A Short Biography of Martin McDonnell
...Martin McDonnell was born in Maspeth, Queens, in New York City, on August 9, 1927, and lived there until entering the Franciscan minor seminary in 1949.He
was ordained to the priesthood, as a member of the Franciscan Order of the Holy Name Province
, in Washington, D.C., in 1955.At his first profession in 1950, Martin
was given his name in religion -- Cormac Neil.
...As Frei Cormac, Martin served as a missionary in Goias, Brazil, from 1957 to 1971.During these 14 years, he was pastor or assistant pastor in a dozen missions or parishes, with as few as 100 to as many as 40,000 people.
As a first generation Irish-American, Martin's interest was piqued when he
learned that there had been a small population of Irish in Brazil.After researching in Brazil's national library for a number of years, he
met a fellow missionary who told him about the library's "O'Brien Memorial."Martin
had the material microfilmed and, with help, proceeded to transcribe such from old Spanish to contemporary Spanish and then translate the work into English.His
experience grew from interest to delight as he
followed the journey of Bernardo O'Brien. After leaving Brazil in 1971, Martin was assigned to the Academy of American Franciscan History in Potomac, Maryland, where he served until 1975.He continued his educational studies in Catholic University of America, receiving his masters degree in 1974.He completed his doctoral degree, except for his dissertation, in 1980.
From 1981 to June 1989, Martin
ministered as chaplain in Bethesda Naval Hospital
in Bethesda, Maryland.In July of the same year, Martin
Martin and BruceBruce Curly (left) and Martin McDonnell
, discussing the O'Brien Chronicle
While attending a retreat house in 1990, Martin
met Bruce Curley, also on retreat.
Bruce learned that Martin
had a great desire to publicize the O'Brien Memorial, and has doggedly pursued its publication.
You can contact Martin