Services Held for Gerard McDonald

HNP Communications Features

BUTLER, N.J.– A Mass of Christian Burial was held on Feb. 15 for Gerard McDonald, 90, who died on Feb. 11 at St. Anthony Friary here.

Gerard was born on Jan. 20, 1917, in Palo Alto, Pa., to James and Ellen McDonald. On May 25, 1919, he was baptized Anthony in St. Stephen’s Church in Port Carbon, Pa. When he was a child, his family moved to Philadelphia, where he attended parochial elementary schools and Northeast Catholic High School. In 1933, he entered St. Joseph Seraphic Seminary, Callicoon, N.Y., where he studied from 1933 to 1939.

Gerard was received into the Franciscan Order on Aug. 12, 1939, at St. Bonaventure Friary in Paterson, N.J, where he professed his simple vows on Aug. 13, 1940 before Jerome Dawson. He completed his philosophical studies in Croghan, N.Y., and Butler, and his theological studies at Holy Name College in Washington, D.C, where he professed his solemn vows before Bertrand Campbell on Sept. 17, 1943.  On June 17, 1945, Archbishop (later Cardinal) Amleto G. Cicognani, the Apostolic Delegate to the United States, ordained him a priest in the Church of Mount St. Sepulchre, Washington, D.C.

Gerard’s first years in ministry were devoted to education, first at Bishop Timon High School, Buffalo, N.Y., from 1946 to 1951, and from 1951 to 1953, at St. Stephen’s Friary, Croghan. He then began his long career in pastoral ministry: from 1953 to 1955 at St. Francis of Assisi Church on West 31st Street in New York City, and from 1955 to 1961 at St. Augustine Church, Thomasville, Ga. He served as chaplain for one year at St. Anthony’s Hospital in St. Petersburg, Fla. In 1962, he was re-assigned to the pastoral staff of St. Francis of Assisi Church in New York City, where he served faithfully for more than three decades, until retiring in August 1995 to St. Anthony Friary in Butler.

The  Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated by John O’Connor, Provincial Minister; Bernard Creighton, vicar of the friary, preached the homily. Interment followed at Mount Calvary Cemetery in Butler.

Condolences may be sent to Gerard’s nephew, John McDonald of 8222 Cadwalader Avenue, Elkins Park PA 19027, and niece, Mary Ellen Keenan of 367 Evergreen Road, Jenkintown PA 19046.