Saint Meinrad Seminary & School of Theology

Formation and Education for the Life of the Church

Alumni Obituaries

Bishop Robert W. Donnelly

The Most Reverend Robert W. Donnelly, serving as the third auxiliary bishop of Toledo from 1984 to 2006, died Monday, July 21, 2014, in his home at the age of 83. Bishop Donnelly was ordained to the priesthood on May 25, 1957, at Our Lady, Queen of the Most Holy Rosary Cathedral, Toledo, by Bishop George J. Rehring. He was ordained an auxiliary bishop in Toledo on May 3, 1984, and became a senior status member of the clergy in 2006.GÇ£Bishop Donnelly was deeply loved and respected by his fellow priests,GÇ¥ said Father Charles Ritter, the current diocesan administrator. GÇ£His selection as our Auxiliary Bishop in 1984 was received with great rejoicing. Members of those parishes in which he ministered remember him fondly as a gentle, caring and wise man, a wonderful shepherd. The Diocese of Toledo is as impoverished by his passing as we have been enriched by his ministry among us and his friendship with us all.GÇ¥Bishop Donnelly was born in Toledo on March 22, 1931, and was baptized March 29, 1931, at St. Vincent Hospital, Toledo. He celebrated the sacraments of first communion and confirmation at Most Blessed Sacrament parish in Toledo, taking the name GÇ£FrancisGÇ¥ as his confirmation name. He attended Most Blessed Sacrament elementary school, Central Catholic high school, St. Meinrad Seminary in Indiana where he received his bachelorGÇÖs degree, St. Mary Seminary, Ohio, and St. John University, in Minnesota, where he received his masterGÇÖs degree.Bishop DonnellyGÇÖs first assignment was as an assistant pastor at St. Wendelin parish in Fostoria from 1957-1965. He continued to serve at several parishes in Toledo, Landeck, Spencerville, Delphos and Sandusky and was an instructor at Cardinal Stritch high school in Toledo. He was appointed to several diocesan positions, serving as vicar general for 20 years from 1983 to 2003; diocesan administrator following the death of Bishop James Hoffman and prior to the appointment of Bishop Leonard Blair in 2003. Bishop Donnelly was a chairman of the diocesan Ecumenical Commission, a Pro-Synodal consultant, a director of RENEW, and a member of the diocesan board of consultors.Assignments: 1957-1965 Fostoria St. Wendelin, assistant pastor 1965-1967 Toledo St. Charles, assistant pastor 1967-1970 Toledo St. Clement, assistant pastor 1967-1970 Toledo Cardinal Stritch High School, instructor 1970-1974 Landeck St. John and Spencerville St. Patrick, pastor 1974-1981 Sandusky St. Mary, pastorVisitation begins at 2 p.m. July 28 at Toledo Rosary Cathedral and continues until a 7 p.m. vigil service. Visitation on July 29 is from 10-11:45 a.m. at the cathedral with a rosary at 10 a.m.The funeral Mass begins at noon July 29 at Rosary Cathedral. Committal is to be at Resurrection Cemetery in Toledo.