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McDonnell, Thomas John


Bishop, director of the Society for the Propagation of the Faith; b. New York City, Aug. 18, 1894; d. Huntington, West Virginia, Feb. 25, 1961. He was a graduate of St. Francis Xavier's High School and of Cathedral College in New York City, and completed his theological studies at St. Joseph's Seminary, Dunwoodie, Yonkers, New York. He was ordained Sept. 20, 1919. He served as curate in several New York City churches and in 1923 became secretary to bishop John J. Dunn, Director of the Society for the Propagation of the Faith in the Archdiocese of New York. In 1936 McDonnell was appointed national director of the society; he held this position until 1950 and firmly established the society throughout the United States. In 1947 he was consecrated auxiliary bishop of New York and titular bishop of Sela. He was appointed coadjutor bishop of Wheeling, West Virginia, with the right of succession, in 1951. In addition to the duties of his office, he served on the national board of the Society for the Propagation of the Faith; he also promoted the diocesan Serra Clubs, the diocesan Holy Name Societies, and the International Federation of Catholic Alumnae. McDonnell was appointed by the governor of West Virginia to various state commissions and was instrumental in having the state legislature enter the name of God in the preamble to the state constitution.

[j. j. swint]

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