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Bishop John A. Dooher: A life trusting in God’s providence


Father Dooher was assigned to St. Francis Xavier Parish, Weymouth, from 1969-1974.

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Bishop-elect John A. Dooher has always trusted in God’s providence to guide his ministry. And he is determined to continue relying on God in his new role as auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of Boston -- a role he never imagined he would be called to fulfill.

In early October, when the bishop received a late-night phone call from Cardinal Seán P. O’Malley, asking him to go to the cathedral, he had no idea what to expect.

Nevertheless, he immediately set out to the Cathedral of the Holy Cross.

“It was about 10 p.m. when I got there,” he recalled. Cardinal O’Malley met him with a “simple statement that said ‘The Holy Father has appointed you auxiliary bishop of Boston.’”

His reaction?

“You just kind of gulp and start going through reasons why he should have picked someone else,” he said.

That evening, he didn’t sleep a wink.

“I truly didn’t have a clue about this,” he said.

Armed with an optimism he credits to his mother, who always taught her children, “not to be afraid to say, ‘yes, let’s try it,’” Bishop-elect Dooher began looking forward to his new role as bishop of the south region of the archdiocese.

A few days later during a family dinner, the bishop shared the news of his appointment.

“There was great excitement, confusion, laughter, some tears, and you know, reminiscing about family and all things that give us our particular uniqueness as a family,” he recalled.

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