Aug. 31, 1921 – Feb. 24, 2019
Monsignor James N. Connelly Jr., who served for 10 years as pastor of St. Pius X Catholic Church in Getzville, died Sunday in Brothers of Mercy Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Clarence. He was 97.
Born in Buffalo, he was a graduate of Bennett High School, attended Canisius College for two years and received a bachelor’s degree in philosophy from Niagara University.
After attending Our Lady of the Angels Seminary at Niagara University, he was ordained June 4, 1949, in St. Joseph New Cathedral by Bishop John F. O’Hara.
Rev. Connelly’s longest tenures as pastor were from 1964 to 1974 at SS. Peter and Paul Catholic Church in Arcade and from 1974 to 1984 at St. Pius X Church. While in Arcade, he also served for four years as pastor of St. Joseph’s Church in Bliss and St. Mary’s Church in East Arcade.
His first assignment in 1949 was to the St. Mary Mission in Little Valley. He went on to serve as assistant at St. Benedict’s Church in Eggertsville in 1950, assistant director of the Buffalo Missionary Apostolate in 1952 and assistant at St. Joseph University Church in 1956.
He retired in 1995 after eight years as pastor of St. Mary’s Church in Medina.
He was appointed a Prelate of Honor to His Holiness Pope John Paul II in 1993. Niagara University presented him with an honorary doctor of laws degree in 2015.
Rev. Connelly was a notary with the Diocesan Tribunal and secretary to Chancery officials.
He worked with youth as a CYO divisional moderator and a Scout chaplain. He was vocations director at Holy Angels Academy. He served with the Diocesan Marriage Tribunal as defender of the bond and with the marriage counseling clinic.
He was moderator for the Wyoming County Deanery of the Buffalo Council of Catholic Women and was consulting chaplain for the Family Life Clinic. He also was chaplain for the Amherst Police Department and a confessor at St. Francis Hospital.
He was a Fourth Degree member of Medina Council 651, Knights of Columbus, and a member of the Arcade Chamber of Commerce and the Kiwanis Club of Arcade.
He had no immediate next of kin.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered by Bishop Richard J. Malone at 10 a.m. Friday, March 1 in St. Pius X Church, 1700 N. Forest Road, Getzville.