Fr. John J. McDonald; former McQuaid president - Catholic Courier

Fr. John J. McDonald; former McQuaid president

Jesuit Father John J. McDonald, rector/president of Rochester’s McQuaid Jesuit High School from 1972-78, died Sept. 16, 2011.

Father McDonald grew up in West New York, N.J., and graduated from Xavier High School in 1945. He entered the Jesuit seminary St. Andrew-on-Hudson in Hyde Park, N.Y., that same year.

After completing studies in philosophy in 1951, he taught mathematics and Latin at Brooklyn Prep until 1954. He then attended Woodstock College in Maryland for theological studies. After his ordination to the priesthood, he became the "travelling minister" of Woodstock College. In 1958 he travelled to the Institute S. Robert Bellarmine in Wepion, Belgium, to make his tertianship.

Father McDonald returned to the U.S. in 1959 for a year of studies at Fordham University, and then from 1960-62 he taught Latin and religion at Fordham Prep in the Bronx. From 1962-69 he was headmaster at Xavier High School. He next moved to McQuaid Jesuit High School in Rochester, where he was first the superior of the Jesuit community and then rector and president of the school. In 1978, he moved back to New York for a year of religious-education studies, and then returned to Xavier High School as superior of the community.

From 1982-87 he served the province as vice provincial for secondary education. Then in 1987 he returned to Rochester to assume the duties of rector and teaching religious studies. From 1989-91 he was director of the Jesuit seminary and mission bureau in Manhattan.

After a sabbatical, he spent six years as a retreat minister at Loyola Retreat House in Morristown, N.J. In 1998 he became superior of the Murray-Weigel Community, and then moved to Fordham’s Loyola Community as superior until 2006. For the next three years he remained at Loyola doing pastoral work, and in 2009 he came to Murray-Weigel to pray for the Society of Jesus and for the church.

A Mass of Christian Burial for Father McDonald was celebrated on Sept. 19, 2011, in Bronx, N.Y., with burial in the Jesuit Cemetery in Auriesville, N.Y. He is survived by his niece, Kathleen Scopas.

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