Father Donald Kenneth Thomas, M.S.

In Loving Memory

Father Donald Kenneth Thomas, M.S.

11/5/1930 - 4/24/2017

Father Donald Kenneth Thomas, M.S., who was living in retirement with the La Salette Community in Hartford, CT, died April 24, 2017 at Pointe Nursing and Rehab Center in Webster, TX. He was born in Jermyn, PA, son of the late Raymond A. Thomas and Claire (Fitzpatrick) Thomas, the ninth of ten children. In 1944 he attended the La Salette Seminary in Hartford, CT and entered the Novitiate of the Missionaries of Our Lady of La Salette in Bloomfield, CT on July 1, 1948. He made First Profession of Vows on July 2, 1949. After completing his studies at the La Salette Seminary in Ipswich, MA, he was ordained to the priesthood on May 11, 1957 at the La Salette Shrine Church.

Following ordination he was appointed Professor and Spiritual Director at the La Salette Seminary in Jefferson City, MO; Director of Vocations in St. Louis, MO; and the Parochial Assistant at Our Lady of La Salette Church in Berkley, MI for six years. He also served parishes in Avondale, LA, Jasper, TX, and Sulphur, LA.  In the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston he served as Assistant Pastor at St. Peter the Apostle Church, Houston from 1968-1979; and then as pastor from 1972-1978. He also served as Pastor of Mary Queen Parish, Friendswood, TX from 1982-1988. He also was elected to serve as Vicar to the Provincial for one term of the Provincial Council in St. Louis, MO.

Since retiring to Hartford in 2001, he found joy and support from the La Salette Community and enjoyed ministering in various parishes in the Archdiocese of Hartford. The driving force in Fr. Thomas’ life  was his great love of being a Missionary of La Salette and serving the people of God. On the 50th anniversary of his ordination he expressed his sincere thanks for the support that the La Salette Community had given him in the form of education, community life, and the opportunity to serve God’s people in a variety of ministries.

In addition to his La Salette confreres, Fr. Thomas is survived by one brother, William P. Thomas and his wife, Johanna, of Pennsylvania, and many nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by eight siblings: four brothers, Raymond, Henry, Francis, John, and four sisters: Romayne, Mariclare, Lucille and Eleanor.

A Funeral Mass will be celebrated on Friday, April 28, 2017 at Mary Queen Church at 11 a.m. Visitation begins at 9 a.m. and recitation of the Rosary at 10 a.m.

Burial will be at Mount St. Benedict Cemetery in Bloomfield, CT.

Contributions to his memory may be made to: Missionaries of La Salette Retirement Fund, 915 Maple Ave., Hartford, CT 06114-2330; or Mary Queen Parish, Friendswood, TX.

To share a memory with the La Salette Community or his family, please visit www.jeterfuneralhome.com.