Obituary: Mr. James P. McDonough, 72, former chancellor of the archdiocese
A man of almost boundless energy and enthusiasm for any task entrusted to him, Mr. James P. McDonough died on Nov. 22, 2022, following a hard-fought battle with lymphoma.
A native of Abington, Jim grew up there attending local schools before heading off to college. He initially was a teacher but soon moved to banking, where he found his niche. During 27 years at Abington Savings Bank, he developed friends and contacts all across the South Shore.
Married to his wife, Lynne, he was the proud father of Kristin McNulty and son Brian; and doting grandfather to Olivia, Thomas, and Birdie.
He answered the call to serve the archdiocese when he was named chancellor. During his years, which were tumultuous ones for the archdiocese, he served on multiple boards, committees, and commissions. In addition, he was responsible for the day-to-day operations of the central ministries of the archdiocese, first at Brighton and scattered offices and then at the Pastoral Center in Braintree.
He was responsible for the reshaping of a Flatley Office Building at 66 Brooks Drive into the Archdiocesan Pastoral Center. The archdiocese was able to bring almost all of its central services and ministries to the Braintree building, in addition to having space for meeting of various sizes; climate controlled storage for the archdiocesan archives; and the capstone of the building, Bethany Chapel.
The financial situation of the archdiocese was in need of much work on many levels, budgets, annual reports, spending caps, etc. In addition, the ongoing parish life had to continue, and always sympathetic to parishes and pastors, Jim stretched himself and the archdiocesan strapped coffers to help.
He also increased the professionalization of archdiocesan offices with an eye to expanding their service to parishes. A special concern was the care of archdiocesan clergy through the Clergy Funds, which he continued to assist following his leaving the chancellor's job.
He was subsequently the president and CEO of Envision Bank, retiring from it in 2020.
In his all too brief retirement, he enjoyed above all his family, and then the many friends he had made over the course of his life.
Cardinal O'Malley was the principal celebrant of Jim's funeral Mass at St. John the Evangelist Church, Wellesley, on Dec. 2, 2022. Father J. Bryan Hehir was the homilist, and concelebrants included Auxiliary Bishops Peter Uglietto and Mark O'Connell; Msgrs. George Carlson, Paul Garrity, William Helmick, and Kevin J. O'Leary; and Fathers Frank Silva, Brian Parrish, and Thomas Rafferty.
Private committal services were celebrated at Jim's interment at St. Patrick Cemetery, Abington.