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Father Gerard Majella Connolly, T.O.R.

March 31, 1941 – April 22, 2015

Father Gerard Majella Connolly, T.O.R., 74, died Wednesday at St. Bernardine Monastery, Hollidaysburg.

He was born in Riverdale, N.Y., son of the late Michael and Katherine (Lyons) Connolly.

Surviving are his Franciscan community and two sisters: Regina Lewis (Dr. William) of Winfield and Sister Seton Marie, S.S.C.M., of Danville.

He was preceded in death by a sister, Anna; a stepbrother, Michael (Regina); and a stepsister, Marianne.

Father Connolly entered the Franciscans of the Third Order Regular of St. Francis of Penance in September 1957 and professed his solemn vows on July 4, 1962. After completing his studies in theology and psychology at Catholic University of America, he was ordained a priest on Feb. 8, 1969.

During his 52 years of religious profession, Father Connolly ministered in many capacities, including high school teacher, candidate director and pastor. Locally, he served as pastor at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Catholic Church, Altoona (1985); St. Anthony of Padua Parish, Windber (1986-95); and St. Clare of Assisi Parish, Johnstown (2000-02). Father Connolly also served in a number of roles within the Immaculate Conception Province, including mission director and archivist, a post he had held since 1978.

Friends will be received from 3 to 7 p.m. Sunday, April 26, 2015, at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Catholic Church, where a vigil for the deceased will be held at 6:30 p.m. A funeral Mass will be concelebrated at 11:30 a.m. Monday, April 27, 2015, at the church, the Rev. Patrick Quinn, T.O.R., Minister Provincial, as main celebrant along with the members of the Third Order Regular Franciscan Community. Committal will be at the Franciscan Friars Community Cemetery, St. Bernardine Monastery.

In lieu of flowers, gifts may be made to the Franciscan Friars, T.O.R., 768 Monastery Road, Hollidaysburg, PA 16648 (