Eddie Doherty

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Eddie Doherty

Fr. Eddie Doherty
BornOctober 30, 1890
Chicago, U.S.A.
DiedMay 4, 1975
Combermere, Canada
NationalityAmerican, naturalized Canadian
OccupationReporter, author, founder of Madonna House Apostolate
Spouse(s)Catherine Doherty
ChildrenEdward Doherty Jr., Jack Jim Doherty

Edward J. "Eddie" Doherty (October 30, 1890–May 4, 1975) was a famed American newspaper reporter, best-selling author, Oscar-nominated screenwriter, co-founder of the Madonna House Apostolate, and later ordained a priest in the Melkite Greek Catholic Church.



[edit] His life

Eddie was born into a large Irish Catholic family in Chicago, the son of a Chicago police officer.

As a child he dreamed of becoming a priest, and at the age of 13 he entered a Servite monastery in Wisconsin. Within two years, however, he left to return to Chicago and reunited with his childhood sweetheart, Marie Ryan.

Starting as a newspaper copy boy and later becoming a police beat reporter, Eddie covered stories in the days of Al Capone and other gangsters, slowly making a name for himself.

Eddie wed Marie Ryan on December 15, 1914, and she bore him a son, Eddie Jr., on July 11, 1917. Eighteen months later, however, disaster struck as Marie died in the flu epidemic of 1918. Eddie was devastated, and turned his back on the Catholic Church.

Later, Eddie met his second wife, Mildred Frisby, at the newspaper and they were married on July 16, 1919 outside the Catholic Church and in secret. They were forced to reveal their secret marriage when she became pregnant, and gave birth to Eddie's second son, Jack Jim.

Soon, Eddie was at the top of his game. Papers and billboards headlined him as "America's Star Reporter", and others bragged that he was "America's Highest Paid Reporter". But once again, disaster struck, as Mildred died in a freak accident while out for a walk alone. This time, however, Eddie found peace for his grieving in returning to the Catholic Church.

In 1940, Eddie met Catherine de Hueck at her Friendship House mission while doing a story on Harlem. Their friendship turned to romance, and they wed on June 25, 1943.

In 1944, Eddie's screenplay for the World War II film The Sullivans was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Original Story.

Meanwhile, the staff at Friendship House did not take well to Catherine's marriage to Eddie, and complained that Catherine no longer lived in celibacy as they were required to do. This and other differences eventually led to Eddie and Catherine moving to Combermere, Ontario, Canada and starting a new apostolate called Madonna House in 1947. Here they founded their own newspaper, Restoration, which has remained in continuous circulation.

In 1969, Eddie obtained permission to transfer from the Latin Rite to the Byzantine Rite Melkite Greek Catholic Church (which allows married men to become priests), and on August 15, 1969, Eddie was ordained a Catholic priest at the age of seventy-eight by Archbishop Joseph Raya.

In 1975, after a period of ill-health and surgery, Eddie slipped into a coma. He died the next day, on May 4, 1975. A simple wooden cross marks his grave, reading "All my words for the Word."

[edit] See also

[edit] External links

[edit] References

Bazzett, Mary. The Life of Eddie Doherty. Combermere: Madonna House Publications, 1998.


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