Father Donohoe

Alton | Monday, October 26 2020 |

Father Peter J. Donohoe, 95, passed peacefully from this life at 2:00 PM, Monday, October 26, 2020, at his home surrounded by family.

Born on September 24, 1925 in Dromard, Co. Longford, Ireland to John J. and Bridget (McCabe) Donohoe, he was one of ten children. His education commenced at the one-room Leggagh School, close to St. Mary’s RC Church, where he served as an altar boy. There, his pastor invited him to consider becoming a priest. After his secondary education at the Latin School, Co. Cavan, he attended St. John’s College Seminary, Co. Waterford, Ireland, to study philosophy and theology. His devotion to God and desire to serve promoted his parish involvement. He attended Mass regularly, and assisted with altar services. A natural leader, he built unbreakable ties with the parish’s clergy. 

In 1946 Father Donohoe arrived in the U.S. to finish his studies at Kenrick Seminary, St. Louis, where he excelled in philosophy, theology, canon law, church history and public speaking.  He enjoyed campus ministry, attended retreats, and forged connections with the diocese. His first work was as temporary assistant at St. Mary’s in Taylorville.

Fr. Peter Donohoe was ordained May 27, 1950. He led thousands of parishioners for over 46 years and continued to serve the community post-retirement. He served at St. Patrick’s, Alton (1950-54), Blessed Sacrament, Springfield (1954-58), St. Patrick’s, Pana (1958-61), St. Peter’s & Paul, Collinsville (1961-62), St. Joseph’s, Meppen (1962-67), St. Rose of Lima, Quincy (1967-76), St. Joseph’s, Granite City (1976-77), SS Peter & Paul, Old Cathedral (1977-90), St. Benedict's, Auburn (1990-94), St. Alphonsus, Brighton (1994-96) and Parochial Administrator, St. John’s The Evangelist, Medora (1996).

Fr. Peter Donohoe will be remembered as a dedicated community leader who passionately served his people with bright spirit, booming voice, and lively humor.

Surviving are his sisters Margaret Keegan and Veronica Prunty of Ireland, and many nieces, nephews, grand-nieces and grand-nephews.  He was preceded in death by his parents and several brothers and sisters.

Visitation will be from 3:00 PM to 7:00 PM, Friday, October 30, 2020 at SS. Peter & Paul Catholic Church, 717 State Street, Alton.

Mass of Christian Burial will be 10:00 AM Saturday, October 31, 2020 at SS. Peter and Paul Church.

Burial will take place immediately after Mass at St. Patrick’s Cemetery, Godfrey, IL.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made for Memorial Masses at SS. Peter and Paul Church, Alton, IL,  the St. Vincent de Paul Society, or Catholic Charities.

Online condolences and guestbook may be found at

Obit Provided By:
Elias, Kallal & Schaaf Funeral Home

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