By Anne Marie Amacher
The Catholic Messenger
DAVENPORT — Two deacons will be ordained to the priesthood and one seminarian to the diaconate during a Mass of ordination June 3 at 10 a.m. in Sacred Heart Cathedral. Bishop Thomas Zinkula will ordain Deacons Isaac Doucette and Dominic Nguyen to the priesthood and seminarian Dane Dickinson to the diaconate.
Deacon Doucette, 33, was born in Madison, Wisconsin. His family moved to Salt Lake City and then to Iowa City where Deacon Doucette was involved in his parish, St. Mary. He attended Kirkwood Community College and graduated from the University of Iowa-Henry B. Tippie College of Business, with a BBA degree in entrepreneurial management.
He worked in finance at Northwestern Mutual and then Transamerica in various capacities and remained engaged in his faith. While he enjoyed his work, he didn’t experience fulfillment and wrestled with deep questions. “I prayed more. I went to Mass more. I went to confession more. I started the rosary at a daily level,” he shared in a Theology on Tap online event.
One day, during the sacrament of reconciliation, the topic of the priesthood came up. Doucette thought he should take that call more seriously. He met with Father Thom Hennen, then the diocesan vocations director, to talk about vocations. They began a novena to Our Lady, Undoer of Knots and prayed for each other. On the ninth day of the novena, Doucette felt called to be a priest. After work, he visited the adoration chapel at St. Patrick Parish in Iowa City. Someone assigned to an adoration hour thought Doucette had the next hour and left. “I was by myself. I looked at Jesus. Things were released. Very tranquil, very at peace.” He decided to discern a vocation to the priesthood.
Doucette began studies at the University of Saint Mary of the Lake-Mundelein Seminary in fall 2017. He completed internships at St. John Vianney Parish in Bettendorf, Jesus Christ, Prince of Peace Parish in Clinton, Our Lady of Lourdes Parish in Bettendorf and Holy Family Parish in Riverside, Richmond and Wellman.
Deacon Nguyen, 28, is a native of Vietnam. In second grade, when asked to draw a picture of what he wanted to be, he drew himself preaching at church. However, he did not know how to draw in perspective. The image looked like he was lying on the floor, he said during the Theology on Tap event. He couldn’t draw seated parishioners, either, he laughed. In his parish, he served as a lector and participated in Bible study, youth group and other activities. In college, he intended to study to be a pharmacist but missed getting into pharmacy school by one point.
He arrived in the United States in 2014 and lived with an uncle while pursuing pharmacy studies at Scott Community College in Bettendorf. He attended daily Mass and discovered a deepening of his faith. His pharmacy studies were not fulfilling. He told his uncle he was contemplating the priesthood. Together, they decided that he should talk to Father Hennen.
Nguyen attended a retreat at Conception Seminary in Conception, Missouri. After overcoming second-guessing, he decided to study for the priesthood. He graduated from Conception Seminary College and has completed his theology studies at Mundelein Seminary.
He completed internships at Divine Mercy Parish in Burlington/West Burlington and St. Paul the Apostle Parish in Davenport. His clinical pastoral education has included hospital visits to Genesis East in Davenport, Genesis Clarissa C. Cook Hospice House in Bettendorf and various nursing homes, homes and workshops.
Dickinson, 37, is a Fairfield native. He graduated from Buena Vista University in Storm Lake, Iowa with a BA degree in education. He worked in the automotive industry and was an industrial technology teacher before hearing a call to a religious vocation. He continues his studies at the University of St. Mary of the Lake — Mundelein Seminary. He has participated in Totus Tuus, Institute for Priestly Formation, and completed internships at St. Thomas More Parish in Coralville and Our Lady of Victory Parish in Davenport.
To watch the ordination online, visit: https://www.youtube.com/@shcdavenport6262