Patrick Dougherty (bishop)

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The Most Right Reverend
Patrick Dougherty
7th Roman Catholic Bishop
Diocese Diocese of Bathurst
Installed 1 September 1983
Term ended 11 November 2008
Predecessor A. R. E. Thomas
Successor Michael McKenna
Other posts President of St Laurence O'Toole's Seminary, Dublin (1859–1865)
Ordination 7 December 1954 (Priest) in Propaganda College, Rome
Consecration 8 December 1976 (Bishop) in St Christopher's Cathedral, Canberra
Personal details
Born 21 November 1931
Kensington, New South Wales, Australia
Died 30 August 2010(2010-08-30) (aged 78)
Bathurst, New South Wales
Buried Bathurst Cemetery, Bathurst, New South Wales
Nationality Australian
Denomination Roman Catholic Church
Parents William and Madge Dougherty
Occupation Roman Catholic bishop
Profession Cleric
Alma mater Waverley College
St Columba's College, Springwood
St Patrick's Seminary, Manly
Propaganda College and
Pontifical Urban University, both in Rome
Motto Iuxta Crucem Discipulus
(at the Cross, the disciple)[1]

Patrick Dougherty DD (21 November 1931 in Kensington, New South Wales – 30 August 2010 in Bathurst, New South Wales), an Australian suffragan bishop, was the seventh Bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Bathurst, serving for 25 years from 1983 until his retirement in 2008.

Early years and background[edit]

The second of four sons (three of whom became priests[2]) born to William and Madge Dougherty, Dougherty was educated at Our Lady of the Rosary school, Kensington and Waverley College, before completing his secondary education at St Columba's College in Springwood in 1948. He commenced studying for the priesthood, and in 1950 progressed to St Patrick's Seminary, Manly and then Propaganda College, Rome where he was ordained a priest by Archbishop Pietro Sigismondi on 7 December 1954.[3]

In 1957 Dougherty obtained his Doctorate of Divinity in Spiritual Theology from the Pontifical Urban University in Rome, and immediately returned to Australia and was appointed Assistant Priest of St. Mel's in Campsie. At the request of Cardinal Gilroy, Dougherty travelled to Rome in 1958 and began to research the life of the Venerable Mother Mary Potter, foundress of The Little Company of Mary. Between 1959 and 1961, Dougherty was a lecturer in Logic, History of Philosophy, Latin and Italian at St Columba's Seminary in Springwood where he was also a Dean of Students and in 1961 Director of the Spiritual Year for first year students. In early 1962, Dougherty returned to Rome as an Assistant Vice Rector of his alma mater, Propaganda College, and by 1967 was appointed a Vice Rector of the College. His book, Mother Mary Potter, foundress of the Little Company of Mary was published in 1963.[3]

Dougherty returned to Australia in August 1970 to take up appointment to the newly established Secretariat of the Australian Episcopal Conference in Canberra. On 15 October 1976, Dougherty was elected as an Auxiliary Bishop of the Canberra and Goulburn Archdiocese and Titular Bishop of Lete, Mygdonia, a Roman Catholic titular see in the Roman province of Macedonia. Reverend Father Patrick Dougherty was consecrated as a bishop by Archbishop Thomas Cahill on 8 December 1976[3] in St Christopher's Cathedral, Canberra.

Roman Catholic Bishop of Bathurst[edit]

In 1983 Bishop Dougherty was appointed as Bishop of the Diocese of Bathurst and was installed on 5 October 1983. After 25 years in office, he retired on 11 November 2008 and was elevated to the title of Bishop Emeritus of Bathurst.[4][5] In a very unusual move by Dougherty, on the day before his retirement was announced, he issued a statement denouncing a booklet written by a priest of his diocese. The openly heretical booklet entitled God is Big. Real Big! by Father Peter Dresser, apparently denied the divinity of Jesus Christ.[6][7]

In 2009, Dougherty, together with George Cardinal Pell and Bishop Emeritus of Sale, Jeremiah Coffey, consecrated Michael McKenna as Bishop of Bathurst.[8]

Dougherty resided in Bathurst until his death at St Catherine's Aged Care facility on 30 August 2010 following a short battle with lung cancer.[2][3][9][10] The Solemn Pontifical Mass was celebrated by twenty bishops, including Bishop McKenna, Cardinal Pell, and the Papal Nuncio to Australia, Archbishop Lazzarotto, and more than sixty priests. During the numerous eulogies at the mass, it was reported that Dougherty was considered a "...very humble and deeply spiritual man whose witness and example were a source of inspiration for all in the diocese of Bathurst".[1] He was "...undoubtedly good, considerate and compassionate. He was a very kind man."[11]

Selected works[edit]

  • Dougherty , Patrick (1963). Mother Mary Potter, foundress of the Little Company of Mary, 1847-1913. London: Sands. p. 304. 


  1. ^ a b Myers, Kerry (19 September 2010). "Farewell to a 'gracious' pastor". The Catholic Weekly. Australia. Retrieved 24 September 2011. 
  2. ^ a b Jones, Kerry (1 September 2010). "Bishop Dougherty dead at 78". Central Western Daily. Australia. Retrieved 24 September 2011. 
  3. ^ a b c d "Bishop Emeritus: Bishop Patrick Dougherty". Catholic Diocese of Bathurst. 2006. Retrieved 24 September 2011. 
  4. ^ Jones, Kerry (12 November 2008). "Bishop calling it a day". The Western Advocate. Australia. Retrieved 24 September 2011. 
  5. ^ "Dougherty resigns". CathNews. Australia. 12 November 2008. Retrieved 24 September 2011. 
  6. ^ "Booklet sold at rebellious Brisbane parish denies Christ's divinity". Catholic Culture. 29 October 2008. Retrieved 24 September 2011. 
  7. ^ "Australian bishop condemns priest's book". Catholic Culture. 11 November 2008. Retrieved 24 September 2011. 
  8. ^ "Bishop Michael Joseph McKenna: Bishop of Bathurst". The Hierarchy of the Catholic Church. 19 February 2011. Retrieved 25 September 2011. 
  9. ^ "Bishop Patrick Dougherty: Bishop Emeritus of Bathurst". The Hierarchy of the Catholic Church. 19 February 2011. Retrieved 16 September 2010. 
  10. ^ "Former Bathurst Bishop Patrick Dougherty dies". CathNews. Australia. 31 August 2010. Retrieved 24 September 2011. 
  11. ^ "Editorial: Vale, Bishop Pat". The Catholic Weekly. Australia. 19 September 2010. Retrieved 24 September 2011. 

External links[edit]

Catholic Church titles
Preceded by
A. R. E. Thomas
7th Catholic Bishop of Bathurst
Succeeded by
Michael McKenna