Monsignor Charles Edward Duke, age 97 of Metairie passed away on Thursday June 23, 2016. He was born in Philadelphia, PA on April 12, 1919 as one of ten children. His elementary education was at Holy Cross and St. Madeleine Sophie in Philadelphia, and St. Mary's Manor in Penndel, PA. He received his philosophy and theology education at Marist College in Washington, D.C. Msgr. Duke was ordained into the Society of Mary as a priest for the Marist Community on June 8, 1947 in Washington, D.C. He served as Assistant at All Hallows in San Francisco and St. Joseph's in Marietta, GA. Archbishop Phillip Hannan asked Monsignor Duke to transfer to the diocesan priesthood for the Archdiocese of New Orleans; he was incardinated on December 30, 1968. Msgr. Duke served as Administrator of St. Nicholas of Myra in New Orleans, and his pastorates were at St. Joseph/St. Julian Eymard in New Orleans and St. Ann in Metairie until the time of his retirement in 1996. As founding pastor of Saint Ann Church and National Shrine he oversaw the completion of the sanctuary in 1976. He also led the construction, opening and growth of Saint Ann School. Many parishioners and graduates in the region are grateful for his priesthood. He was awarded the Prelate of Honor in 1980. In addition to his pastoral assignments in the Archdiocese of New Orleans, he also served as Coordinator of Religious Education, Director of Propagation of the Faith, Chancellor, Director of Personnel, a member of the Priests Council, Consultor of the Archdiocese, and Co-Chairperson of the Committee for the Temporal Goods for the Church for the 8th Synod of the Archdiocese of New Orleans. As Chancellor for Administrative Affairs he helped with real estate transactions for future expansion and kept the archdiocese financially secure. Msgr. Duke was also a member of the Archdiocesan Fund Development Committee, Member of the Board of St. Mary's Orphan Boys' Asylum, Archdiocesan Education Task Force, and the Executive Committee to Oversee Study of Catholic Schools in the Archdiocese of New Orleans. He retired in 1996 and was living in Metairie Louisiana at the time of his death. In most recent years he presided and preached at Masses at Saint Matthew the Apostle Church in River Ridge Louisiana and Saint Patrick's Church in New Orleans. Well done, good and faithful servant! Monsignor Duke remained grateful to God and Mary for the gift of his priesthood. Msgr. Duke is preceded in death by his parents, Robert J. and Sara Dougherty Duke and his brothers, Robert J. Jr., John Sydney, William, Howard, Joseph and Paul Duke and his sisters, Anne Duke, Mary Duke Jackson, and Sally Jo Duke McGuire. He is survived by numerous nieces, nephews, grand nieces and nephews and great grand nieces and nephews. Relatives and friends are invited to attend the Funeral Mass at Saint Ann Church and National Shrine, 4940 Meadowdale St. in Metairie on Tuesday, June 28, 2016 at 12:00 p.m. with visitation beginning at 10:00 a.m. An evening visitation will be held at the church on Monday, June 27, 2016 from 5:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. Interment will follow at All Saints Mausoleum. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in his memory to Saint Ann Church and National Shrine, 4940 Meadowdale St., Metairie, LA 70006.
Published in The New Orleans Advocate from Jun. 25 to Jun. 27, 2016.