Our website is made possible by displaying online ads to our visitors.
Please consider supporting us by whitelisting our site.

Mass celebrates Fr. Michael Dobbins’ ‘full and joyful’ life

First slide
First slide
First slide
First slide
First slide
First slide
First slide
Previous Next

A multitude of family, fellow priests and parishioners gathered both in person and via livestream Nov. 20 at Sacred Heart of Jesus Church in Winchester for a Mass of Christian Burial for Father Michael J. Dobbins, pastor of St. John Bosco Church in Woodstock, who died Nov. 14 after a battle with lung cancer.

Bishop Michael F. Burbidge celebrated the Mass of Christian Burial and Father Matthew H. Zuberbueler, pastor of St. Anthony of Padua Church in Falls Church, gave the homily in English and Spanish with his friend’s white-draped coffin in the front of the church. If not for social distancing requirements, “this would be a big mob scene — and I suppose it is, virtually,” he said.

Father Dobbins was known for his “childlike enthusiasm and a joyfulness for life and for people,” said Father Zuberbueler. “He had a great gift for making people laugh.”

But he said Father Dobbins also had a strong sense that “duty means duty, and he really lived that. He felt it was a great honor to serve the people of his parish.”

Although Father Dobbins died at age 54, which most people would see as young, Father Zuberbueler said, Father Dobbins had survived a very serious surgery as a child, and he felt that because he could have died back then, he “had 40-plus bonus years.”

In remarks after celebrating the Mass, Bishop Burbidge noted that Father Dobbins was one of his diocesan deans and a trusted adviser who “offered sound wisdom. I’m going to continue to depend on that guidance,” Bishop Burbidge said.

He added that during his final illness, Father Dobbins “offered his suffering and cross for each of us, especially in these final weeks. We can’t leave here the same – we must imitate those priestly qualities we admired so much in him, his humble and very generous service, and pray our diocese will be blessed with more priests like him.”

Bishop Burbidge said in his last conversation with Father Dobbins, the priest spoke of three special blessings that he especially gave thanks for: his family, his parishioners and his full life. “He was grateful for every year he had as a priest.”

Find out more:

Read Fr. Dobbins’ obituary here: https://www.catholicherald.com/News/Local_News/Fr__Michael_Dobbins_dies_at_54/



© Arlington Catholic Herald 2020