1838 – 1887 (July 14)
Edward Charles Donnelly was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on June 4, 1838, the son of Peter Donnelly and Anna Bloomer. He entered the novitiate at Villanova on September 23, 1856, and made his first profession of vows on October 15, 1857. He was ordained to the priesthood on May 5, 1862 by Bishop Wood in the Cathedral Chapel.
Father Donnelly served at St. Augustine’s Parish, Philadelphia, and at Villanova. In 1863 he was assigned to St. Mary’s Parish in Lawrence, Massachusetts until January 1866, when he was sent to teach at Villanova College. Subsequent assignments included Cambridge, N.Y. as assistant, where he remained also as rector, rector at St. Denis in Havertown, assistant in Hoosick Falls and Troy, a return to Lawrence for a brief time, and pastor at Saint Augustine's in Philadelphia.
For years Father Donnelly was afflicted with throat and lung difficulties. Because of this, and contrary to the custom of the day, he was permitted to grow a full length beard.
He died at Villanova on July 14, 1887 at the age of 49, and is buried in the Community Cemetery there. Father was considered greatly loved and respected wherever he was assigned.