Clergy and Staff
Father was born in Valparaiso, Indiana, where he attended St. Paul’s Catholic School, taught by the Sisters of the Holy Cross. His family moved to Newark, Delaware in 1961. In 10th grade, he began his seminary education at St. Charles College in Catonsville, MD. Father Dillingham was ordained for the Diocese of Wilmington on May 12, 1973. Father has served as Associate Pastor at Corpus Christi, St. Helena and at St. Elizabeth. He has been Pastor at Holy Family, St. Elizabeth and now at St. Mary of the Assumption, where he has been since 2009. Among other assignments, Father has also served the Diocese both as Director of Vocations and as Director of Deacons. Father enjoys traveling and has the opportunity to visit his brother, Bob, in San Diego California at least once a year.
Rev. James B. Smith, Weekend Assistant
Father Smith grew up in St Augustine's Parish in Andover, Massachusetts, conducted by the Augustinian Fathers from Villanova, Pennsylvania. After graduating from Augustinian Academy in New York, he attended Villanova University and graduated in 1971 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in History. Fr. Smith taught junior high school in Pennsylvania and worked at Elwyn Institute with special needs students. In 1981, Father was accepted as a candidate for the Diocese of Wilmington, and graduated from St. Mary's Seminary and University in Baltimore, Maryland in 1985. Father Smith was ordained a priest for the Diocese in October, 1985. Father has served as Associate Pastor at Christ our King and St. Ann's in Wilmington, St. Frances De Sales in Salisbury, Maryland, Holy Cross in Dover and St. Mary of the Assumption, where he served for 12 years until his retirement in 2015. Father Smith feels singularly blessed to be able to continue part-time ministry here at St. Mary's, his home parish. Father loves to travel, especially in Europe. He is an avid reader, a fan of opera and he has never met a train he didn't want to ride, whether high speed lines in Europe or coast to coast on Amtrak in the good old USA. He maintains his residence in Pike Creek where he enjoys feeding his deer, birds and shooing away squirrels.
Deacon John has been a parishioner at St. Mary’s since 1983 after transferring from Connecticut, and was ordained Permanent Deacon in the Diocese on November 18, 2000. He received his Master’s Degree in Theology from Loyola University in New Orleans in 1997. During that period he was an Information Technologist for a computer science company. He retired in December of 2003, after which he began his current role of the Director of Liturgy for St. Mary’s. John is responsible for the preservation of the entire liturgical environment at St. Mary’s. This includes the appearance of the main church and chapel, and preparation for all liturgies. He coordinates all Eucharistic Ministers, Altar Servers, Lectors and Ushers, who assist him with liturgical duties. John serves as the Master of Ceremonies for all Sacramental liturgies, such as Confirmation and First Holy Eucharist. John has been a leader in RCIA (Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults) for 30 years. He is currently co-director with his wife, Flora, of the RCIA program at St. Mary’s. He and Flora live in in Newark with their pet, Mr. Piccolo, an Orange Winged Amazon Parrot. John loves to cook and makes an enviable Caesar Salad. Contact Deacon Giacci
Deacon Joe Jackson
Deacon Joe and his family have been parishioners at St. Mary’s since 1973. All of his children have been baptized here, with the exception of his oldest son who was baptized in an army hospital in Utah while Joe was serving in the Army. Joe was ordained a Permanent Deacon in the Diocese of Wilmington in 2001. Joe has earned a Master’s degree in Chemistry as well as another Master’s degree in Pastoral Care and Counseling from Neumann University in 2007. His ministry includes grief counseling and marriage preparation, which he and his wife, Lorraine have done since 1988, as well as an 18 year period of serving as a PREP teacher. Joe now specializes in Spiritual Direction. Anyone interested in a deeper relationship with God, or has some specific family, marriage, addiction or other counseling need, please reach out to Joe. He has worked for 8 years to help with Addiction and Recovery at Bowling Green in Kennett Square assisting with their counseling sessions. Joe and Lorraine have four daughters and one son and 11 grandchildren. Recently, they celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary. On one fun day in 2010, Joe and his son biked 80 miles one day in the Pocono Mountains.
