“Bishop Dougherty’s passing brings to a close a rare example of priestly ministry and service so generously shared for 65 years as a priest and 27 years as a bishop. While Bishop Dougherty’s retirement was accepted a year before my appointment as Bishop of Scranton, his willingness to continue to be of service to the faithful of our Diocese never diminished throughout his almost 90 years.
“Bishop Dougherty will be remembered as a thoughtful, quiet presence in the administrative mission of the Diocese of Scranton, having tirelessly served my four predecessors as Chancellor, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop. His greatest legacy to this local Church, however, won’t be as a leader in the spotlight but as a pastor – a servant in the shadows – visiting hospitals in the middle of the night, feeding the poor, sharing the sacraments and offering hope to broken souls who looked to him for help.
“Until his final days of life, even while challenged with diminishing health, Bishop Dougherty never shrank for a moment from his priestly ministry to the People of God, regardless of the situation or circumstance. His deep respect for both the leadership of the Church and for every baptized soul was evident in his words, his demeanor and in his willingness to assume any position of service with humility and grace.
“Bishop Dougherty was one of a kind, with an unexpected dry wit that could fill your heart with laughter in an instant and a selflessness that made the greatest to the least feel at home in his presence.
“Above all else, Bishop Dougherty was a good and faithful priest who served God and the people given to his care with every fiber of his being. May God give him the rest and peace that he so richly deserves.”