November 20, 1921, to June 17, 2003

Fr. William Fenton, O.C.D., was born on November 20, 1921, in County Cork, Ireland, and died on June 17, 2003, after battling cancer for over a year. 

A graduate of St. Therese College Seminary in Castlemartyr, County Cork, and St. Mary's, in Dublin, Fr. Fenton was ordained a Discalced Carmelite Priest in 1948. After 15 years of priestly ministry in Ireland, Fr. Fenton came to the United States in 1965, where he was involved in retreat ministry at El Carmelo Carmelite Retreat House in Redlands for one year. In 1966, he was appointed pastor at St. Therese Church in Alhambra, California.

Off and on, including the years from 1996 until his death in 2003, he served at St. Therese for a total of 25 years--twelve of those as Pastor. His first term as pastor was from 1966 to 1972. During that time, he installed a new church organ and updated the Sanctuary for the new Liturgy.  His second term as pastor was from 1978 to 1984—he has been the only one to have been appointed as Pastor twice for two terms each time. 

In 1990, Fr. Fenton was transferred to San Jose to serve as the Superior of the Carmelite Novitiate until June of 1990.  Being what he called a "Parish Man," he literally counted the days until, in 1996, he was eventually transferred back to St. Therese as an Associate Pastor.  From that time on, he served the parish continuously until his death from cancer on June 17, 2003, making it a total of twenty-five years of ministry at his “beloved St. Therese Parish.”

To this day, memories of him are still strong in the minds of many of our parishioners and staff members. He played a very important part in their lives and was very beloved by them; and they, by him. He always delighted in his priestly ministries and felt immensely privileged to serve the Church. His last wish was that he would receive "lots of prayers and remembrances at the Altar of the Lord." 

Other than his assignments at St. Therese, he was also assigned for six years to Santa Cruz Parish in Tucson, Arizona, and for six years as the Prior of Mt. St. Joseph Novitiate House in San Jose, California.

At the time of his death, Fr. Fenton was survived by his brother, Joe Fenton, of County Cork, Ireland; and his sister, Sr. Rose Fenton, SMG, of Bath, England, as well as by a number of nieces and nephews and grandnieces and grandnephews. His funeral services were held at St. Therese Church on June 24 and 25, 2003, followed by his burial at Resurrection Cemetery.

May he rest in eternal peace!