R.I.P. Frs. Mike Dobbins and Bob Avella

Dear Parishioners of Holy Family:

I know you join me in prayer for the repose of Fathers Mike Dobbins and Monsignor Robert Avella.  Their loss is a tremendous blow to our presbyterate.  We will miss both of them very much.

I was a friend of Fr. Dobbins from my very early time as a seminarian.  He and I were parochial vicars at Saint Anthony of Padua and St. Phillip, respectively.  We both shared responsibilities at the Corpus Christi Catholic School and often heard confessions for the school children on the same day.  We also went out on several occasions.  I will miss his great sense of humor and his wonderful stories.  I know that many of you have wonderful stories about his time at Holy Family.  I asked Fr. Dobbins to be present at the 50th Anniversary of Holy Family.  Unfortunately, he declined to attend due to his health.

Monsignor Avella was my Vocations director as well as my first pastor as an ordained deacon.  When I was a deacon at the Cathedral of St. Thomas More, he took me under his wing.  We were friends from that moment on.  We would often go out to dinner at some of his favorite restaurants.  He loved to ask me questions about the Navy.  My first Mass as an ordained priest took place at the Cathedral at his request.

He was a dedicated man of the church and probably filled every important office in the chancery at one time or another.  He was a faithful Nationals fan and I would often go with him and sit at his season tickets seats by the corner section of the Right Field at Nationals Park.

May Mary, Mother of Priests, guide these two faithful sons to their eternal rest.  May the souls of the faithful departed rest in peace. Amen.