Thomas John McDonnell

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Thomas John McDonnell
Coadjutor Bishop of Wheeling, West Virginia
Bishop Thomas J. McDonnell.jpg
AppointedMarch 7, 1951
Term endedFebruary 25, 1961
SuccessorJoseph Howard Hodges
OrdinationSeptember 20, 1919
ConsecrationSeptember 15, 1947
by Francis Spellman
Personal details
Born(1894-08-18)August 18, 1894
New York, New York
DiedFebruary 25, 1961(1961-02-25) (aged 66)
Huntington, West Virginia
BuriedMount Calvary Cemetery, Wheeling, West Virginia
NationalityUnited States
DenominationRoman Catholic
Previous postAuxiliary Bishop of New York (1947–1951)
MottoAd Jesum Per Mariam
(To Jesus Through Mary)
Styles of
Thomas John McDonnell
Mitre plain 2.png
Reference styleThe Most Reverend
Spoken styleYour Excellency

Thomas John McDonnell, D.D., (August 18, 1894 – February 25, 1961) was the Roman Catholic coadjutor bishop, cum jure successionis, of what is now the Roman Catholic Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston, West Virginia.

Education and pastoral assignment[edit]

Thomas John McDonnell was born in New York City. He was ordained to the priesthood for the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of New York on September 20, 1919.[1] Early in his career, on October 30, 1921, he sang the Solemn High Mass dedicating Staten Island's new Mission Church of St. Clare, where he served as Assistant Rector.[2] McDonnell was admitted as an affiliated member, number 87, to Marist College in 1944.[3]


On July 2, 1947, Pope Pius XII appointed McDonnell auxiliary bishop of the New York Archdiocese. He was consecrated on September 15, 1947, taking as his episcopal motto: "Ad Jesum Per Mariam" (To Jesus Through Mary).[4] His principal consecrator was Cardinal Francis Spellman, and the principal co-consecrators were Cardinals Richard James Cushing and James Francis Aloysius McIntyre. On March 7, 1951, Pope Pius XII appointed McDonnell to the Wheeling Diocese,[1] with the right to succeed Bishop John Joseph Swint.[5]

Tridentine Masses[edit]

On March 17, 1948, McDonnell celebrated a Pontifical High Mass in honor of St. Patrick with Spellman presiding. This High Mass was said for St. Patrick's Cathedral's patron saint with 3,000 parishioners in attendance and was covered in the New York Times.[6]

On June 6, 1948, McDonnell presided at a solemn Pontifical Mass celebrating the golden jubilee of Monsignor John J. E. O'Brien, who was the pastor of St. Agnes Church (New York City).[7]

Consecrations and dedications[edit]

On October 24, 1953, McDonnell consecrated Marist College's altar with the relics of two martyrs, Saints Urban and Felician, in Our Lady Seat of Wisdom Chapel.[8]

On May 16, 1954, All Saints Catholic Church was dedicated by McDonnell in Bridgeport, West Virginia.[9]

McDonnell dedicated Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Williamson, West Virginia on May 27, 1951, and its school on December 15, 1957.[10]

McDonnell was the principal consecrator of Bishop Patrick Joseph Byrne. He was the principal co-consecrator of Bishops Augustine Francis Wildermuth, Stephen Anthony Appelhans, John Joseph Boardman, Richard Henry Ackerman and Archbishop Leo Clement Andrew Arkfeld.[1]


McDonnell died of an acute viral infection on February 25, 1961,[11] before he was able to succeed Swint to become bishop of Wheeling. McDonnell had been a priest for 41 years and a bishop for 13 years.[1] Swint died the following year, on November 23, 1962.[12]


  1. ^ a b c d Cheney, David M. "Bishop Thomas John McDonnell". Catholic-Hierarchy. Retrieved 2018-08-20.
  2. ^ "History of Saint Clare Parish". Church of St. Clare. Retrieved 2018-09-28.
  3. ^ History of the Marist Brothers in the United States Appendixes E-K Marist College June 10, 2004 Retrieved: 2010-05-08.
  4. ^ Chow, Gabriel. "Bishops who are not Ordinaries of Sees". Retrieved 2018-09-28.
  5. ^ Rutkowski, Ryan (2010). Catholic West Virginia. Arcadia Publishing. p. 16. ISBN 978-0738586397. Retrieved 2018-09-28.
  6. ^ 3,000 AT ST. PATRICK'S; Spellman Presides at Annual Mass in the Cathedral NY Times March 18, 1948. Retrieved: 2010-05-10.
  7. ^ MSGR. O'BRIEN GETS ACCLAIM FOR WORK; 50 Years of Priesthood Marked at Service in St. Agnes Church and at Luncheon NY Times June 7, 1948 Retrieved: 2010-05-08.
  8. ^ Chronology of Marist College: 1858-1969 Author: Brother Joseph L.R. Belanger Marist College November 3, 2005 Retrieved: 2010-05-08.
  9. ^ All Saints Catholic Church History, Author:Nathan Broslawsky 2005 Retrieved: 2010-05-08. Archived 2010-05-03 at the Wayback Machine
  10. ^ Sacred Heart Catholic Church of Williamson, West Virginia. Retrieved 2018-09-28.
  11. ^ "High Church Leader Dies". Associated Press. February 27, 1961. Retrieved 2018-09-28.
  12. ^ Cheney, David M. "Archbishop John Joseph Swint". Catholic-Hierarchy. Retrieved 2018-08-20.