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Fr. Joseph Benedict Donnelly


Posted on March 4th, by Br. CB in Community News & Events. 4 comments

Fr. Joseph Benedict Donnelly, 1916-2017

On March 2nd, 2017 at approximately 11:50 pm, our Fr. Joseph died quietly in bed. Fr. Joseph was a good and holy man who endured much in his final years as his health deteriorated. Thankfully, we were able to care for him, here, throughout it all. Fr. Joseph, in his decline, truly gave himself fully to our community and in so doing, became our communal heart.

For Father’s 100’s birthday celebration, a brief biography was prepared:

Joseph Benedict Donnelly was born on 3 October 1916 just outside of Philadelphia to Irish Catholic parents. His father was first generation Irish but his mother’s lineage goes back to the colonial days. In 1934 after graduation from high school, he entered the Maryknoll Fathers. At first he was studying Japanese but at the outbreak of World War II he switched to Spanish. Upon his ordination in 1943 he was destined to go to Chile, but then that was cancelled and he headed instead, to Peru, where he served, until 1965, when he entered the Trappists, here at Our Lady of Guadalupe.

We deeply appreciate your prayers for our deceased brother.





4 thoughts on “Fr. Joseph Benedict Donnelly

    • For whatever reason I found your site and read of Father Joseph’s passing. It is a blessing. I can tell by your comment he was beloved in your community.

  1. I remember that once during a homily, Fr. Joseph remarked that God is not opposed to common sense. I never forgot that wisdom, which has been particularly helpful more than once.

  2. Fr. Joe Ben was my novice master and a kinder man I have yet to meet. I loved his gruff Irish voice, especially as he talked about the humanness of monastic life. He was, like his beloved woods, rooted to Earth.
    The sent of fresh wood
    is among the last things you will forget
    when the veil falls.
    – Hans Borli
    This, it seems, is the odor of sanctity that was Fr. Joe Ben.

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