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Dominic Massa / Eyewitness News

NEWORLEANS - Monsignor Clinton Doskey, a retired pastor of St. Pius X Catholic Church and longtime chaplain for the Krewe of Endymion and the Saints' Touchdown Club, died Sunday.He was 81.

Msgr. Doskey had been hospitalized shortly after celebrating Easter Mass and Holy Week services at St.Pius, where he was pastor for more than 20 years, becoming pastor emeritus in 2009. His death was announced to parishioners at Sunday Masses.

Last year, Doskey delivered a memorable homily at the funeral Mass for retired Archbishop Philip Hannan, recounting in vivid detail the remarkable life of his longtime friend and church leader.

The two met when Hannan was named Archbishop of New Orleans in 1965 and asked Doskey to lead the newly-formed Social Apostolate, which coordinated social service programs for the poor, elderly and minorities.Doskey also led the church's Disaster Relief Service, established in the 1970s.

Doskey previously served as a vice chancellor of the Archdiocese of New Orleans.He was also a popular parish priest and church leader for more than five decades, serving as pastor at many different churches, including St. Francis de Sales, St. Philip the Apostle, Our Lady of Lourdes in Violet, St. Rose De Lima and St. Leo the Great.

It was as a priest in Gentilly where he got to know young Ed Muniz, the future captain of Endymion.After founding the Carnival parade, Muniz asked Doskey to be the krewe's chaplain, and he was with the organization from its earliest days as a neighborhood group to its current incarnation as a super krewe.

He would celebrate Mass for krewe members before their parade, and he was a fixture at the annual coronation, where the king is selected by random drawing.

'Edmond (Muniz) likes to say that they have me there to make sure it's on the up and up,' Doskey joked in a 2010 interview for Arthur Hardy's Mardi Gras Guide.

Even when his pastoral assignments over the years took him to church parishes in St. Bernard or Baton Rouge, Doskey would make the trip into town for Endymion.

'I'd tell the other priests, 'You'll have to handle the Mass or funeral or baptism today.Endymion needs me.'

A New Orleans native, Doskey also served as chaplain of the Saints Touchdown Club for decades, reciting the opening prayer at banquets and other club functions.Although his health was failing, Doskey was honored by the Touchdown Club at an event in February.

'This is the way I look at it,' Doskey told the Clarion Herald. 'A priest should be part of the life of his people, and I see in the life of the people of New Orleans two main things Mardi Gras and the Saints. Therefore, I decided to be involved in both of those things. Why not?'

A funeral Mass will be celebrated Friday, April 27 at 10:30 a.m. at St. Pius X Church, 6666 Spanish Fort Blvd. Visitation will be Thursday, April 26 from 6 p.m. until 8 p.m. at Lake Lawn Metairie Funeral Home, 5100 Pontchartrain Blvd. Visitation will continue Friday at the church from 8 a.m until Mass time.

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