This weekend, on Sunday, June 5, Father Harvey Dinkel, OFM Cap., will celebrate his 50th Anniversary of Ordination in his hometown of Victoria, KS. Family, friends, and friars will join Harvey for a 3:00 p.m. Mass in the historic "Cathedral of the Plains."
Fr. Harvey now joins the elite ranks of those who are “jubilarians.” Somehow, I never thought of “Harv” as either elite or a jubilarian. He is a “common” man in his humility and selflessness. He also seems "ageless" to me. I knew him as teacher when I came to the seminary, teacher when I taught with him on the faculty at Thomas More Prep, registrar at Thomas More Prep-Marian; provincial secretary and treasurer when I was provincial the first time around. He has too much energy to be a "jubilarian." But Harvey is one of those “one in a million” friars, or maybe "one in 11,500 Capuchins." He is a man of few words and much action. When I chose one word to describe him at the friars’ jubilee celebration during Easter week, I chose the word, “worker.”
Fr. Harvey is indeed a worker – a hard worker. Whether it was teaching in a classroom, mowing lawns at TMP-Marian, fixing things at St. Francis Seminary, managing the business and finances of the Province of Mid-America, or washing dishes for retreats at the Capuchin Center for the Spiritual Life, Harvey knows the meaning of work.
There are so many more words to describe this man of few words. So I will list some. Fr. Harvey is faithful, consistent, and persistent. He solves problems from the daily Sudoku to calculus. He is brilliant, too. His mathematical and scientific mind will “figure it out.” He taught himself the language of the computer.
He is true to his word. While he was in Denver and served as Provincial Secretary and Finance Manager, he also had a daily and weekend “helpout” at Cabrini Shrine. Nothing prevented him from getting to the chapel at the Shrine for daily and Sunday Mass. Not even snowstorms. The sisters at Cabrini Shrine still talk about times when Harvey left the car at the bottom of the hill and walked up to the chapel because of the snow and ice. When Harvey says he will do something, you can be sure it will be done.
Fr. Harvey is “confidential.” I know of no one as discreet and confidential as Harvey. As Provincial Secretary, lots of private issues came across Harvey’s desk. I suspect that even torture would not have made Harvey reveal what was confidential.
Another word to describe Harvey is “efficient.” He gets his work done in the quickest and best way. And it is always clear and concise.
Harvey is known in our province for his straight answers. Perhaps he is the embodiment of this quote from Proverbs: "An honest answer is the sign of true friendship." (Proverbs 24:26). And, finally, to quote the Book of Proverbs,
“A faithful friend is a sturdy shelter; he who finds one finds a treasure” (Proverbs 6:14).
There you have it: worker, faithful, consistent, persistent, brilliant, true, confidential, efficient, straight forward, honest, friend, treasure. Fr. Harvey is certainly a “one in a million” and a treasure. Congratulations on 50 years of priesthood.
Currently, Fr. Harvey is the chaplain at the Via Christi (St. John’s) nursing homes in Hays and Victoria. He is the vicar of the fraternity at St. Fidelis. He also assists in much of the retreat house “work” for the Capuchin Center for the Spiritual Life.