Father Nicholas J. Dinnini, 52, a former Oblate of St. Joseph incardinated into the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, died suddenly July 14 while attending a retreat in La Jolla, Calif.
Born in Pottstown, the son of Isabel Mangan Dinnini and the late Richard J. Dinnini, he attended St. Aloysius Parochial School and St. Pius X High School, after which he entered King’s College in Wilkes-Barre. After his sophomore year, in 1984 he entered the Oblates of St. Joseph.
“When Nick was young he always helped in the church, and we knew his calling would be for something like that, he was very compassionate,” said his brother, Henry Dinnini. “He was always helpful, never said no, and he was a great brother.”
He continued his studies at King’s College then was sent to Italy, where he served his novitiate in Padua and did his theological studies at the Pontifical Urbaniana University in Rome and was ordained to the priesthood Oct. 16, 1993, by Bishop James C. Timlin at St. Anthony of Padua Church, Exeter, Pa.
Father Dinnini served as associate pastor and pastor of St. Rocco Parish in Pittston, Pa., until his transfer to the Philadelphia Archdiocese in 1998.
His ministry as a Philadelphia priest was mostly as a parochial vicar at St. Cecilia, Coatesville, with a shorter assignment at St. Patrick, Malvern and briefly, pastor at Immaculate Conception Parish, Levittown.
His focus at St. Cecilia was Hispanic ministry, said Father Francis J. Mulranen, the former pastor of that parish.
“He was very devoted to the Spanish people and he was a cheerful, friendly priest,” Father Mulranen said. “He cared greatly for the people he served and they returned that care with affection of his priestly ministry.”
Father Dinnini also loved to cook, Father Mulranen noted, and “he shared that talent with many a person. He was always cooking for someone.”
Father Dinnini was not in good health in recent years, but nevertheless, his friend from seminary days, Oblate of St. Joseph Father Francis Paul McDonnell, was surprised a few weeks ago when he received a call from him asking if he would preach at Father Dinnini’s funeral, explaining this was a requirement for Philadelphia priests.
The two joked about it with Father McDonnell saying, “You may preach at mine.”
“Nick was people friendly and connected socially with others. We had a nice bond,” Father McDonnell said.
Father Dinnini’s funeral Mass will be celebrated by Bishop John J. McIntyre Thursday, July 26 at St. Aloysius Church, Pottstown. Concelebrants will include Father Mulranen, Fathers Thomas J. Brennan and Joseph L. Maloney, and Father McDonnell, who will be the homilist.
In addition to his mother and his brother Henry, he is survived by his brothers Richard and Robert. Interment will be at St. Aloysius Cemetery, Pottstown.