McDonald, Father William

1941, May 16

Date of Birth: 1910, June 26

December 21, 1941

Fathers and Dear Confreres:

Present circumstances have not permitted us to secure, on several of our deceased confreres, as much information as we might wish to have for giving to their death notices all desirable detail. However, as it is customary that their lives be gone over, we must pay our respects to their memory; and their life-stories, even incomplete, will be such as to edify the members of the Society. That is why I wish in this “collective biography” to call upon my own memory; and, thanks to that, to try to bring to life before you the likenesses of Fathers A. Bernard, Duchein, Peltier, W. McDonald, Guibert and Legrand, who lived and worked fruitfully in our provinces of Canada and the United States. . . .

Father William J. McDonald – This was a young American confrere whom God let the Society have only briefly. He was born on June 26, 1910, in the Diocese of Fall River (a suffragan see of Boston’s) in southern Massachusetts on the north shore of the Atlantic.

 Early on, like most of our American confreres, he thought of becoming a Sulpician. His vocation matured at St. Mary’s Seminary in Baltimore. On May 22, 1937, he was ordained priest. With the consent of his Ordinary, His Excellency, Bishop Cassidy, himself a former auxiliary of the Sulpicians, William J. McDonald entered the Solitude at Catonsville right after his ordination. The writer of these lines often saw him there in 1938 with another Solitaire of the same name, and chatted with him. Father Fenlon, Provincial Superior of the United States, sent him to the minor seminary in Seattle, Washington, on the northern Pacific coast. Father William McDonald was not for long able to remain at his assigned post.  He very quickly fell ill. Father Fenlon authorized the return of the sick man to his family. He died at home in the spring of 1940. . . .

I recommend to your prayers the six confreres whose lives I have just outlined.

Please accept, Fathers and dear confreres, the expression of my fraternal affection in Our Lord.

P. Boisard

Vice-Superior General of St. Sulpice