Stories & News
Meet some of the men and women who benefit from the Retirement Fund for Religious.
“Those serving in religious life receive minimal compensation because of their vow of poverty, so donors giving to the retirement fund show appreciation for their work and provide them with a sense of security in their old age. We are so grateful for all they have done for us,” emphasizes Brother Charles Douglas, SSJ, who has dedicated his life to religious service.
Born on August 3, 1935, in Pascagoula, Mississippi, Brother Charles grew up in a family of three brothers and a sister with parents that instilled strong faith values. He attended St. Peter’s Elementary School and Carver High School but did not pursue higher education.
The primary influence in Brother Charles’ faith development was Reverend Joseph E. McKee, SSJ, at St. Peter’s the Apostle Church in Pascagoula when he was growing up. At St. Peter’s, Brother Charles served as an altar boy, marking the beginning of his spiritual journey. The inspiration he found in the Josephite priests at St. Peter’s led him to join the Josephite community in 1957, a decision driven by a sense of calling and a desire to remain in their service.
Brother Charles served as a cook at the Brothers of St. Joseph Industrial School in Delaware, which provided a home for boys from broken homes. His culinary skills and dedication ensured that the boys received nourishing meals during their time at the school. When the school closed, Brother Charles continued his service as one of the cooks at a similar school in Clayton, Delaware.
Over the years, Brother Charles undertook various ministries, including preparing the Mass for the brothers and fathers, tending to lawns and gardens and caring for the sacristy.
In retirement, his activities are limited, as his physical health no longer allows him to be as active as before. Nonetheless, the memories of his impactful service continue to fill his heart with gratitude.