John McDonald RIP

Source: SSPX Ireland

John McDonald in the early days of the SSPX in Belfast (fourth from left)

John McDonald was born in Belfast on 18th January 1923. After leaving school he worked with his father as a fireman before entering the Jesuit seminary in England where he spent several years. It was not to be however, and John returned to Belfast to work for social justice during the time of the Troubles. It was through his work that he met Maura his future wife. As Maura was caring for her ageing mother and John for his, they did not marry until later in life. John spent a lot of time reading and studying the Catholic faith and he was among the first who attended the Traditional Latin Mass in Belfast in the 1980s. He served the Mass, led the recitation of the rosary before Mass and led the choir. In the early 1990s, John and Maura opened their home to the faithful every Sunday so that Holy Mass might be celebrated due to the lack of a suitable venue.

He was a generous man of great faith who often walked from his home to St. Mary's church in the centre of Belfast to spend time in prayer doing a holy hour. His last weeks were marked with pain and suffering but he continued to say his rosary faithfully and was often heard making aspirations. He died on 9th October after receiving Extreme Unction. May he rest in peace.