COMMUNITY SERVICE: David Dolan currently serves on the Community Advisory Committee of New York Hospital Queens (NYHQ). The body is dedicated to advising the hospital in terms of meeting the needs of the community and reaching out to all the different constituents.
Dolan is also a Eucharistic minister at his local parish, Holy Family Parish. In addition to his ministerial responsibilities, he has also been the chair of the pastoral care department of NYHQ for five years, providing religious services to patients.
BACKGROUND: Dolan has been helping people for as long as he can remember, and describes it as the most important element of his entire life, both personally and professionally.
“If I could summarize my whole life’s objective in one word, it’s empathy,” he said.
Dolan has also always been very concerned with fairness and justice, and volunteer work has been the main focus of his life for the past 35 years. He works extensively with children, and believes that the meaning of life is to be kind, considerate and passionate to the people around us, whoever they may be.
FAVORITE MEMORY: Last summer, Dolan met a man from Ireland in his parish. One of the man’s friends told Dolan he was interested in a gym membership while he was in town. Dolan was more than happy to get the man a membership at his gym, and the two became close friends.
After the man returned to Ireland, he contacted Dolan about a Brooklyn friend’s relationship troubles. Dolan himself contacted the friend in Brooklyn and provided advice about the relationship.
“I was just so glad I could help,” he reminisced.
BIGGEST CHALLENEGE: Although Dolan prefers to use the word “opportunities” rather than “challenges,” he admits that he sometimes has to remind himself to be patient.
“I think everybody in this world is somewhat challenged from a patience standpoint,” he said. “If we just give things a little time, things will work themselves out. It may not be how we expected them to, or even how we wanted them to, but they’ll work out.”
INSPIRATION: “My inspiration is twofold,” Dolan said. “First, going back to the religious capacity, I’m part of the Secular Franciscan Order. It isn’t a priesthood or a sisterhood, but it’s an order that tells us that learning the Gospel isn’t enough. We need to live it. I think that the more we think along the lines of living for others, the better. We need to focus externally and be compassionate towards everyone else.
“My second inspiration is my mother,” he said. “She was always upbeat throughout her difficulties, and she was never cynical or regretful. She was also always very compassionate to people around her.”