1899 – 1951 (March 1)
Matthew Francis McDonald, son of Matthew McDonald and Bridget Shannon, was born on July 1, 1899, in the Bronx, New York, and was baptized in the Church of the Sacred Heart. In 1914, after he received his early education at Saint Anselm Parochial School, New York, he began his postulancy at Villanova Preparatory School, Villanova, Pa. Matthew entered the novitiate on June 15, 1918, professed simple vows on August 27, 1919, and solemn vows three years later. He pursued studies of philosophy and theology at Villanova College, and was ordained to the priesthood on August 2, 1925, in Corr Hall, Villanova, by Thomas J. Walsh, bishop of Trenton, New Jersey.
Father McDonald's first assignment was to Corr Hall, the house of formation, where he taught Moral Theology and Canon Law to the professed clerics from the Fall of 1926 to December 30, 1930. He was then appointed Master of Professed Students in Washington, D.C. where he continued teaching Moral Theology and Canon Law. From 1935 to 1937, Father McDonald served as an assistant in the parish of Saint Nicholas of Tolentine, Jamaica, N.Y. On January 25, 1937, he was appointed sub-prior at the Parish of Saint Rita, Chicago, Illinois. On September 8, 1938, he returned to the east coast and was assigned to Saint Augustine Parish, Andover, Mass., where he founded the "Andover Catholic Club." He remained at Saint Augustine Parish until his death thirteen years later. At the Provincial Chapter of 1947, and again at the Chapter of 1950, he was elected a councilor of the Province. On March 8, 1947, he was selected to serve on the first Board of Trustees of Merrimack College, North Andover, Mass.
Father McDonald died at the Bon Secours Hospital in Methuen, Mass., on March 1, 1951, at the age of fifty-two. A solemn Requiem Mass was celebrated at Saint Augustine Church, Andover, at which scores of priest, religious and lay people participated. Father Vincent McQuade, president of Merrimack College, delivered the eulogy, saying. "Father McDonald was a religious priest who was zealous and kindly in his sacerdotal duties, deeply learned in Sacred Sciences and intensely loyal to his calling."
Father McDonald was buried in the Augustinian plot at Saint Mary's Cemetery in Lawrence, Massachusetts.