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Rev. P. Martin Donnelly

Deceased: 2019-01-27

Diocese: TOLEDO

Seminary Graduation Year: 1965


Father P. Martin “Marty” Donnelly was sent by God on August 16, 1938, which began a lifelong walk in service to others. This journey touched many in the greater Northwest Ohio community. Fr. Marty’s journey of service ended when he passed away January 27, 2019, surrounded by family and friends. A life well done!

He was born the son of Leonard and Agnes Donnelly, who were founding members of Most Blessed Sacrament Parish, where Marty attended elementary school. Marty then attended Toledo Central Catholic High School and was a member of “the great class of 1956”. Many of Marty’s classmates remained lifelong friends and gathered regularly. After Central Catholic, Marty followed his older brother Bob’s path into the priesthood.

Marty attended St. Meinrad Seminary College and earned his bachelor’s degree in 1961. Subsequently, Marty attended Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome and was ordained a Roman Catholic priest in 1964. Fr. Marty also received a Master in Education in 1973, from the University of Notre Dame.

Once Fr. Marty entered the priesthood his life of service accelerated with assignments at Norwalk St. Paul Parish and High School from 1964-1968, and Lima Central Catholic from 1968-1973. It was in 1973, that Fr. Marty returned to his alma mater, Toledo Central Catholic, as an Assistant Principal. In 1976, he was named the seventh Principal and later the first Pastor and President of Toledo Central Catholic, a role he served until 1987. Fr. Marty became Pastor at St. Ann and St. Theresa parishes in 1987, and served as pastor of St. Martin de Porres from 1990 to 2005. In 2005, he returned to his roots as Pastor of Most Blessed Sacrament Parish until his retirement in 2011.

Through his years of faith filled service, Fr. Marty mentored and supported youth from his schools, parishes and neighborhoods, helping them to weave the fabric of their communities. He will always be remembered for his dedication to the poor and furthering social justice causes in the community.

Fr. Marty was affiliated with many organizations including Central City Ministries of Toledo, the Erase the Hate Campaign, the Ohio Coalition against gun violence and the Multi-Faith Council of Northwest Ohio. Through his advocacy for these organizations and others, Fr. Marty touched the lives of many.

Being a servant to others, he never sought or wanted recognition for himself, however he earned many, including Toledoan of the Year, receiving a Key to the City in 2005; Central Catholic Golden Shamrock Award 2001; a Humanitarian of the year award; Drum Major for Justice in 2005; the St. Katherine Drexel award in 2006; a Voice for All People in 2007, and the Central City Ministry Service Award in 2011.

In addition to his passionate service to others Fr. Marty was truly family centric, encompassing the Donnelly, Hendricks and greater Quinn clans. Fr. Marty fully loved and looked forward to the annual Quinn reunions where everyone anticipated his creative costumes based upon the theme of the family party.

Fr. Marty was preceded in death by his parents, Leonard and Agnes Donnelly; brothers, Leonard “Quinnie”, Most Reverend Robert Donnelly, Auxiliary Bishop of Toledo and sister, Mary Hendricks. Surviving are his brother-in-law, Patrick Hendricks, nieces, Ann (Tim) Doran, Kay (William) Byrne; nephews, Larry (Sharon) Hendricks, Jim (Julie) Hendricks, Mike (Kaye) Hendricks and David (Betsi) Hendricks, 16 great and 10 great great nieces and nephews.

The family would like to thank the staff at the ProMedica Ebeid Hospice Residence for their care and comfort during Fr. Marty’s final journey. A special thanks also to cousin, Dorothy “Buck” Taylor for her years of dedication, love, care and friendship with Fr. Marty.

Visitation will be from 2 to 7 p.m. with evening prayer to follow at 7 p.m., on Thursday, January 31, 2019, at Our Lady Queen of the Most Holy Rosary Cathedral, 2535 Collingwood Boulevard, Toledo. Thursday’s visitation will be hosted by his faithful parishioners of St. Martin de Porres. On Friday, February 1, 2019, visitation will be from 9 to 10:45 a.m., at Most Blessed Sacrament Church, 2240 Castlewood Dr. Toledo, followed by Words of Remembrance at 10:45 a.m. and the Funeral Mass at 11 a.m. Burial will be private to family.

The family would suggest any memorial donations be made to Toledo Central Catholic High School, Most Blessed Sacrament or St. Martin de Porres Parishes.

His mantra for all to remember: “Love One Another!”