Priests of African Descent:

Fr. Dwayne Davis Pastor St Thomas Aquinas Flatlands

Fr. Dwayne D. Davis was born in Jamaica, West Indies in December 1986, and is one of eight siblings.  He arrived in New York in September 2000, to live with his father, and soon became a member of St. Joseph parish in Jamaica, Queens.   He completed his undergraduate education in 2008 at St. John’s University and earned his Bachelor of Arts Degree in Philosophy with a double minor in History and Theology, with Deans List Citations. In May 2012 Fr. Davis earned his Masters in Theology from the seminary of the Immaculate Conception and in 2013  his Masters in Divinity.  He wrote his thesis on, “We Too Sing Catholicus: The Black Catholic experience in the United States, contributions and challenges.”

Since his conversion to Catholicism, Fr. Davis has been committed to gaining a deeper understanding of his faith, and through his increasing spiritual growth, he has zealously dedicated his life in service to others.  He served as a mentor at Public School 86, where he assisted third graders in Math and English.  He had a passion for educating young students that led him to form a significant partnership with Junior Achievement of New York (JANY), a non-profit organization dedicated to inspiring young people to be successful. At Hillcrest High School, he was a member of the Council for Unity, Editor of the school’s newspaper the “Highlighter” and founder of Hillcrest J.A. Day. In recognition of his achievements, Fr. Davis was appointed as a Junior Achievement Student Ambassador and was named the 2005 JANY Student of the Year. He was also honored with the 2005 Hillcrest High School Pre-Teaching Inspiration Award, inducted into the National Honor Society, named a Who’s Who among American High School Students, and featured in various neighborhood newspapers, as well as, the school play “Life! Broadway Style.”   Fr. Davis served as the Youth Minister of St. Joseph parish, as well as, President of St. Joseph’s Sunshine Club (Family Ministry).

As a seminarian Fr. Davis was a member of the Habitat for Humanity and the Knights of Columbus.  He taught religious education at St. Mary Star of the Sea and was a Virtus Facilitator.  He was a proud member of Seminarians for Life, and up until December 2007, was Chairperson of St. Joseph Events team. Over the years, he has worked closely with the Office of Black Ministry, now the Vicariate of Black Catholic Concerns as a liaison. Through his affiliation, he has been able to participate and coordinate many Vicariate events, such as the Kujenga retreat, Youth J.A.M for Jesus, Diocesan Youth Day, VBCC Youth Leadership Conference, and youth mission trips. In 2010 Fr. Davis was a Guest Youth Speaker at the National Haitian Convention at Hofstra University. He also served as Vice President of the National Black Catholic Seminarian Association in 2011.

In 2012 Fr. Davis served as the President for the National Black Catholic Seminarian Association for the United States and its Territories, the Founding Project Director of the Vicariate of Black Catholic Concerns Youth Leadership Ambassador Program. Fr. Davis also served as a Board Member of the National Black Catholic Clergy Caucus, a member of the Board of Trustees for the National Black Catholic Congress, and a member of the National Black Catholics for Life.  In 2012 in recognition for his outstanding leadership and service to the Black Catholic Community, Fr. Davis was the first seminarian and the youngest person to receive the National Black Catholic Servus Christi (Servant of Christ) award.  He was ordained to the Diaconate for the Diocese of Brooklyn on September 1, 2012, by Bishop DiMarzio. And on October 5, 2012, Fr. Davis received the Diocese of Brooklyn Shining Star Award for his contribution to the VBCC.  Fr. Davis was ordained a priest on June 29, 2013.

Fr. Davis is currently the pastor of St. Thomas Aquinas and administrator for Our Lady Help of Christians, Chaplain at Cristo Rey High School, the Coordinator of Youth and Young Adult initiatives for the Vicariate of Black Catholic Concerns for the Diocese of Brooklyn, a member of the Board of Advisors for the National Black Catholic Seminarian Association, the Chairman for the Black and Indian Mission of the Diocese of Brooklyn, Assistant Vocation Director and Coordinator of Parish Vocation Committee. He is a Board Member of Midwood Catholic Academy, a member of the Diocese of Brooklyn and Queens CYO Board, Project Director of the VBCC Youth Leadership Ambassador Program.   He also serves as a Kujenga and Youth & Young Adult consultant to various Offices of Black Ministry throughout the country.

Fr. Dwayne continues to educate and inspire the young people of the United States and Jamaica, West Indies by sharing his experiences through various forums, such as confirmation retreats, parish talks, local and national youth, and young adult conferences and workshops. He enjoys outdoor activities, learning about cultures, traveling, exploring different cuisine, planning events, and working with the youth for the future of the Church and the world.

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic Fr. Dwayne implemented a Grab and Go Drive Thru Food Pantry at St. Thomas Aquinas that was featured on EWTN-NEWS and has since opened a permanent Food Pantry to serve the community.