It is with very great sadness that we have just heard of the passing of one of our very own in the Diocese – Fr Dermott Donnelly. Our prayers this weekend will be for Fr Dermott, his loved ones and many friends – all of whom will be shocked and saddened to hear of his death.

Fr Dermott had only recently celebrated his 30th anniversary of service to parish, community, Diocese and our faith. He will be sorely missed for his energy, enthusiasm and ability to engage with all who met him. This is particularly true of his work with young people and youth ministry in the Diocese – bringing many disadvantaged and dispirited young people to Christ and Catholicism. Fr. Dermott truly lived his faith, and in doing so gave so much to others. It is with great gratitude that we will remember him and all he selflessly gave.

Having been born and bred in the Diocese, Fr Dermott was known to many – from his own large extended family, to the local communities he grew up in and later served, his fellow priests and many, many more. Our prayers and condolences go out to those who will be grieving so strongly at this moment. I know that many will be gathering at 6pm this evening at St Joseph’s in Stanley, to pray for Fr Dermott, so would offer this reflection – from Thessalonians (1) 4:13-14 – to all those who loved and had the greatest respect for him.

"But we do not want you to be uninformed, brothers and sisters, about those who have died, so that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope. For since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, through Jesus, God will bring with him those who have died."

Rt Rev Bishop Robert Byrne CO
Bishop of Hexham and Newcastle

Death Notice

It is with sadness we inform you that Fr Dermott Donnelly, born 23 June 1967, died on 8 July 2022; he was 55 years of age.

Fr Dermott was ordained to the priesthood on 27 June 1992. He has faithfully served the people of our Diocese in the following parishes:


Chester-le-Street: St Cuthbert’s, August 1992 – October 1996

Youth Chaplain:

Heddon House: October 1996 – June 1997
Stockton: St Mary’s, June 1997 – September 1998
Blyth Convent: September 1998 – December 2004
Emmaus Youth Village: December 2004 – July 2022

Parish Priest:

Blackhill: St Mary’s, July 2010 – September 2013
Newcastle: St Mary’s Cathedral, September 2013 – September 2019
Stanley: St Joseph’s, Dipton: St Patrick’s and Byermoor: Sacred Heart, September 2019 – July 2022

Fr Dermott’s body will be received into St Michael’s, Newcastle at 7.00pm on Thursday 28 July and Mass will be celebrated.

The Requiem Mass will be celebrated at 12.05pm on Friday 29 July at St Mary’s Cathedral.

Would any visiting clergy from outside of the Diocese please inform Bishop’s House if you will be attending the Mass of Reception and/or the Requiem Mass on either 0191 228 0003 or


Request from the Donnelly Family:

Due to limited space in the Cathedral, we would encourage those who wish to participate in the Requiem Mass on Friday 29 July to gather at St Michael’s Church, Westmorland Road, where the Mass will be live-streamed and Holy Communion will be made available. Following the Requiem Mass, Fr Dermott’s cortège will pass St Michael’s for those who wish to pay their respects.