Catholic Diocese of Spokane, Washington
Official News Magazine of the Diocese of Spokane
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Father Sean Donnelly, Spokane Diocese priest, dies in Ireland
the Inland Register
(From the Feb. 26, 2009 edition of the Inland Register)
Father Sean Donnelly (IR file photo)
Father Sean Donnelly, a priest of the Spokane Diocese since 1954, died Feb. 10 in Ireland. He was 79 years old.
“On behalf of our diocesan family, I express to Father Sean Donnelly’s family our prayerful sympathy on the occasion of his death, and gratitude for his ministry in the Diocese of Spokane,” said Bishop Skylstad.
“His generosity to come from Ireland to this diocese to serve as a priest is truly inspiring,” said the bishop. “May God grant him ternal rest and peace.”
Father Donnelly was born March 31, 1929, in Limerick, Ireland, where he attended grade school and high school. He studied at St. Patrick Seminary, Thurles, prior to ordination as a priest on June 6, 1954, in the Cathedral in Thurles.
He came to the Spokane Diocese the following September and received his first assignment that October, as assistant pastor of St. Ann Parish in Spokane.
He served as an assistant pastor in several parishes of the diocese, including St. Patrick, Walla Walla; St. Mary of the Rosary, Chewelah; and the Cathedral of Our Lady of Lourdes and St. Joseph, Spokane.
As associate pastor, he was assigned to Holy Family, Clark-ston; Assumption, Spokane; and St. Mary, Spokane Valley, his final assignment before his retirement in 1994.
Father Donnell was named temporary administrator of the parishes in Twisp and Brewster in 1957; administrator of St. Joseph, Metaline Falls, in 1961, and temporary chaplain of Mt. Carmel Hospital, Colville, in 1958.
He also was pastor: of Pure Heart of Mary, Northport, in 1968; Sacred Heart, Tekoa; and the parishes in LaCrosse and St. John in 1975.
He spent his last days in a nursing home in Ireland.