Priest Profile


Name: Fr. Dave Brownfield, Ph.D. 

Age: 52

Years ordained: 20

Current assignment: Pastor of Ss. Philip & James Parish, Grand Mound, St. Patrick Parish, Delmar, and St. Ann Parish, Welton, and an instructor at Ashford University, Clinton.


How did you know you were being called to priesthood? I didn’t. I was looking for a good Catholic wife as a student at the Newman Center in Iowa City and found a church vocation instead. At the center, I discovered that I could make the sacrifice to serve the church. Even though my talents may not be best suited to priesthood, I liked the idea that, as a priest or religious, one can bring Christ to ordinary tasks of life.

Aside from your ordination Mass, what was your most memorable Mass? Every Mass is a privilege that I enjoy. However, a few stand out: celebrating Mass with my dad, the late Father Robert Brownfield, at Fatima; my adopted son Bryan’s first Communion; my first Mass in the extraordinary form; and Mass at some old altars in Europe that have been used by many priests for many centuries. These have allowed me to experience the Mass as a continuous, unbroken tradition passed on through the centuries. God uses priests to bring Jesus to the people no matter what form or language the church gives us to celebrate Mass.

What is most rewarding about being a priest? Celebrating the Eucharist with people; seeing the many ways our lay people carry out the pro-life, catechetical and social justice ministry in the church; experiencing the holiness of people in reconciliation; and observing the dedicated witness of the religious in our diocese. It is great being able to see God alive in the life of the people of God.

What is most challenging about being a priest? Balancing the call to holiness and the demands of the parishes and diocese. It can be a challenge to be as prepared spiritually, mentally and physically as one should be for liturgy, meetings and other duties. I am glad people are understanding and forgiving. There may have been some days I felt like leaving a particular assignment, but I never regret becoming a priest.

What is your favorite Scripture passage? Matthew 25:31-46, which is the separating of the sheep from the goats and Luke 1:38, which is Mary’s yes to God. These two Scriptures have guided me in making many major decisions in life.

What is your hobby? Visiting people, family activities, computer games, technology and bicycling. I enjoy learning new things, especially about economics, church and computers.

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