FORMER Naas parish priest Fr. Tom McDonnell died last weekend.
A native of Coolinarrig, Baltinglass, Fr. McDonnell, was educated at the local primary school, Knockbeg college (1967-1974) and at Mount Oliver, Dundalk (1976-’77), where he undertook post graduate study in cathetics.
After ordination in 1974, he was appointed curate in Tullow and served as chaplain at Tullow Community School from 1978-1987.
He was Chancellor of the Diocese of Kildare and Leighlin, assisting Bishop Laurence Ryan from 1987 to 1998.
From 1996 to 2001 he was curate in Prosperous and was later appointed parish priest of Paulstown, Co. Kilkenny.
Three years later he became parish priest of Sallins and in 2006 he was appointed PP of the combined parishes of Naas, Sallins and Two Mile House.
As school chaplain, cathecist, seminary staff member, diocesan administrator and priest Fr. Tom exercised his diverse ministries with dedication and competence.
He sat on national and regional committees to do with ecclesiastical heritage, church architecture and conservation and was the driving force behind the Delany archive project.
He passed away at Harolds Cross Hospice on Friday May 11 at the age of 62 and is survived by his sister Maura, brother Donal, aunt, relatives, the Diocesan Administrator and priests of the parish and diocese.
The funeral took place to Baltinglass Cemetery yesterday (Monday) following requiem mass at noon at the parish church in Naas.