Father Dustin Collins, associate pastor of St. Mary Parish in Oak Ridge, has been named chaplain for Scouting for the Diocese of Knoxville.
He succeeds Deacon Otto Preske, who is retiring as chaplain but continues serving as deacon at Good Shepherd Church in Newport.
“We couldn’t have found a better replacement for Deacon Otto,” said George C. LeCrone Sr., lay chairman for the Diocesan Catholic Committee on Scouting.” He (Deacon Preske) has been a faithful servant for Catholic Scouting in East Tennessee since the diocese was formed in 1988.”
Father Collins was a Scout in the diocese, which made him a logical choice to succeed Deacon Preske, according to Mr. LeCrone.
“I have been involved with Scouting for most of my life. I received my Arrow of Light as well as the rank of Eagle. I worked two seasons at Camp Davy Crockett as the Camp chaplain. I am happy to be involved with this diocesan program. Receiving my religious award while involved in Scouting was helpful in my discernment of the priesthood. Therefore, this program has a lot to offer our youth and is beneficial to have,” Father Collins said.
The transition was effective in November.
“We really hate to lose him (Deacon Preske), but we couldn’t have found a better replacement. Father Collins is an Eagle Scout from the Diocese of Knoxville. He’s been very supportive. We’re so pleased to have him,” Mr. LeCrone said. ■