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Rev. Francis T. Connolly

Deceased: 2008-01-02


Seminary Graduation Year: 1960

Father Francis “Frank” Thomas Connolly died Wednesday, Jan. 2, 2008, at Pennybyrn at Maryfield, High Point, with loving friends in attendance. He was the son of Francis and Evelyn Jordan Connolly and was born in Plainfield, N.J., on Jan. 22, 1927. He served in the U.S. Navy during World War II and the Korean Conflict. Thereafter he attended Rutgers University and graduated in forestry from Duke University. After a short career in the furniture industry in North Carolina, he entered Christ the King Seminary. Later he transferred to the North American College in Rome and was ordained Dec. 20, 1959. Father Connolly was a pastor at 10 parishes and was the vicar of Greensboro and Boone Vicariates. Also he held diocesan leadership positions for several years as a diocesan consulter and director of the Diocesan Support Appeal; was on the board of Catholic Social Services; was assistant director of the Cursillo Movement; and was coordinator for the 1974-75 Holy Year. In addition, he held statewide positions as president of the Yokefellow Prison Ministries and was a member of the Pastoral Ministry Task Force on Alcohol and Drug Abuse and Department of Corrections Advisory Commission on Pastoral Ministry. He shepherded parishes in North Wilkesboro, Durham, High Point, Lenoir, Asheboro, Washington, N.C., Laurinburg, Concord, Boone, Franklin and Greensboro. While in Durham, he was the campus minister at Duke University. In most of these locations, he was a member of ministerial associations and involved in ecumenical activities. While serving in Boone, he was one of the founders of the Coalition of Churches and the Hospitality House. He retired to Boone in 2000. Father Frank is survived by two cousins, Monsignor William Toohy of New York City and Mary Hyson and husband Frank of Greenwich, Conn. During his illness he was in Hospice Care and also was attended by loving friends in Boone and Greensboro, in particular Patty Irish. A memorial Mass will be conducted at 11 a.m. Friday, Jan. 11, at St. Elizabeth Catholic Church, with Bishop Peter J. Jugis officiating. There will be a wake, a time for visitation and sharing of memories, at 7 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 10, at St. Elizabeth Catholic Church. Memorials may be made to the Rev. Francis Connolly Endowment for St. Elizabeth, 1123 S. Church St., Charlotte, NC28203; Hospitality House, P.O. Box 309, Boone, NC28607; or Hospice of the Piedmont, 1801 Westchester Drive, High Point, NC27262. Austin & Barnes Funeral Home & Crematory is serving the Connolly family.

Published in theWinston-Salem Journal on 1/9/2008