If you ever doubted whether or not your “yes” to God makes a difference in this world, you should meet Fr. Charlie. I was privileged to be part of a small grassroots group of men and women who were passionate about Catholic education, and we had this dream of starting a Catholic High School in the Temple area. When we approached Fr. Charlie with our idea his blue eyes twinkled and he did not hesitate in giving his joyful “yes” to our project. His commitment to help make that dream of a Catholic high school a reality is the very reason why today we are able to celebrate 21 years of “forming the Christian leaders of tomorrow.”
Fr. Charlie didn’t hesitate in saying “yes” to Holy Trinity, even though he, who had been the pastor of St. Mary’s Church and School for years, knew the hurdles and hardships we would face. But he gave his “yes” anyway, confident that if Holy Trinity was God’s will we could “relax” because “God’s in charge.”
Throughout the process of starting Holy Trinity Catholic High School Fr. Charlie led us and prayed with and for us. I remember he pitched in when we had to “pass the hat” just to pay the postage and printing for our first official mailing! Pete Gaa, one of Holy Trinity’s founders, quite often, back then and still today, refers to Fr. Charlie as his “human valium.” We surely needed it then as we do now.
Personally, one of my favorite memories of Fr. Charlie was watching the students rushing and crowding one another into the end of their church pew so that Fr. Charlie could bless them again, making the sign of the cross on each and every one of their foreheads as he processed back down the aisle after the “final” blessing and after the conclusion of a school Mass. The students just loved him because of the way he loved them. Fr. Charlie was unconcerned with schedules or time, concerned only with his vocation to spread the love of God to all he encountered.
That memory of the students rushing to receive his blessing is just a tiny snapshot of the “magic” of Father Charlie Davis. Holy Trinity Catholic High School is truly blessed to have been led by his love.
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The joyful witness of Fr. Charlie is one that we need to preserve so that he can continue to touch the lives of our students like he did during his lifetime. If you have photos or fond memories of Fr. Charlie, please feel free to share them with us by contacting Alyssa Snyder at firstname.lastname@example.org or Isabelle Brogan at email@example.com. Please limit written memories or stories to 400-500 words a piece.
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About the Author
Donna Reilly is a member of the original group of men and women who worked to start Holy Trinity Catholic High School. Her children John, Austin, Sarah and Rebecca all graduated from Holy Trinity. Donna Reilly continues to serve the school community as our Business Manager.