Father Drobin: A local guy who stuck around

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Photo by: Maggie Reid

Maggie Reid, Assistant Features Editor

Not everyone grows up knowing for sure what they want to do with their life, but for Father Drobin, religion was something that came natural to him.

“I think I grew up looking to altruism for a good career and calling,” Drobin said.

“I was lucky enough to be associated with different committed priests who admired attentiveness to families, especially families in need.”

Growing up, his friends would come to him to talk about their problems. This, as well as growing up with a family involved in a local parish were factors that influenced him to enter the seminary.

For the 51 years that Drobin has been a priest, he has had many different vocations such as a high school professor of religion, english and latin. While he was the Hamilton College Chaplain, he completed counseling training and went on to be at first a part time, and then a full time counselor at catholic charities.

He has worked as the chaplain at St. Joseph’s nursing home, and when the pastor at a New Hartford parish was retiring in 1987, he applied and later became the pastor for over 2,000 families. When his term ended in 1999 he applied to become the chaplain at Utica College where he has been ever since.

“I had a lot of specificities within one generic career,” Drobin said. “This gave me stimulus and rounded out my personality.”

Other than being away for school in places such as Rochester and Washington D.C, Drobin has stayed around the Utica area and describes himself as a local guy that stuck around.

Drobin believes that you can make a difference no matter what, and his motto in life is that we bring the best of who we are to the best or the worst of what is happening within us or around us.

If there is one thing that Drobin will never understand, it is why bad things happen to good people.

“I will never understand why ills come their way for no reason,” Drobin said. “It prompts me to become more present and attentive to them.”

Although Drobin finds being a priest very rewarding and is very grateful for the trust that people have put in him, there are certain things that he finds difficult. One especially being that you can’t always help people the way you would like to help them. Drobin spoke about one instance where he was visiting a man battling cancer. He spoke about wishing that they gave him a magic wand at ordination; one that would make things better and was able to soothe people’s lives.

When Drobin became the pastor in New Hartford, he asked the bishop for advice. The bishop told him that he should always stay accessible to his people, which stuck with Drobin and he aspires to work towards still everyday.


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