GLASTONBURY – Father Francis Patrick McDonnell, 79, passed away on Nov. 25, 2011, at Salmon Brook Nursing and Rehabilitation Center.
He was born on Nov. 2, 1932, in Manchester, a son of the late Charles and Mary (Craig) McDonnell of Portadown in northern Ireland. He attended St. James School in Manchester, St. Thomas Seminary in Bloomfield and St. Bernard's Seminary in Rochester, N.Y. He was ordained to the priesthood on May 15, 1958, at St. Lawrence O'Toole Church in Hartford by the late Archbishop Henry J. O'Brien.
He was a parochial vicar at St. Anthony Parish in Hartford in 1958, St. Patrick-St. Anthony Parish in Hartford in 1958-59, St. Ann Parish in Devon in 1959-60, St. Paul Parish in West Haven from 1960-65, Incarnation Parish in Wethersfield from 1965-78, St. Francis Parish in New Britain from 1978-80 and St. Joseph Parish in New Britain from 1980-93.
On May 28, 1993, Father McDonnell was named temporary administrator of St. Joseph Parish, a position he held until he was named parochial vicar at St. Mary Parish in Windsor Locks on July 1, 1995. Father McDonnell then served as parochial vicar at both St. Mary Parish and St. Robert Bellarmine Parish in Windsor Locks from April 12, 2007, until his retirement on April 30, 2008. He remained in residence at St. Mary Parish until Sept. 16, 2011, when he moved to the Archbishop Daniel A. Cronin Residence for Retired Priests in Bloomfield.
Father McDonnell leaves a sister, Mary Nason, and a brother, Charles McDonnell, both of Manchester; nine nieces and nephews; and several grandnieces and grandnephews. He was predeceased by his parents and two sisters, Irene McDonnell and Patricia Parlapiano.
A parish Mass was celebrated Nov. 30 at St. Mary Church in Windsor, where Archbishop Henry J. Mansell celebrated a Mass of Christian Burial the next morning. Father Robert A. O'Grady, pastor, preached the homily. Burial followed at St. Mary's Cemetery.
Contributions in Father McDonnell's memory may be made to St. Mary Church, 42 Spring St., Windsor Locks, CT 06096.