John Anthony Dooher

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His Excellency, The Most Reverend
John Anthony Dooher
Auxiliary Bishop Emeritus of Boston
Titular Bishop of Theveste
AppointedOctober 12, 2006
InstalledDecember 12, 2006
Term endedJune 30, 2018
Other postsTitular Bishop of Theveste
OrdinationMay 21, 1969
ConsecrationDecember 12, 2006
by Seán Patrick O'Malley, Francis Xavier Irwin, and Walter James Edyvean
Personal details
Born (1943-05-03) May 3, 1943 (age 75)
Dorchester, Massachusetts
Styles of
John Anthony Dooher
Coat of arms of John Anthony Dooher.svg
Reference style
Spoken styleYour Excellency
Religious styleBishop

John Anthony Dooher (born May 3, 1943) is an American prelate of the Roman Catholic Church. He served as an auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of Boston.


Early life and education[edit]

John Dooher was born in Dorchester, Massachusetts, to Irish immigrants Anthony (Tony) and Brigid (Patsy) Dooher.[1][2] One of four children, he has two brothers, Francis and Terence, and one sister, Kathleen.[2] Following the death of his aunt, many of his cousins moved in with his family.[2] He had several priests in his family.[2]

He was inspired as a young man by Fr. Mortimer Gavin, who founded the Boston Labor Guild.[2] He studied at St. John's Seminary in Brighton, from where he obtained a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1965 and a Master's in Divinity in 1969.[3][2]

Ordination and ministry[edit]

Dooher was ordained to the priesthood on May 21, 1969,[4] and then served as associate pastor at St. Francis Xavier Church in Weymouth and chaplain at South Shore Hospital and South Weymouth Naval Air Station until 1974.[1][2] From 1974 to 1991, he served at St. Augustine Church in South Boston.[2] During this period, he was also President of the Priests' Senate (1978–1982) and Director of the Office of Spiritual Development (1982–1991).[1][2]

From 1991 to 1996, Dooher served at St. Vincent de Paul Church and Ss. Peter and Paul Church, which were later merged.[1][2] He was then named pastor of St. Mary of the Assumption Church in Dedham in 1996.[3] At St. Mary's, Dooher also founded the Life Teen program.[1] He said that Life Teen was "one of the most satisfying things I've ever been involved with in ministry. If there's any group that needs to feel as if they belong to a church, its teenagers, and Life Teen really helps with that."[2]

Dooher was part of the Singing Priests, a group that performed for various charities, and plays the guitar, harp, and piano.[2]

Auxiliary Bishop of Boston[edit]

On October 12, 2006, Dooher was appointed Auxiliary Bishop of Boston and Titular Bishop of Theveste by Pope Benedict XVI.[4] He received his episcopal consecration on the following December 12 from Seán Cardinal O'Malley, O.F.M. Cap., with Bishops Francis Irwin and Walter Edyvean serving as co-consecrators.[4] As an auxiliary, Dooher serves as regional bishop for the South Pastoral Region.[5]

His appointment was met with some criticism from advocates of sexual abuse victims' rights, who claimed that Dooher "abetted a harmful and immoral coverup for the Boston archdiocese" as a priest.[6][7] He had been mentioned in a 2003 report by Attorney General Thomas Reilly as one of two priests who in the mid-1990s met with pastors in parishes affected by abuse cases, and in a 2002 deposition by Bishop John McCormack as having participated in conversations in the Archdiocese in 1994 about where to house abusive priests.[6]

On June 30, 2018, Pope Francis accepted his resignation after reaching the retirement age of 75.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e Tracy, Donis. "Bishop John A. Dooher: A life trusting in God's providence". The Pilot.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l "Father John Dooher: Putting faith into practice". The Dedham Times. October 5, 2001. p. 14.
  3. ^ a b "Bishop Franklin's Resignation Accepted, Bishop Martin J. Amos Named Bishop of Davenport; Pope Names Two Auxiliary Bishops for Archdiocese of Boston". United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. 2006-10-11.
  4. ^ a b c "Bishop John Anthony Dooher".
  5. ^ "Most Reverend John Anthony Dooher". Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Boston.
  6. ^ a b Paulson, Michael (2006-10-13). "Priests' rise is called sign of change, hope". The Boston Globe.
  7. ^ Yon-Gharbi, Sophie (2006-12-12). "Protesters Object to Reverend John Dooher's Elevation". Boston Indymedia.

External links[edit]

Episcopal succession[edit]

Catholic Church titles
Preceded by
Auxiliary Bishop of Boston
Succeeded by