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Rev. Charles Doherty

Obituary for Rev. Charles Doherty

October 23, 1927 - May 8, 2018
San Antonio, Texas | Age 90


Reverend Charles Doherty left his earthly life and began his new life in Heaven on May 8, 2018 at 6:30 AM. In February, 2018, he was diagnosed with terminal lymphoma and decided against treatment. Charles Doherty was born on Oct. 23, 1927, in Terrirone near Moville, County Donegal, Ireland, to Mary (née Harkin) and Daniel Henry Doherty. He was born into a musical, hardworking farming family and he was the tenth of eleven children. He attended a one room school house near Cooley Cross and was an outgoing child. He had many friends and loved spending time with his sisters Teresa and Annie. He adored his donkey, Bob, and together they consistently won a donkey race held during an annual regatta. Charlie and Bob won so many times, that eventually they were made to start the race paces behind the other competitors, and even so, they still won.

Charlie's teenage years were taken up with farm life, but he had a desire to help others, and he entered the Brotherhood of St. John of God in Ireland and worked in the mental ward caring for the sick –and he also became the cook and learned to play the bagpipes. During this time in his life he became interested in psychology and psychiatry and he also developed management skills in the kitchen. After his work at St. John of God he entered St. Peter's Seminary in Cardross, Scotland and was ordained a priest on June 24, 1958, in Glasgow. Shortly thereafter he moved to Kingsville and began his new life in South Texas, where he always felt culturally at home because of so many similarities between Irish families and Mexican American families. He then ministered at St. Patrick's Parish in Corpus Christi and became the CCD director, implementing the first CCD program in the diocese. He was also involved with the development of humane living conditions for the poor living in low income housing. He was an outspoken advocate for struggling immigrants, and indeed for all people fighting for a fair chance in the world.

In 1962, Father Charlie began his service at Our Lady of the Assumption Church in Ingleside, where he built classrooms for the school and a new parish hall. In 1970, while father was in Ireland officiating a wedding, Hurricane Celia destroyed the church in Ingleside. He left Ireland immediately and came back to Texas. Rather than wait for funding embroiled in diocesan bureaucracy, Father Charlie and the parishioners decided they would rebuild the church themselves with volunteer labor and donated materials and fees. They wanted a building that would withstand a category three hurricane and many people (including church officials) said it could not be done. Every person who came to help, no matter how young or old, was given a job during construction. When the foundation was poured, the building was completely financed by the parish and community members; it was completed in 1974. The church was built of solid concrete, its vertical walls angled to send incoming high winds backward. It was the only church in the United States designed to be hurricane proof. Father believed the building of this church was his finest achievement because the event helped to strengthen the Ingleside community and the parishioners of Our lady of the Assumption. Recently, the building had its first major test during Hurricane Harvey. Father Charlie was immensely proud that the church sustained no major damage in the category four storm.

In the 1980's, he organized the construction of a community swimming pool for the citizens of Ingleside; The Charles Doherty Swimming Pool is still enjoyed by residents and visitors today. Always an iconoclast, he favored a motorcycle over a car, and he was often seen zipping around Ingleside or over the high bridge to and from Corpus to serve the needs of his people. From Ingleside, Father went to St. Mary Star of the Sea in Aransas Pass, where he eventually retired. His beloved dogs Rambo and Giersha accompanied him everywhere.
Throughout his life Father Charlie maintained close relationships with his family and many friends and parishioners. He was cherished and adored. He helped a great many people. He visited Ireland annually and was involved in the lives of his siblings as well as his many nieces and nephews who live in the Ireland, England, Scotland, Canada and the United States. Father Doherty is preceded in death by his parents Mary and Dan Henry, his siblings Maggie, Annie, Rose, Patrick, Michael, Frances, Daniel, Eileen, and Susan. He is survived by many friends, parishioners, nieces, nephews, cousins, and by his younger sister, Teresa Kelly of Clydebank, Scotland.

His singing, poetry recitations, hilarious sense of humor, wise counsel, sparkling charm, prayerfulness, and his skill at spinnin' a yarn will be missed by scores of friends and family spanning his 90 years. Msgr. Seamus McGowan, John Briley, Father Jim Hamilton, Msgr. Thomas McGettrick, Bishop Edmond Carmody, and Father Patrick O'Connor have all been great blessings in his life in Texas.

Mass of the Resurrection was quickly offered on May 8 at Padua Place. A Memorial Mass will be held at Our Lady of the Assumption in Ingleside on June 16, 2018 at 10:00 am and a mass will also be offered at St. Patrick's Church in Corpus Christi on June 15 at 5:30 PM. Mass of the Resurrection will be held at 10:30 AM in Ballinacrae, Moville, Ireland on June 17, 2018. Father will be laid to rest there with his parents and sisters Maggie, Annie and Rose.
The family wishes to thank CIMA Hospice, especially Kathleen, Ashton and Christina, who helped him so competently through the death process. However, greater thanks is offered to the volunteer parishioners of St. Anthony of Padua and to the indefatigable, devoted and shining staff at Padua Place, especially Rose, Arcy, Theresa, Mary Jane, Sr. Mary Ann, Oralia, Tony, Melinda, Manuel, Pollo, Rolando, Lisa, Elisa, Marie and Maria. Their strong and loving vocations are clear evidence of the grace of God on earth.

Memorial contributions may be made to Padua Place, 80 Peter Baque Road, San Antonio, TX, 78209 or to Our Lady of the Assumption Church, 2414 Main St., Ingleside, TX 78362. Consider also the gift of time and visit an elderly retired priest (who is possibly forgotten or possibly just bored) who has given to his people a life of service and faith.

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Suggested Memorial Donations

  • Padua Place, 80 Peter Baque Road, San Antonio, TX, 78209 or to Our Lady of the Assumption Church, 2414 Main St., Ingleside, TX 78362. Consider also the gift of time and visit an elderly retired priest (who is possibly forgotten or possibly just bored) wh

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Porter Loring Mortuary

1101 McCullough Avenue
San Antonio, TX 78212
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