The Rev’d Anthony Charles Dinoto, M.Div. Rector IV
The Rev’d Anthony Charles Dinoto was “called” as the Fourth Rector of St. John’s Episcopal Church in the early Spring of 2014. Born in Westerly, R.I. and raised in Stonington (Pawcatuck), Connecticut, Father Dinoto graduated from Stonington High School and received his undergraduate Bachelor of Science degree from the University of the State of New York. Received into the Episcopal Church by Bishop Arthur Walmsley in 1982 from the Roman Catholic Church, Fr. Tony was a professed member in religious formation at the former St. Edmund’s Novitiate of the Society of St. Edmund of Canterbury, a Roman Catholic religious order of priests and brothers. Upon leaving religious life, he later entered the funeral service profession, graduated from the American Academy-McAllister Institute of Funeral Service, New York City and was licensed as a CT Funeral Director and Embalmer. Since 1982, his family has owned and operated The Dinoto Funeral Home in Mystic which continues to be family owned and operated.
Fr. Tony and the former Susan Stockwell Payne, a Westerly native and graduate of the University of Rhode Island, were joined in Holy Matrimony at the Watch Hill (RI) Chapel on October 1, 1977. The Dinoto’s are the parents of three adult daughters, Katherine S.D. Jones, Eleanor L. Dinoto and Sydney P. Dinoto and grandparents to Hannah Brooke Jones. They have resided in Ledyard, Connecticut since 1986 in a 1720 Cape Cod-style home located one mile from the Historic Site designated as the birthplace of Bishop Samuel Seabury, the first Bishop of the Diocese of Connecticut.
Upon entering the ordination process of the Diocese of Connecticut in 1994, he stepped away from his day to day involvement in their funeral home that continues to be family-owned. Susan Dinoto oversees the daily operation of the funeral service. Father Tony studied at The General Theological Seminary of the Episcopal Church, New York City where he was awarded a Master of Divinity Degree in 1999. During seminary, he was Seminary Intern at Christ Church, Westerly where he later served briefly as priest associate. He was ordained a “transitional” Deacon in 1999 by Bishop Clarence Coleridge. Soon thereafter, he was called to serve in his first position in ordained ministry as Assistant to the Rector of Christ Episcopal Church, Greenwich, CT. He was ordained to the Sacred Order of Priests in Greenwich by Bishop Andrew Smith in January of 2000. (On Elvis’ Birthday !) Prior to coming to Niantic as St. John’s Fourth Rector, Father Dinoto served as Rector of St. Alban’s Episcopal Church, Danielson; as Interim Rector at Christ Episcopal Church, Guilford and as Interim Rector at the Episcopal Church of the Epiphany, Durham during the previous 19 years as a Priest in the Diocese.
Father Tony’s interests include Church history, antiques, golf, cooking and fishing aboard his boat, the SS. Sabbatical. He is an avid and longtime collector of vintage and antique lead toy soldiers and enjoys a good cigar occasionally. (see “Rector’s Welcome” message below)