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Bishop Andrew J. McDonald

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Bishop Andrew J. McDonald Obituary
PALATINE - Bishop Emeritus Andrew J. McDonald, who served the Catholic Church for 65 years, died April 1, 2014 at St. Joseph's Home for the Elderly in Palatine, Illinois. He was 90 years old. Bishop McDonald was ordained a priest for the Diocese of Savannah in 1948 and was bishop of the Diocese of Little Rock for 28 years from 1972 to 2000. He became the chaplain for the Little Sisters of the Poor and the residents at St. Joseph's Home in 2002 and served there for 11 years. In 2013, he retired as chaplain but remained at the Home as a resident. Andrew Joseph McDonald was born in Savannah, Georgia, to James and Theresa McDonald on October 24, 1923. He was the eleventh of twelve children. At the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist in Savannah, he received the sacraments of Baptism, first Confession, first Holy Communion, Confirmation, as well as Ordination to the Priesthood and Ordination to the Episcopacy. When he was 13 years old, he entered the minor seminary of St. Charles College in Catonsville, Maryland, to begin his studies for the priesthood. In 1948, he graduated from St. Mary Seminary in Baltimore and was ordained a priest on May 8. Shortly after ordination, he began studying canon law at Catholic University in Washington, D.C., later transferring to the Lateran University in Rome, Italy, where in 1951 he received his doctorate in canon law. His parish assignments in the Diocese of Savannah included assistant pastor at the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist; associate pastor, Our Lady of Lourdes, Port Wentworth, and pastor of Blessed Sacrament Church in Savannah from 1963 until 1972. Between 1952 and 1972, he served in various diocesan roles including chancellor and vicar general. He was named a Monsignor in 1956 and was appointed a domestic prelate with the title Right Reverend Monsignor in 1959. He was ordained a bishop September 5, 1972, in Savannah and was installed as the fifth Bishop of Little Rock two days later at the Cathedral of St. Andrew in Little Rock, Arkansas. He traveled Arkansas as the bishop for 28 years, using his humor, preaching, and concern for others to shepherd the Diocese of Little Rock. During his episcopacy, there were many accomplishments and new initiatives, but none more important to Bishop McDonald than his work for the unborn. He was a member of the Conference of Catholic Bishops' Pro-Life Committee and inaugurated an annual Mass for Life in the Little Rock. He participated in the Arkansas March for Life, opened Catholic Adoptions Services, invited the Missionaries of Charity to operate a home for unwed mothers, and implemented an outreach to women suffering from the consequences of abortion. Pope John Paul II accepted his resignation in 2000 when Bishop McDonald was 76 years old, and he lived in Little Rock until March 2002 when he became chaplain at St. Joseph's Home in Palatine, Illinois. He was preceded in death by his parents, James Bernard McDonald and Theresa Ann (nee McGreal) McDonald; eight sisters: Alice Elizabeth Hiltz, Mary Dorothy McDonald (Sister M. Aurelia, CSJ), Josephine Frances McDonald (Sister Celine of St. Rose, LSP), Mary Bernadette Pigman, Genevieve Clare McDonald (Sister M. Incarnata, RSM), Theresa Ann McDonald (Sister Mary James, CSJ), Ann Frances Jordan, and Eleanor Rosalie Arnett; and three brothers: James J. McDonald, Eugene B. McDonald, and Richard A. McDonald. He is survived by one sister-in-law, Julia McDonald of Atlanta, and 78 nieces and nephews spanning four generations. Visitation will be held at St. Joseph Home for the Elderly, 80 W. Northwest Hwy., Palatine, on Thursday, April 3, 2014 beginning at 3:00PM with the rosary to begin at 7:00PM. Funeral Mass will be celebrated at St. Theresa Catholic Church, 455 N. Benton Street, Palatine on Friday, April 4, 2014 at 10:30AM. The bishop's body will be transported to Little Rock, Arkansas, for the Mass of Christian Burial and interment at the Cathedral of St. Andrew. As requested by Bishop McDonald, memorials may be made to the Bishop Andrew J. McDonald Burse Fund to be used in perpetuity for the educational expenses of seminarians studying for the Diocese of Little Rock. Donations should be payable to Diocesan Seminarian Fund, Inc. at P.O. Box 7239, Little Rock, AR 72217 with a notation "Bishop McDonald Burse." Arrangements by Ahlgrim Family Funeral Home, Palatine. For info, 847-358-7411 or www.ahlgrimffs.com.
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Published in Chicago Suburban Daily Herald on Apr. 2, 2014
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