In the Easy Chair with Fr. Dennis Perkins

In the Easy Chair with Fr. Dennis Perkins

The Westerly Sun

AGE: 51.

OCCUPATION: Pastor of St. Michael Church, Pawcatuck; St. Mary Church, Stonington; and St. Thomas More Church, North Stonington. In my spare time, I am also vicar for clergy for the Diocese of Norwich and I teach Latin at St. Michael School.

RESIDENCE: Liberty Street, Pawcatuck.

BORN, RAISED & GREW UP IN: Uncasville.

RIGHT NOW I’M IN THE MIDDLE OF: The reconstruction of St. Michael’s Church.

FAVORITE WAY TO SPEND MY TIME: Although the schedule can be hectic at times, I greatly enjoy spending my time as a priest for the people of all three of my parishes, leading them in their worship of God by offering Mass and celebrating the sacraments. Apart from “work,” I like to take walks with Milo (my Dalmatian) and work out at the gym.

PROUDEST ACCOMPLISHMENT: Being pastor of three great parishes is rather significant for me.

I’D LIKE TO BE REMEMBERED FOR: Being a good priest.

TOP ON MY BUCKET LIST: Getting St. Michael’s rebuilt and reopened.

ALWAYS IN MY POCKET: A handkerchief.

WHAT I WANTED TO BE WHEN I GREW UP: Becoming a priest was always a recurring thought as I was growing up along with being a teacher.

PEOPLE WHO INFLUENCED ME THE MOST: I am one of six children. My parents instilled in all of us, by their own example, the importance of faith, hard work, personal responsibility, and a desire to always do our best.

FAVORITE AUTHOR: Agatha Christie, C. S. Lewis.

I AM READING: “The Vanishing American Adult,” by Ben Sasse. 
I AM LISTENING TO: WCRI – Classical 95.9

FAVORITE MOVIE OR LAST MOVIE WATCHED: It’s been a while since I went to movies, but “The Untouchables” stands out as a favorite. A great story of dogged persistence and never giving up in the face of evil and adversity.

FAVORITE TV SHOW: I don’t watch enough TV to have a favorite in this category.

FAVORITE PET: Milo, my 3-year-old Dalmatian. Tied for favorite is also Domino, of happy memory, another Dalmatian and faithful companion for 13 years.

FAVORITE COMFORT FOOD: Ben & Jerry’s Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough.

AMOUNT OF TIME I SPEND ON SOCIAL MEDIA: Zero. All of the posts to Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for the church are done by a very dedicated and awesome parishioner.

TRAIT I MOST ADMIRE: Honesty and kindness.

PET PEEVE: Parents who want to step in and to fix things for their children. Give these kids some room and let them do some of their own problem solving. They’ll learn some life skills and develop virtue in the process.

FAVORITE QUOTATION: “Faith is the realization of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” Hebrews 11:1.

MY FAVORITE THING ABOUT OUR LITTLE CORNER OF THE WORLD: Its beautiful scenery and the nearness to the ocean.

CAN’T LIVE WITHOUT: In keeping track of my day and where I need to be, the calendar on my iPhone has become an indispensable part of my routine. I’d be lost without it.

LITTLE KNOWN FACT ABOUT ME: In a recent personal record at the gym, I dead-lifted 275 pounds for 5 reps.

BEST ADVICE I EVER RECEIVED: Don’t be too quick to make important decisions. Take some time to think and pray about it.


IF I RULED THE WORLD I WOULD: My plate is a little too full right now to take on that job.

IF I WON THE LOTTERY, THE FIRST THING I WOULD DO IS: I would complete the reconstruction of St. Michael’s Church and then build a new school.

I DRIVE A: Gray 2008 Ford Escape

I WISH I DROVE A: I am content with the car I have.

ALWAYS IN MY FRIDGE: Siggi’s Icelandic yogurt.

IF I COULD HOST A DINNER PARTY WITH A GROUP OF PEOPLE FROM THE PAST, PRESENT OR FUTURE, I WOULD INVITE: During the dismantling of St. Michael’s last summer, we discovered names written on walls as well as artifacts such as glass bottles, prayer books, even some pieces of stained glass, either tucked away under floorboards or hidden in the basement. I think it would be fascinating to meet the people who had contact with these things, and those who built the first church, to hear their stories and learn about what their lives were like over a century ago. I would also include in the invitation Fathers Michael O’Reilly and Patrick.

— Interview arranged and edited by Nancy Burns-Fusaro


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