Joseph M. Donadieu, who served Diocese for decades as deacon and editor, dead at 81

May 9, 2024 at 1:52 p.m.
Deacon Joseph M. Donadieu, right, participates in the 2010 episcopal ordination of Bishop David M. O'Connell, C.M., in St. Mary of the Assumption Cathedral, Trenton. As part of the ordination rite, Deacon Donadieu, along with then-Rev. Mr. Kevin Kimtis, hold the Book of the Gospels over the Bishop's head. Craig Pittelli photo
Deacon Joseph M. Donadieu, right, participates in the 2010 episcopal ordination of Bishop David M. O'Connell, C.M., in St. Mary of the Assumption Cathedral, Trenton. As part of the ordination rite, Deacon Donadieu, along with then-Rev. Mr. Kevin Kimtis, hold the Book of the Gospels over the Bishop's head. Craig Pittelli photo

By MARY STADNYK
Associate Editor

Joseph M. Donadieu, a permanent deacon of 40 years and veteran editor of The Monitor, died May 8 in Virtua Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital, Camden. He was 81.

Funeral services will be held May 13 in Sacred Heart Church, 103 Fourth St., Riverton. Visitation will be from 9 to 11:30 a.m. at which time a Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated. Burial will be in St. Ignatius Cemetery, Yardley, Pa.

Deacon Donadieu was born in 1943 in Philadelphia. He held a bachelor’s degree in political science from La Salle University, Philadelphia, and a master’s degree in political science from Duquesne University, Pittsburgh. He pursued doctoral studies in Government and Western European Studies at the University of Notre Dame, South Bend, Ind., and further graduate studies in theology at La Salle University.

Ordained in 1984 by Bishop John C. Reiss in St. Mary of the Assumption Cathedral, Trenton, Deacon Donadieu served his diaconal ministry from 1984 to 1992 in St. Joseph Parish, Beverly, and since 1993 had served in Sacred Heart Parish, Riverton.

He was editor of the diocesan newspaper, The Monitor, from 1978 to 2008. During that time, he also served for 10 years as diocesan director of communications. Following his retirement from The Monitor in 2008, he continued to work as assistant director in the diocesan Office of the Diaconate.

Other ministries he was involved in included Cursillo, the men's group in Sacred Heart Parish and working with the mission appeals to benefit East India. 

At the time of his retirement, Deacon Donadieu reflected on his diocesan and parish ministries, saying what he found most fulfilling was in helping people to come to know Jesus.

“It has been my honor and privilege to serve the people of Sacred Heart Parish in liturgical ministry and in the parish Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults process. It has been my privilege as well to work with the deacons and priests of the Diocese through our Office of the Diaconate, where I helped men prepare to be deacons and to be humble, holy men of service to God and his people.”

Of The Monitor and its website, TrentonMonitor.com, Deacon Donadieu said that “one of the great joys of my life was serving in the ministry of the Word as editor, helping to spread the Gospel far and wide through stories of faith and faith-filled people.”

Deacon Donadieu was predeceased by his parents, Joseph G. and Teresa A. (McElhatton) Donadieu and his brother, Robert Donadieu. He is survived by his wife of 57 years, Phyllis; two sons, Marc (and his wife, Leslie) and John; two grandchildren, Mitchell and Ruth; five siblings, including John Donadieu, who currently works in the Chancery with the Office of Administrative Services, and numerous nieces, nephews, grandnieces and grandnephews.


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Joseph M. Donadieu, a permanent deacon of 40 years and veteran editor of The Monitor, died May 8 in Virtua Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital, Camden. He was 81.

Funeral services will be held May 13 in Sacred Heart Church, 103 Fourth St., Riverton. Visitation will be from 9 to 11:30 a.m. at which time a Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated. Burial will be in St. Ignatius Cemetery, Yardley, Pa.

Deacon Donadieu was born in 1943 in Philadelphia. He held a bachelor’s degree in political science from La Salle University, Philadelphia, and a master’s degree in political science from Duquesne University, Pittsburgh. He pursued doctoral studies in Government and Western European Studies at the University of Notre Dame, South Bend, Ind., and further graduate studies in theology at La Salle University.

Ordained in 1984 by Bishop John C. Reiss in St. Mary of the Assumption Cathedral, Trenton, Deacon Donadieu served his diaconal ministry from 1984 to 1992 in St. Joseph Parish, Beverly, and since 1993 had served in Sacred Heart Parish, Riverton.

He was editor of the diocesan newspaper, The Monitor, from 1978 to 2008. During that time, he also served for 10 years as diocesan director of communications. Following his retirement from The Monitor in 2008, he continued to work as assistant director in the diocesan Office of the Diaconate.

Other ministries he was involved in included Cursillo, the men's group in Sacred Heart Parish and working with the mission appeals to benefit East India. 

At the time of his retirement, Deacon Donadieu reflected on his diocesan and parish ministries, saying what he found most fulfilling was in helping people to come to know Jesus.

“It has been my honor and privilege to serve the people of Sacred Heart Parish in liturgical ministry and in the parish Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults process. It has been my privilege as well to work with the deacons and priests of the Diocese through our Office of the Diaconate, where I helped men prepare to be deacons and to be humble, holy men of service to God and his people.”

Of The Monitor and its website, TrentonMonitor.com, Deacon Donadieu said that “one of the great joys of my life was serving in the ministry of the Word as editor, helping to spread the Gospel far and wide through stories of faith and faith-filled people.”

Deacon Donadieu was predeceased by his parents, Joseph G. and Teresa A. (McElhatton) Donadieu and his brother, Robert Donadieu. He is survived by his wife of 57 years, Phyllis; two sons, Marc (and his wife, Leslie) and John; two grandchildren, Mitchell and Ruth; five siblings, including John Donadieu, who currently works in the Chancery with the Office of Administrative Services, and numerous nieces, nephews, grandnieces and grandnephews.

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