Monsignor John Henry Dewson was born in Wilmington, Delaware on July 6, 1921 to W.G.E. and Katherine (Henry) Dewson. He attended St. Peter’s Cathedral and St. Ann’s school and graduated from Archmere Academy. He entered the seminary at St. Charles College in Catonsville, MD, continued with philosophical studies in St. Mary’s Seminary in Baltimore and completed his theological studies at the Theological College of the Catholic University of America in Washington DC.
He was ordained to the priesthood on May 31, 1947 at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Camden, NJ by Bishop Bartholomew Eustace ans was assigned as associate pastor at St. John’s in Milford and St. Edmond’s in Rehoboth. In November 1947, he was transferred to Saint Paul’s in Wilmington. He was assigned as pastor of St. Joseph’s in Middletown in June 1962. In the mid-60s, he played a key role in starting the diocesan paper The Dialog which continues to this day. In that role, he was director of the Catholic Press of Wilmington, Inc. from September 1965 to May 1967. On March 7, 1965, he was named a papal chamberlain. In 1964, he was transferred to pastor of St. Mary’s in Wilmington. From 1968 to 1970, he served as Director of the Catholic Information Center in Wilmington.
From 1970 to 1974, he served as pastor of St. John the Beloved in Wilmington, after which he was transferred to serve as pastor of Good Shepherd Parish in Perryville, Maryland. In 1983, he became pastor of St. Paul’s Church in Delaware City where served until 1989 when he became pastor of Our Lady of Good Counsel in Secretary, Maryland. In 1992, he was transferred again to serve as pastor of Church of the Holy Child in North Wilmington. He retired on December 2, 1996 and resided at St. Thomas Church in Wilmington and later resided at Vianney House. In 1997 he celebrated the 50th anniversary of his ordination at St. Anns, which was attended by the Bishop and a large number of clergy, family and friends. He passed away on December 19, 2004.
His most notable achievements were in the area of Communications. He was one of the founders of The Dialog and was the Diocese’s first Director of Communication. It is his example of service and devotion to the Church that we hope to follow in our Council.