Deacon Helps Priests Bring New Life to Churches in Brooklyn Diocese

Tags: Currents Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio, Brooklyn, NY, Catholic Church, Catholic Community, Diocese of Brooklyn, Faith, Inspiration, Media, Parish Life, Queens, NY

By Tim Harfmann

As the business manager at Saint Augustine Church in Park Slope, Deacon Dean Dobbins is a busy man. 

He’s on the job thanks to Brooklyn’s Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio, who put in place a program that frees up priests from office work so that they can better minister to their people.

“We’re trying to relieve the priests of the administration, get them to do more of the pastoral work; so that’s basically the aim of, I think, for the future,” said Bishop DiMarzio.

With a business background, Deacon Dean deals with the day-to-day operations so priests can bring new life to the church.  

Now he is taking on managing a second Brooklyn Church: Saint Catharine of Alexandria in Borough Park.

“I didn’t think about it. I accepted it because I know what I could do here, I can bring there,” he explained. 

“I think we need to evangelize more and bring in more people to our church. We have some beautiful churches in Brooklyn and Queens, and you know we have a lot of churches in Brooklyn and Queens; and the pastors do a great job, but we continue to need to bring more people back,” he added. 

Father Thomas Brosnan says that Bishop DiMarzio’s program is working, and that Deacon Dean is making a big difference.

“After being a pastor for 25 years, I can relax in a sense, and just devote myself to the pastoral needs here at St. Augustine,” he said.

The business-managing deacon is also noticing that both Mass attendance and donations are up.

“The collections at St. Augustine just went up almost a thousand dollars a week, due to just a letter we sent out to parishioners asking for help,” said Deacon Dean. 

Jonathan Fenelon, who works at St. Augustine’s rectory, is also grateful that Deacon Dean is there.

“At the end of the day, we all know what we have to do; so that makes it easier on everybody,” he said.