be a realistic candidate for the papacy, his signature was not often kept, and he died only 33 days after being elected. "I think a greater sense of the richness of Catholic history," said Kunst about what people will experience from the exhibit.
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