WATERVILLE — On Sunday, Catholic church leaders announced that the Rev. Jack Dickinson, Maine’s youngest priest and the parochial vicar at Corpus Christi, has been assigned to a new location after two years in the Waterville-area parish.

Dickinson, 28, who has been the youngest priest in the state since he was ordained in 2010, has great things in his future, said the Rev. Joseph Daniels, Corpus Christi’s pastor.

“The bishop sees certain qualities in Father Jack,” Daniels said, referring to Bishop Richard Malone, who made the decision. “He wants him to have an opportunity fairly quickly, to quickly develop so that he may be ready for more responsibilities in the not-too-distant future.”

In addition to his youth and energy, Daniels said, Dickinson has personal qualities that make him an ideal spiritual leader in a church that is going through a major transition.

“He is most distinguished for his unshakable calm and consistent composure,” Daniels said.

The church, Daniels said, is changing the way it does its work, in Maine and beyond.


“For virtually everyone in working ministry, this is very clearly not the church that we expected to be serving in comparison to what we knew in our youth,” Daniels said. In Dickinson’s case, he said, “that steadiness is absolutely essential today.”

During Sunday morning’s Mass, Daniels announced that Dickinson will go to the Good Shepherd Parish in the Biddeford-Saco area, beginning Aug. 1.

He will be replaced in his duties by the Rev. Paul Marquis, a long-standing chaplain at Maine Medical Center in Portland.

Dickinson said he always will remember his term of service in the Waterville area, his first church appointment.

“I think any first assignment for a new priest is a special thing,” he said. “You make so many special connections.”

Dickinson said he felt blessed by his relationships with the people of the community, who he said “have been very gracious and embraced me in many ways.”


Daniels called the two-year term “customary.”

Dickinson, who lives in Winslow, said he expected to leave Corpus Christi at some point, but that the two-year term of service is on the low end of the range he was expecting before Malone made his decision.

“When he needs us to go somewhere, we do,” he said. “There’s a freedom in that, that we can go where we’re needed most at that time.”

In addition to the people, Dickinson said, he will miss the area. He said he particularly enjoyed the new local ski trails on Quarry Road and central Maine’s many hiking opportunities.

Formerly of South Berwick, Dickinson is a graduate of Theological College, Catholic University of America, in Washington, D.C.

In 2008, Dickinson served a summer ministry internship at St. Michael Parish in Augusta.

Dickinson was assigned to Corpus Christi in June 2011, during a restructuring of the parish that saw one of his predecessors, the Rev. Dan Baillargeon, reassigned to the Biddeford-Saco area.

Matt Hongoltz-Hetling — 861-9287
[email protected]

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