Biography of Bernard J. McDonough

A-Historic Newspapers Online



REV. BERNARD J. McDONOUGH, the able and popular pastor of St. Mary's Catholic church at Ballston Spa, and an earnest and learned Christian gentleman, is a son of James and Catherine (Lynch) McDonough, and was born in the city of Albany, N. Y., July 6, 1840. His father was a native of the city of Dublin, Ireland, who came to the United States when only twelve years of age and located at Utica, N. Y. In 1826 he removed to Albany, the State capital, and resided in that city until his death, November 12, 1883, when in the seventy-sixth year of his age. He was a master painter by occupation and a large contractor in his line. As such he painted the Catholic cathedral at Albany when it was built, and executed many other contracts for the painting and decorating of large buildings. Politically he was a Democrat and in religion a member of the Catholic church. In 1832 he married Catherine Lynch, a daughter of Thomas Lynch, of Albany, N. Y., by whom he had a family of nine children, five Sons and four daughters. Mrs. McDonough died at her home in Albany, August 7, 1892, aged seventy-five years. Her father, Thomas Lynch, was a native of Donegal, Ireland, and the family came to the United States by the way of Quebec, Canada. They first located at Fairhaven, Vt., being among the first Irish settlers of that section, and after a few years removed to Albany, N. Y.

Rev. Bernard J. McDonough was educated at the Albany Academy, St. Charles College, Baltimore, and Niagara University, at Niagara Falls, N.Y. He was ordained at St. Michael's Seminary, Pittsburg, Pa., Friday, July 29, 1870, by Bishop Tobias Mullen, of Erie, that State, his bishop, R. Rev. John J. Conroy, of Albany, being called to Rome on official business. His first active work was done as assistant to Father Howard, at Ilion, N.Y., where he remained for two years. Early in 1873 he went to Camillus, Onondaga county, N. Y., as pastor of St. Joseph's church, where he also had charge of the Jordan mission, and enlarged the present handsome church. He remained at Camillus for three years and six months, engaged in earnest and active work in behalf of his people, with whom he became very popular and in 1879 removed to Marcellus, same county, where he became the pastor of St. Francis church, and also had charge of the Otisco mission. In that charge he labored successfully until October 6, 1878, when he came to Ballston Spa, Saratoga county, as pastor of St. Mary's church, where he has since remained. After coming here, in addition to his other pastorate, he had charge of the Chariton mission until it was attached to the mission of Galway in 1885, and also of the South Ballston mission, which is still under his care. When Father McDonough took charge of St. Mary's church he found the parish in debt for the old church property, and immediately began systematic efforts to pay off the debt and arrange for the erection of a large and better church edifice. During the second year of his pastorate he purchased the present site of St. Mary's church at a cost of ten thousand and five hundred dollars, and in the spring of 1893 began the erection of a handsome church building of modern design, which has cost fifty thousand dollars. The spiritual necessities of his people have been carefully looked after and the congregation of St. Mary's church has more than doubled since he took charge. He is a courteous and scholarly gentleman, a fine theologian and an active and energetic pastor, who has labored faithfully and with good success for the mental and moral advancement of his congregation. His popularity is not confined to the limits of his own church, but extends among all classes of people in Ballston Spa and the surrounding territory, where he has labored and is well known.

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