Rev. John Joseph MacDonald

Born: Tue., Nov. 13, 1928
Died: Sat., Dec. 28, 2019


2:00 PM to 4:00 PM, Thu., Jan. 02, 2020
Location: J.M. Jobes Funeral Home

7:00 PM to 8:00 PM, Thu., Jan. 02, 2020
Location: Holy Family Church

Funeral Mass

2:00 PM Fri., Jan. 03, 2020
Location: Holy Family Church

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Music by The Piano Brothers

Reverend John Joseph MacDonald
Sydney Mines

Reverend John Joseph MacDonald, age 91, passed away on Saturday, December 28, 2019, at the Cape Breton Regional Hospital in Sydney. He was born in Pomquet River, St. Andrew’s Parish, Antigonish, on November 13, 1928. He was the son of the late John Hugh and Sadie (MacDonald) MacDonald. He received his early education at home and high school at St. Theresa’s School, Margaree Forks. He then studied at the Nova Scotia Teacher’s College, Truro, and taught for some time in local rural schools in Frankville and Tracadie. He received the Bachelor of Arts degree from St. Francis Xavier University in 1955, and entered St. Augustine’s Seminary, Toronto, where he received his formation for the priesthood. He was ordained for the priesthood on June 11, 1960, in St. Ninian’s Cathedral by Most Reverend George L. Landry. He served as assistant Parish Priest of the Parishes of Immaculate Conception, Heatherton, Holy Guardian Angels, L’Ardoise, St. Joseph’s, South West Margaree, Holy Rosary, Westmount, St. Pius X, Sydney Mines, and St. Ninian’s Cathedral, Antigonish. He was assigned on loan to the Archdiocese of Ottawa, Ontario, during which time he taught at St. Pius X High School, Ottawa. He served as Parish Priest of St. Peter’s Parish, Larry’s River and Immaculate Conception Parish, Sydney Mines, and Holy Guardian Angels, L’Ardoise. He went on loan to the Archdiocese of Halifax, during which time he was Parish Priest of St. Lawrence Parish, Halifax, and later St. Anselm, West Chezzetcook. During his priesthood, Father MacDonald was a member of the Senate of Priests of the Diocese od Antigonish, Dean of the Guysborough County Deanery, Judge on the Halifax Regional Tribunal and Diocesan Co-ordinator for the 41st International Eucharistic Congress held in Philadelphia in August of 1976.
He retired from parochial service in 1992 and took up residence in Sydney Mines, but continued to provide pastoral ministry in parishes throughout the Diocese of Antigonish until just four days before his death.
Known as “Father J.J.”, he was keenly intelligent and possessed superb musical talent and ability. He organized and directed many church choirs in the parishes in which he served. He had extensive and in-depth knowledge of Scottish history, local history genealogies, and the history of the Diocese of Antigonish. He was much loved, admired and appreciated by countless people down through the years. He is survived by several cousins.
Visitation will be held on Thursday, January 2, 2020, from 2-4 pm. in J. M. Jobes Funeral Home, Sydney Mines. Thereafter his remains will be transferred to Holy Family Church in Sydney Mines, with a Bible Vigil at 7 pm on Thursday evening. The funeral Mass will be celebrated by Archbishop Brian Dunn on Friday, January 3, 2020, at 2 pm in Holy Family Church, Sydney Mines. A reception will be held in the parish hall, following the Mass. The burial will be in the parish cemetery. Words of comfort may be forwarded to his family at

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