Reverend John D. Dillion
Dillon, Reverend

John D.

Auburn: The Reverend John D. Dillon, 77, of Auburn, passed away Thursday, June 2, 2011. Born in Moravia, he was the son of the late Harry (Nick) and Mary Duggan Dillon. Father Dillon grew up and was educated in Holy Family Parish in Auburn. Not only did he graduate from Holy Family High School he was also ordained there June 6, 1959 by Bishop James E. Kearney. His ordination marked the culmination of several years of study at St. Andrew's and St. Bernard's Seminaries in Rochester. He was assistant pastor at St. Thomas More in Brighton (1959-64), St. Boniface in Rochester (1964-69) and St. Mary of the Lake in Watkins Glen (1969-71).

He was director of the diocesan Spanish Apostolate (1971-76), and during that time also served as priest in charge of a pastoral ministry in Rochester known as the Brown Square Spanish Speaking Community. He served in the Diocese of Syracuse from 1976-79, then for several months in 1979 associate pastor at St. Michael in Rochester and Elmira's St. Mary Southside. He was pastor at St. Michael in Rochester (1980-82); associate pastor at St. Mary's ,Waterloo (1982-84); and administrator and later pastor of the Church of the Epiphany, Sodus, and at St. Rose of Lima in Sodus Point.

He took a sabbatical to McGill University in Montreal in 1991 and upon his return served at Holy Cross in Charlotte . In 1993 he returned to the Auburn area and became chaplain at Auburn Correctional Facility . From 1995 until 2005 he was an assisting priest at St. Mary's Church in Auburn. In 2000 he became chaplain at Cayuga Correctional Facility in Moravia, retiring in August of 2002. In 2009 Father Dillon celebrated his 50th Jubilee. He was a member of the Ancient Order of Hibernians and was very proud of his Irish heritage.

He is survived by a nephew Scott (Sandra) Dillon and their sons Spenser and Garrett of Windermere, Fla., two nieces, Julie Dillon Walsh and her daughter Savannah of Wesley Chapel, Fla., and Jennifer (Shawn) Diehl and their daughter Samantha of Tampa, Fla. and a sister in law Phyllis Dillon and by several cousins. In addition to his parents Father Dillon was predeceased by a brother Martin Dillon.

Father Dillon will lie in state from 4-7pm on Monday June 6 at Holy Family Church, Auburn with Evening Prayer at 7pm. Father will lie in state on Tuesday, June 7 from 9:30-10:30am with his funeral liturgy at 10:30am with Bishop Matthew H. Clark, presiding. Burial will be in St. Mary's Cemetery, Skaneateles. Donations in Father Dillon's memory may be made to the Holy Family Church, 93 North St., Auburn, NY 13021. Langham Funeral Home, LLC is handling Father Dillon's funeral arrangements.

Published by Rochester Democrat And Chronicle on Jun. 4, 2011.
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7 Entries
Father Dillon was a devoted priest with a wonderful sense of humor (No doubt, his passing on Ascension Thursday would draw a rather witty remark from him). A distant cousin of mine, Father was a fine musician and loved to hear our Traditional compositions during Mass. Requiescat in pace et ora pro nobis.
Julie Lazeski
June 7, 2011
John was a faithful priest and I have fond memories of working with him during my time in Rochester. His dry sense of humor was always welcome, especially in the midst of the many challenges in core of the city of Rochester. Requiescat in pace. Tim McCluskey,
Timothy McCluskey
June 6, 2011
My family and I remember Father Dillon so very fondly from his days at St. Boniface Church. I was fortunate enough to see him in later years at St. Patrick's (near Kodak Office). I like to envision him reuniting with my Mom in heaven and sharing a good laugh!
Mary Honadle Kurtz
June 6, 2011
I was the chaplain at Cayuga Correctional Facility before Fr. Dillon. During my time there, he came down from Auburn C.F. several times to say Mass for the men. The Easter Vigil he celebrated for us one year remains to this day the spiritual high point of all my years of prison ministry -- and I've been at it for over twenty-two years! Seeing his face on the obituary brings to mind the joy he brought into the darkness of prison life. Requiem aeternam dona ei et lux perpetua luceat ei!

Deacon Gregory Kiley
Deacon Gregory Kiley
June 4, 2011
Father Dillion was our Pastor at the Church of Epiphany and all of us loved him so much. We enjoyed him as a Priest and as a friend. We will celebrate a life well lived and will cherish the memories forever.
Kathleen Alessi
June 4, 2011
I had the honor to serve as an Altar Boy with Fr. Dillon at St. Thomas More Church in Brighton. That was in the days of the 6:15am weekday Mass. He was a great example of what it means to be a priest and a servant of the people.
John C. Beattie
John Beattie
June 4, 2011
Father John was a friend I got to know when he said week day Mass at St. Patrick's next to Kodak Office. We Kodaker's always enjoyed his liturgies and his sparkling good humor. It was an honor to serve for him at Mass.
Jerry Norton
June 3, 2011
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