Fr. Eunan Doherty C.P. passed away quietly on Friday 15th October 2004. That day he had been in good form and had walked to the nearby post office. He was 81 years of age and has been in retirement in Ireland since his return from Botswana in late 1993.
Eunan was born in 1923 in Carndonagh, Co. Donegal and entered the Passionists in 1944. Professed 15th September 1945, he entered his priestly studies and was ordained 25th May on 1952. Within a few years he was assigned to Botswana where he arrived in 1957.
working life was spent in Botswana. First posted to Morwa he developed
the school while living in the 'school office' before Bro. Paul built
a house for him. Ramotswa was his next mission in 1968 where he had a
large Catholic population. Poverty and drought were twin problems in the
community and Fr. Eunan was energetic in getting overseas aid for his
people. His pride and joy was the new Church he built in Ramotswa.
By 1975 the mission at Molepolole had been vacant for a few years and Fr. Eunan moved there to re-found the mission. Here he continued his building programme and provide the mission with priest's house and Church. Here Eunan - the 'ideas-man' - came to the fore. Short of cash he began to rear chickens and sell them to the local hotel.
In late 1982 Fr. Eunan was on the move again. This time to Mochudi which had replaced Morwa as the main mission to the Bakgatla tribe. In a way Eunan was back where he started. He was to work here until he retired to Ireland due to failing health in 1993.
On my own behalf and on behalf of the Diocese I express my deep sympathy on the death of Rev. Fr. Eunan Doherty, C.P. I have invited all the priests of the Diocese to join with me at St. Conrad's Mission, Ramotswa on Thursday evening in celebrating Mass for his eternal rest.
Fr. Eunan ministered for many years in Botswana and is remembered by many people. He was a very pastoral minded priest and he spent himself in seeking spiritual growth of the people under his charge in the various missions placed under his care. During his ministry he was responsible for the building of five churches But his interest was not just limited to their spiritual development he sought for ways to alleviate the poverty of people and to improve their social conditions. The small seeds that he sowed in Ramotswa later developed into a major development agency.
He had a deep commitment to his Passionist brothers and took time to visit them and spend some time with them. His presence enriched the spirit of community among the personnel of the Diocese.
May the Lord reward him for all the good he did during his long priestly life.