It is with a heavy heart that we announce the passing of our beloved pastor emeritus, Father Charles Downing.
Thank you, for twenty-two amazing years of service and love. You've supported all of us here at St. Joseph School, from the beginning of your arrival to the very end. We are blessed to have had you as, Our Father, confidant and friend.
Reverend Charles H. Downing, 75, Pastor Emeritus of Saint Joseph Church, West Warwick, died October 13, 2015.
Born in Providence, Rhode Island, son of the late Charles and Eleanor (O’Leary) Downing, he attended Assumption School and LaSalle Academy in Providence.
In preparation for the priesthood, he studied at Our Lady of Providence Seminary in Warwick, Rhode Island, and at the American College in Louvain, Belgium. He was ordained a priest on June 26, 1965 in Louvain by Bishop Richard H. Ackerman.
After a summer assignment at the Cathedral of Saints Peter and Paul in Providence, Father Downing served as part-time assistant pastor at Saint Gregory the Great Church in Warwick and teacher at Our Lady of Providence Seminary in Warwick (1965-70). In June 1970 he became a full time teacher at the Seminary in Providence. In July 1989 Father Downing was appointed pastor of Saint Joseph Church in West Warwick where he served until his retirement on July 1, 2012as Pastor Emeritus.
In addition to his parochial duties, he served for two terms as Dean of Deanery V, Pawtuxet Valley and two terms on the Advisory Board for Ongoing Formation of Priests. During his years teaching at the seminary, he also assisted at various parishes in the South County area during the summer months. In 1990, he was appointed chaplain to Leona Circle #130, Daughters of Isabella.
Calling hours will be held on Sunday, October 18 from 5-8pm at St. Joseph Church, 854 Providence Street, West Warwick.
A concelebrated Mass of Christian Burial will be offered for the repose of his soul on Monday, October 19 at 10am at St. Joseph Church, West Warwick.
Burial will be at Gate of Heaven Cemetery, East Providence.