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Father Marian Douglas

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Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Franciscan Father Marian Douglas, a former teacher and associate pastor in Cincinnati and a pioneer in inner-city ministry, died  March 22. He was 81 and had been a member of the Franciscan Friars of the Province of St. John the Baptist for 59 years.

Father Marian Douglas (Courtesy photo)

A native of Bark River, Mich., he attended high school at St. Francis Seminary in Cincinnati and graduated from Duns Scotus College in Southfield, Mich. After ordination in 1957, he became an associate at St. Joseph Church in Kansas City, Mo., and at St. Anthony Parishes Kansas City, Kansas, before returning to Cincinnati as an associate at St. Bonaventure in 1962. His work as a teacher took him to Sacred Heart Academy (1965-’66) and Ursuline Academy (1965-1971).

In the following years he served in parish ministry in Cincinnati at St. John and St. Francis Seraph parishes in Over-the-Rhine, in Illinois, Kansas, Indiana and Michigan.

In Cincinnati Father Douglas recruited members of the Secular Franciscan Order to coordinate a lunch ministry for school children and a nondenominational Bible school for neighborhood kids. He also encouraged college students to volunteer in the inner city during their spring break.

He retired from active ministry in 2001, but contributed to sacramental ministry at St. Francis Retreat House in Easton, Pa., and Sacred Heart Parish in Peoria, Ill., before retiring to St. Clement Friary in Cincinnati in 2007. Prior to his death he lived at St. Margaret Hall.

He is survived by a brother, Richard, of Green Bay, Wis.

Father Douglas was remembered at a Mass of Christian Burial at St. Clement in Cincinnati on March 28, and at a service in Escanaba, Mich., on Monday, March 30. 

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