Rt. Rev. Mgr. Dennis J. Flynn, LL. D., was born near Louisville, Ky., Sept. 17, 1856, and, having made his preliminary studies in the parochial schools and St. Xavier’s Institute of that city, he went to Mt. St. Mary’s College, Emmitsburg, Md. The college course completed, he studied theology in the seminary department of the same institution and he was ordained for the
diocese of Wilmington, by Rt. Rev. Thomas A. Becker, in St. Peter’s Cathedral of that diocese, June 23, 1883. As assistant to the venerable Father Reilly, pastor of St. Mary’s, by his zealous labors and magnetic eloquence he soon became known far and wide. A few years afterwards Father Reilly died and Father Flynn was made pastor of Galena, Md., whence he was transferred in 1894 to Wilmington, to succeed Rev. George Bradford as pastor of St. Patrick’s.
He took a great interest in the work of Catholic education and soon erected a handsome and commodious parochial school. Many other improvements having been made in the parish, his intense desire to devote himself exclusively to teaching brought him back to his Alma Mater, where, with the permission of his Bishop, he became professor in 1898-99, then Vice-President and Treasurer, and, finally, in 1905, President. His activity was untiring and during- his administration were begun and completed, under the supervision of Rev. Father Bradley, Vice President and Treasurer, the fine new seminary and the magnificent new church. The greatest event of his term of office was the celebration of the Centenary of the College in Oct., 1908,
His manliness of character made him loathe whatever was not noble and elevating. While insisting on his rights he did not forget the rights of others, nor his duties to all. His courage, kindness, cheerfulness, industry and many other gifts formed an excellent basis on which grace erected an imposing spiritual building. With solid piety as priest and pastor he worked wonders
with such ease and simplicity that what he did seemed ordinary. In intellectual equipment, in sound judgment by which he measured and ruled men, as well as in executive ability he had few equals. When called upon, whatever the occasion demanded, he never failed to come up to, if not to surpass, expectation. As man and priest, as professor and President, he left a splendid record of deeds well done.
Records of the American Catholic Historical Society of Philadelphia, Vol. XXIV, No. 1 (March 1914): 31-32.