Deacon Larry Morris
Deacon Larry and his wife, Barbara, have been parishioners at St. Mary’s since 1997. Larry retired from the New Castle County Police Department in 1997 after a 21 year career as a Police Officer. Larry then spent the next 15 years employed by the Delaware Attorney General's office as an Investigator. He pursued seminary studies through St. Meinrods Seminary and was ordained a Permanent Deacon for the Diocese of Wilmington in October of 2009, and has been assigned to St. Mary’s since. Both he and Barbara are active in a variety of ministries, including prayer group and the diocesan healing ministry. Deacon Larry also assists in the RCIA program, the Legion of Mary, and other ministries. In their spare time, they enjoy the outdoors, music, playing the guitar and model railroading.
Deacon Larry Brecht
Deacon Larry and his family have been parishioners at St. Mary’s since 2004, where they have been involved in a variety of activities. Larry was ordained a Permanent Deacon On August 19, 2017 in the Diocese of Wilmington. It’s often to hear Larry say, “I am very excited to serve the People of God in this capacity.” Among his many responsibilities as Deacon, he will play an active role on the RCIA team with the Giaccis and has served as an Interim Business Manager for the parish. Larry lives with his wife of 18 years, Lauren, staying quite busy with their four children.
Cindy Krebs has over 30 years of experience in religious education, beginning as a high schooler teaching second grade CCD for a local parish. She went on to receive her Bachelor of Science degree in Early Childhood Education from Towson University, and commenced a 28 year career teaching in Catholic schools in the Archdiocese of Baltimore and the Diocese of Wilmington, including our parish sponsored Corpus Christi and All Saints Schools. With her own children growing up, Cindy pursued a Master of Religious Education degree from Loyola University, New Orleans, and has previously served as the Director of Religious Education at Holy Cross Church in Dover, Delaware. Cindy and her husband Bob have three grown children and an adorable grandson. They have been parishioners of Saint Mary of the Assumption since 2011.
"Miss Karen", as she is affectionately called by her preschoolers, has a Bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education, a Bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Delaware, and is certified to teach children from birth through 3rd grade. Some of the credentials Karen has received over the years are the Early Childhood Preschool Credential, Early Childhood Inclusion Credential, Early Childhood Administration Credential, National Director’s Credential and an Early Childhood Curriculum and Assessment Credential. Her teaching experience began in public Kindergarten and then continued at St. Mary’s Early Education Program (EEP) where she began the two-year-old program in 1996. After teaching in the two-year-old program for five years, Karen become Director of the Preschool where she continues to lead her team of outstanding teachers. She feels blessed to have found a second home at St. Mary’s for the past 22 years and feels honored to be working with such dedicated teachers. Miss Karen hopes to connect with the families at St. Mary’s Preschool and work together for the sake of the children and their education. Karen and her husband have three grown children.
Matthew Jewell, Director of Music, holds a Bachelor's Degree in Music Education from Marshall University in Huntington, West Virginia, and a Master of Music Degree in Piano Accompanying from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music. Prior to coming to St. Mary of the Assumption, Matthew served as Director of Music at St. Ann's Church in Wilmington, Delaware for twelve years and as Director of Music at St. Mary Magdalen Parish, also in Wilmington, for eight years. In addition to church music, Matthew performs regularly with other singers and musicians. He is the pianist in the Trinitas flute, cello and piano trio in Wilmington, and he is a member of the Opera Delaware chorus. Matthew has also performed in local community theatres, including the Delaware Children's Theatre and the Wilmington Drama League, in roles including Freddy Eynsford-Hill in My Fair Lady, Jesus in Jesus Christ Superstar, the Beadle Bamford in Sweeney Todd, and Dickon in The Secret Garden.
Dr. Mary Elizabeth Muir, Principal,
All Saints Catholic School (ASCS)
Dr. Muir assumed her responsibilities as Principal of ASCS in 2016. Prior to that, she has served as Chief Academic Officer for Independence Mission Schools in Philadelphia for two years, and has been a Catholic Educator, Teacher, Assistant Principal and Principal for more than 30 years in multiple diocese. She enjoys attending Masses at all supporting parishes of the All Saints Catholic School. Dr. Muir holds a BS in Sociology with a minor in Elementary Education from McDaniel College, and a Master of Arts in Teaching degree from Marywood University, and a Reading Specialist Certificate. She holds teaching and Principal Certification in Pennsylvania and Delaware and is a Doctor of Educational Leadership. In her spare time, Dr. Muir is an avid reader, biker and, during the day, she plays her trumpet with the kids at school. Few would know that you can complete a jigsaw puzzle online, which Dr. Muir does every single night using Jigsaw Explorer.com.