Saint Meinrad Seminary & School of Theology

Formation and Education for the Life of the Church

Alumni Obituaries

Paul Dooley

Paul Anthony Dooley died June 4 at his Plainfield home. He was 89. Mr. Dooley had struggled with heart problems and COPD and had received hospice care from Community Hospital Home Health Services since March.Born Feb. 14, 1921, he was the third of five children born to the late William John Dooley and Alice Marie Broderick. He was raised in Indianapolis. All four of his grandparents had emigrated from Ireland in the 19th century, having roots in Co. Tipperary and Co. Waterford.Mr. Dooley attended St. Joan of Arc and Cathedral elementary schools in Indianapolis before entering the Minor Seminary at St. Meinrad, where he completed high school and went on to the Major Seminary for the Archdiocese of Indianapolis. He attended Theological College at Catholic University in Washington, D.C., before being ordained a Catholic priest on Aug. 24, 1945. He had strong interests in Liturgy and even in seminary days promoted the use of English in the Mass.He served the Archdiocese of Indianapolis as an assistant pastor at several parishes including Holy Angels in Indianapolis, St. Mary in New Albany, Holy Family in Richmond, and Annunciation in Brazil. While at Holy Angels he worked hard for racial integration, particularly for that parish but also in terms of Archdiocesan-wide policy and practices.While at Richmond, he attended Earlham College, completing an M.A. in social psychology with a focus on community dynamics which he put to use in helping form the Butler-Tarkington Neighborhood Association in Indianapolis. When serving Annunciation he also taught at Schulte High School in Terre Haute and was chaplain for the Newman Center at DePauw University in Greencastle.In the 1960s he was pursuing a Ph.D. in Asian studies (ABD) at the University of Iowa in Iowa City. His doctoral studies had concentrated on Vedic religions, Hinduism in particular, and involved him in a summer of studying Sanskrit at the University of Wisconsin in Madison. He returned to Indianapolis where he was on the faculty of Marian College (now Marian University), teaching psychology and theology, and where he also served as dean of men. He was instrumental in developing an Asian studies program as well as a major in religious education at Marian. At the same time he served as chaplain at the Indiana Boys' School and Indiana Girls' School, as well as assisting at St. Thomas Aquinas Parish.He left the priesthood and married Mary Woolitz on June 15, 1974, in Indianapolis. They moved to Plainfield in 1976 and turned their property into a National Wildlife Federation-registered backyard wildlife habitat.He then went to work as a behavioral clinician at the Reception-Diagnostic Center in Plainfield for the Indiana Department of Corrections, retiring from there in 1991.Mr. Dooley enjoyed working on his home and yard.He was a past president and long-time member of the Guilford Township Civic Association, as well as a founding member and past president of Hendricks County Bluebird Society. He was a member of Century Club and was active with the Hendricks County Democrats.For the past seven years he volunteered at Brentwood Elementary School in Plainfield, assisting in teaching reading to kindergartners and first-graders.In addition to his wife, he is survived by a sister, Alice Marie Dooley; cousins Jim Worden and wife Betty, Charles Worden, Larry Lee and wife Margaret, and Charles McConahay; sisters-in law Mary Catherine Gibson, Margaret Tomlinson and husband Chet, Virginia Rochette, and Dorothy Carpenter; five nieces, three nephews, and their children.Preceding him in death were brothers Joseph, Francis, and James.Mr. Dooley has bequeathed his body to the Indiana University Anatomical Education Program, which will eventually arrange cremation.