Donatus Walsh, OFM
1905 – 1988
Fr. Donatus Walsh, OFM, was born Dec. 12, 1905 in Brooklyn, N.Y. After six years at St. Joseph’s Seraphic Seminary, Callicoon, N.Y., he was received into the novitiate at St. Bonaventure Friary, Paterson, N.J., in 1927. He professed temporary vows one year later, made his solemn profession in 1928 and was ordained in 1934.
He was assigned to St. Francis of Assisi Church in New York City and, after three years of parochial work, became Provincial Secretary, Provincial Promoter of the Secular Franciscans and Provincial Procurator. In 1943, Fr. Donatus entered on a long career in pastoral ministry in our Jersey parishes: Rochelle Park, from 1943 to 1949; pastor of St. Mary’s in Pompton Lakes; and pastor of St. Catherine’s in Ringwood. During his pastorate in Pompton Lakes, the school and convent were built.
In 1968, Fr. Donatus became vicar at St. Bonaventure Friary, and later served two terms as guardian. He worked full-time at St. Francis of Assisi Parish in 1979, preaching, counseling, celebrating Mass and serving at the front desk.
He died on April 7, 1988 at Mountainside Hospital in Montclair, N.J. Fr. Donatus was 82 years old, a professed friar for 59 years and a priest for 53 years.