Monsignor Joseph McDonnell Obituary

Monsignor Joseph J. McDonnell
Monsignor Joseph J. McDonnell
Monsignor Joseph J. McDonnell

December 7, 1940 - June 8, 2013
Born in Des Moines, IA
Resided in Urbandale, IA
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After a magnificent celebration at Saint Pius X Church on June 2, Monsignor Joseph J. McDonnell, 72, died June 8, 2013 at Mercy Hospice in Johnston, IA. A Funeral Mass will be celebrated at St. Pius X Catholic Church in Urbandale at 10 a.m. Friday, June 14, followed by burial at Glendale Cemetery. There will be a Rosary at 3 p.m. and the family will receive friends from 4 to 7 p.m. Thursday, June 13, at St. Pius X Church with a Vigil at 7 p.m. Thursday.

Monsignor McDonnell grew up in Saint Anthony Parish, attended Dowling High School, Conception Seminary and then Mount Saint Bernard Seminary. He was ordained to the priesthood on June 4, 1967 at Saint Ambrose Cathedral in Des Moines. On November 7, 1989 he was named Monsignor by Blessed John Paul II.

He served as Assistant Pastor at Saint John Church in Des Moines and Saint Michael Church in Harlan. He was the Co-Director of the Chaplaincy Program in the Greater Des Moines Area. He then joined the Team Ministry in the Leon Region. After a sabbatical for study he became Pastor of Saint Ambrose Cathedral. His next assignment was as pastor of Sacred Heart Church in West Des Moines. His last assignment was as pastor of Saint Pius X in Urbandale. He retired September 1, 2012.

He was known for his humorous "sayings" and deep spirituality. His devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary led him to lead many trips to Medjugorje accompanied by friends and parishioners. As pastor he held Christ Renews His Parish Retreats in each of his parishes and this movement has spread to other parishes. Much of the success of the Christ Our Life Conferences was due to his direction and support as they were being prepared. In addition to his tremendous support of St. Pius X school he renovated St. Pius X church building.

He was truly a devoted pastor wherever he served.
Monsignor McDonnell is survived by his brother, Dr. Dennis E. (Dr. Jean E. Murrin) McDonnell of Onalaska, WI; his sister, Mrs. Paula Powell of Des Moines; his sister, Lynne (Jonathan P.) Braley of Needham, MA; and his sister, Mary Frances (Ronald R.) Booth of Dellwood, MN. He will be greatly missed by his twelve nieces and nephews and twelve great nieces and nephews. He always tried to be involved in their lives.

Monsignor McDonnell was preceded in death by his parents, Joseph J. and Beatrice G. McDonnell.

Memorials may be made for Masses or to Saint Pius X Parish or the Priest Pension Fund Society of the Diocese of Des Moines, 601 Grand Avenue in Des Moines, IA 50309.

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St. Pius X Catholic Church
3663-66th Street
Urbandale, IA 50322
Thursday, June 13, 2013
3:00 PM - 7:00 PM
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St. Pius X Catholic Church
3663 - 66th Street
Urbandale, IA US 50322
Friday, June 14, 2013
10:00 AM
Glendale Cemetery
4909 University Avenue
Des Moines, IA 50311
Friday, June 14, 2013
11:30 AM


Priest Pension Fund Society of the Diocese of Des Moines
601 Grand Avenue
Des Moines, IA 50309