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Rev. John Joseph Macdonald

Age 91, passed away on Saturday, December 28, 2019, in Cape Breton Regional Hospital in Sydney. Born on November 13, 1928, in Pomquet River, St. Andrew’s Parish, Antigonish, he was the son of the late John Hugh and Sadie (MacDonald) MacDonald. He received his early education at home and high school at St. Theresa’s School, Margaree Forks. He then studied at the Nova Scotia Teacher’s College, Truro, and taught for some time in local rural schools in Frankville and Tracadie. He received a Bachelor of Arts degree from St. Francis Xavier University in 1955, and entered St. Augustine’s Semenary, Toronto, where he received his formation for the priesthood. He was ordained for the priesthood on June 11, 1960, in St. Ninian’s Cathedral by Most Rev. George L. Landry. He served as assistant Parish Priest of the Parishes of Immaculate Conception, Heatherton; Holy Guardian Angels, L’Ardoise; St. Joseph’s, South West Margaree; Holy Rosary, Westmount; St. Pius X, Sydney Mines; and St. Ninian’s Cathedral, Antigonish. He was assigned on loan to the Archdiocese of Ottawa, Ont., during which time he taught at St. Pius X High School, Ottawa. He served as Parish Priest of St. Peter’s Parish, Larry’s River and Immaculate Conception Parish, Sydney Mines, and Holy Guardian Angels, L’Ardoise. He went on to the Archdiocese of Halifax, during which time he was Parish Priest of St. Lawrence Parish, Halifax, and later St. Anselm, West Chezzetcook. During his priesthood, Father MacDonald was a member of the Senate of Priests of the Diocese of Antigonish, Dean of the Guysborough County Deanery, Judge on the Halifax Regional Tribunal and Diocese Co-ordinator for the 41st International Eucharistic Congress held in Philadelphia in August of 1976. He retired from parochial service in 1992 and took up residence in Sydney Mines but continued to provide pastoral ministry in parishes throughout the Diocese of Antigonish until just four days before his death. Known as “Father J.J.” he was keenly intelligent and possessed superb musical talent and ability. He organized and directed many church choirs in the parishes in which he served. He had extensive and in-depth knowledge of Scottish history, local history genealogies, and the history of the Diocese of Antigonish. He was much-loved, admired and appreciated by countless people down through the years. He is survived by several cousins. The funeral Mass was celebrated by Archbishop Brian Dunn on Friday, January 3rd, 2020 in Holy Family Church, with burial in the parish cemetery.