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This guy is a Catholic priest who doubles as Eunice's spiritual advisor. He's not the most likeable holy man on the planet, but he does try to help in his own way. You might say he's more practical than spiritual, since he's very focused on getting information on the Tillermans and finding them a permanent home (even if that means splitting them up). Ultimately, he's the one who convinces Eunice to let the kids stay with her. So, the guy does get results.
Actually, Father Joseph is pretty darn truthful—he doesn't sugar coat things. Maybe that's why Dicey takes turns being enraged by him (like when he refuses to believe they have the same parents or that Maybeth isn't "retarded") and grateful (like when he gives them the info about their grandmother and father). In his own way, Father Joseph is just trying to help Dicey and her siblings find a home. In the end, his idea of a home doesn't really mesh with theirs, but you can't say he doesn't try, right?