Reverend Monsignor Michael T. Donohue
Reverend Monsignor Michael T. Donohue retired priest of the Diocese of Norwich died Sunday, December 12, 2021, at Lawrence & Memorial Hospital in New London. Obituary and arrangements are below.
East Lyme - Monsignor Michael T. Donohue, age 74 of Niantic died Sunday evening December 12. Born in Westerly, Rhode Island, Entering the world on May 1, 1947, Monsignor Donohue was the second of five children born to the late John J. Donohue and Catherine Keegan Donohue. He was raised in Pawcatuck, attended St. Michael School, and was graduated from Stonington High in 1965.
He began his religious vocation at St. Thomas Seminary in Bloomfield, CT continued it at Our Lady of the Angels in Albany, NY, and was chosen to complete his studies at the Pontifical North American College in Rome, Italy where he was ordained in 1975 by Pope Paul VI, who was canonized into sainthood by Pope Francis in 2018.
Following his ordination and returning to the United States, he trained as an officer and a chaplain in U.S. Navy in Newport, RI and he began his ministry in the Diocese of Norwich.
His 45- year career throughout the diocese included Sacred Heart parish (Vernon), St. John (Uncasville), St. Joseph (Willimantic), Sacred Heart (Norwichtown) and in 1993 he became pastor of Saint Matthias Parish in East Lyme, where he oversaw the design and construction of a new church that was first planned in 1988 to accommodate a growing congregation an insure the continuation of the Catholic community in the Flanders village of East Lyme.
In the spring of 1996, the then Father Donohue initiated a program of stewardship to take the steps necessary to build a new church. His lifelong interest in art and architecture made it possible for him to envision what became an octagonal Romanesque red brick building designed around the stained-glass windows installed in the original church in 1939, blending the legacy of the past with an eye toward the future.
He was predeceased by his sister, Catherine D. Lathrop, and his nephew Charles J. Lathrop of Stonington;
He is survived by his brother John J. (Patsy) Donohue and Joseph S. Donohue (Debbie Burlingame), all of Pawcatuck, and Christopher Donohue of Westerly. He is also survived by his five nephews, John, Patrick (Erin), Sean (Kelly), Timothy (Colleen), and Benjamin (Lauren), and his three nieces, Tricia Detterman (David), Anne Wang (Roger), and Emily Donohue (Tom Studt).
The Vigil for the Deceased with Reception at the Church will take place on Thursday, December 16, 2021, at Saint Matthias Church, 317 Chesterfield Road, East Lyme, at 3:00 p.m. Following that ceremony, Msgr. Donohue’s body will lie in state until 7:00 p.m. at which time a Parish Mass will be celebrated for his repose.
The Funeral Mass will be celebrated on Friday, December 17th, at 10:30 a.m. by the Most Reverend Michael R. Cote, Bishop of Norwich. Due to ongoing concerns regarding the spread of Covid-19, the family respectfully requests that those attending wear face masks. Burial will take place on Saturday, December 18th at Saint Michael Cemetery, Stillman Avenue, Pawcatuck at 10:30 a.m.
Thomas L. Neilan & Sons East Lyme Funeral Home has been entrusted with handling the arrangements. Please visit www.neilanfuneralhome.com to leave the family an online condolence.