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Servant of God Catherine Doherty



(Died 14 December 1985 A.D.)


Doherty is an English name that means “Daughter of.””


Catherine Doherty was a woman of deep faith who followed Christ in poverty and compassion. She taught that the way to holiness is through the “duty of the moment.” This means that you do as best you can the duty of the moment for the love of God.

Catherine was born August 15, 1896, in Russia. Her parents were of the minor nobility and faithful members of the Russian Orthodox Church. Educated well, Catherine was married at the age of fifteen to her cousin Boris de Hueck.

Catherine acted as a Red Cross nurse during World War I. However, the Russian Revolution erupted. She and Boris had to flee for their lives to Finland. They then went to England where Catherine became a Catholic on November 27, 1919. They then moved to Canada where Catherine and Boris had a son George.

To help support the family, Catherine took various jobs including a lecture tour across the United States. But she felt God calling her to give up all her possessions to follow Him in poverty.

In 1932, Catherine began to live with the poor. She established Friendship House in Toronto, Canada, for the poor. When this closed, she established a second house and then, finally, Madonna House in Combermere, Ontario. By then, her marriage to Boris had broken up. The Church said that it was wrong from the start as the Church does not allow marriage between cousins. The Church annulled the marriage. This meant that there really was no marriage in the first place. So Catherine could marry again.

In 1943, Catherine married journalist Eddie Doherty. He supported her work with the poor. While raising George and being a faithful wife, Catherine also wrote many books, gave hundreds of lectures, and wrote articles. She always spoke for help for the poor. She followed “the Little Mandate” which she felt was given her by Jesus. Sell all and give t the poor. Take up your cross and follow Jesus in poverty. Be simple and childlike. Let your life tell of Jesus. Do things well for God. Love, love, love. Pray. Fast. Be hidden. Know that God is with you. Help your neighbor always. God will be your rest.

Catherine shows us that we can live with very little, as long as we live in God’s love and serve Him in others.

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