In Memoriam ~ Terence (Terry) Austin Leonard Dosh ’48
“Your promise is very sure and your servant loves it” (Psalm 119:140). This was Terry’s prayer as he lived with Parkinson’s these last seven years. He died on April 7, 2016, believing: “Both in life and in death we belong to God” (Romans 14:8).
Dosh, Terence (November 22, 1930 — April 7, 2016), was the sixth of seven children born into a loving family in St Paul. His parents, Charles Michael and Lilly Olson Dosh welcomed him on November 22, 1930, his dad witnessing his birth.
Terry was nurtured in Catholic parishes and schools (last at St. Helena in Minneapolis) until he moved to St. John’s in Collegeville (1944) for Prep School and University. He was a lifelong sportsman and a curious and passionate student who applied his scholarship as a social justice activist. He became a Benedictine Oblate November 21, 1945 (Gregory). On July 11, 1950, he joined the monastic community, receiving the name Leonard. He was ordained a priest June 1, 1957. As a monk he taught at St. John’s Prep and University and St. Ben’s in St. Joseph, MN. He shared his enthusiasm and vast knowledge of history, geography and art with his students and was mentored by Fr. Walter Reger. He served as prefect, Oblate director and publisher of the Oblate newsletter. His PhD in European History was granted by the University of Minnesota in 1971 after a year of research in Paris (1966–67).
In 1969, Terry took a leave from St. John’s moving to Manhattan Beach, CA to teach at Cal State Dominguez Hills for five years. He received a permanent leave from the monastic community in 1971, but remained an Oblate. His baptism and the Rule of St. Benedict guided his life. On August 13, 1971, Terry married Millicent Adams of Minneapolis. Their two sons, Martin Luther King Chavez (1972) and Paul Gandhi Joseph (1974) were born in California. Terry and Millie returned to Minneapolis in 1974 to raise their sons among family. Terry established a teaching/consulting business and taught in over 100 churches and synagogues the next five years.
He helped parishes learn about changes in the church since the Second Vatican Council and taught scripture and history classes. Terry paid special attention to children and young adults, inquiring about their lives and giving them things to read. He was always the teacher, helping others to nurture their interests and develop new ones. After travel to Central America in 1984, Terry gave 50 free lectures on the region, teaching the public about the church, history and US military intervention. In 1980–81 he was an adult educator at Risen Savior Catholic Church in Apple Valley.
In 1981–1983, Terry served Lake Country Montessori School as administrator. In 1983, the founders of CORPUS (Corps of Reserved Priests United for Service) hired Terry as its first National Coordinator and publisher of CORPUS Reports. For six years, he traveled the USA, Canada and Europe encouraging married priests to organize for an end to mandatory celibacy in the Roman rite.
There were natural groups of married priests all over the world, and Terry helped empower them to publish and act for change. In 1990–2014, Terry founded, edited and published Bread Rising, a newsletter that educated over 2000 subscribers about injustice and reform in the Catholic Church. For eight of those years he published a newsletter for Priests and People for a Married Priesthood called Around the Table. In all his work, he built and nurtured community. When one door shut, he found another through which he could walk and continue his ministry. He aspired to: “preach the gospel at all times, and when necessary, use words” (St Francis of Assisi).
Terry took great pride in Martin’s career as a musician and Paul’s work as a professor, attending their concerts and lectures even at age 84. He treasured their wives and children. Terry was an activist or board member of church reform organizations such as ARCC, WOC, CCCR, Call to Action, PPL, DISAL, Catholic Worker, Bread for the World, and Federation of Christian Ministries. He organized several National Conferences for CORPUS and FCM. Terry retained an abiding love for his brother monks and St John’s, his home for 30 years. Fr. Don Talafous, who shared Terry’s first Europe trip in 1963, was especially attentive in his final years. Fr. John Kulas preceded him in death.
Terry was a liberator through storytelling. With short vignettes, which sprang from his brilliant grasp of history and love for people, he could free a listener to see the present in the context of the past with hope for the future. He lived with joy and optimism. Terry’s parents and five siblings (Chuck, Jane, Patty, Tom and Stan) await his homecoming. His attentive and beloved brother Rev. Mark B. Dosh survives him. His wife Millie of 44 years, Martin (Erin), Paul (Andrea Galdames) and his four grandchildren (Tadhg Bolen, Naoise Dosh, Araminta and Mateo Dosh Galdames) miss the gentle love and intelligent guidance of Terry, who loved them so much.
All services at St. Frances Cabrini Church, 1500 Franklin Ave SE, Minneapolis. Visitation on Friday, April 15, 2016, 11 am–2 pm and 4:30 pm–6:30 pm, followed by Vespers at 6:30 pm. Eucharist of Christian Burial on Saturday, April 16, 2016, 10:30 am, followed by lunch and program. Terry’s body will be transported at 2 pm and laid to rest in Calvary Cemetery, New Richland, Waseca, MN about 4 pm. Thanks to First Memorial Waterston for assistance with funeral arrangements. In lieu of flowers, memorials preferred to Building Dignity, Peru, Lake Country Endowment, Cabrini Matthew 25 Fund or others in need.