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Charles J. McDonnell papers

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: ADN 0003-019

Scope and Contents

The Charles J. McDonnell papers primarily consists of materials related to Bishop McDonnell's Episcopal Ordination and military memorabilia from his service in the U.S. Army.


  • 1965-2008
  • Majority of material found in 1994 - 1994

Conditions Governing Access

Temporarily closed to research.

Conditions Governing Use

All materials available in this collection (unless otherwise noted) are the property of the Monsignor William Noé Field Archives & Special Collections Center and Seton Hall University, which reserves the right to limit access to or reproduction of these materials. Reproduction of materials or content is subject to United States copyright restrictions and may be subject to federal or state privacy regulations. Permission to publish exact reproductions must be obtained from the Director of the Archives and Special Collections Center.

Biographical / Historical

Charles James McDonnell was born on 7 July 1928 in Brooklyn, NY to parents Charles McDonnell and Josephine Healy. He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in philosophy and classical languages at Seton Hall University and completed his studies for priesthood at Immaculate Conception Seminary. Ordained as a priest on 29 May 1954, McDonnell served as assistant pastor at St. Catherine of Siena Church for eleven years before turning his interest to the military. In 1965, he entered the United States Army to serve as chaplain during the Vietnam War. He underwent airborne and special forces training and continued a military career overseas. In 1981 he was assigned as Chief of Chaplains in Europe and returned home in 1984 to serve as Commandant at the United States Army Chaplain School in Fort Monmouth, NJ. McDonnell retired from the military in 1989 holding the rank of Brigadier General and having earned several awards, including the Legion of Merit. In 1991, he was appointed Vicar General and Moderator of the Curia for the Archdiocese of Newark, where he was responsible for administrative duties and coordinating services of the diocese. On 15 March 1994, McDonnell was appointed Auxiliary Bishop of Bergen and Essex counties until his retirement in 2004.


4.06 Linear Feet (5 containers)

Language of Materials



Charles J. McDonnell (1928-) served as Auxiliary Bishop of Bergen and Essex counties in NJ as well as Brigadier General in the U.S. Army. This collection includes correspondence, photographs, and memorabilia depicting his service to the church and armed forces.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Materials were transferred to the Archives and Special Collections Center from the Archdiocese of Newark. Terms of accession unknown.

Related Materials

Joseph A. Francis papers, 1934-1997, ADN 0003.011, in the Monsignor William Noé Field Archives & Special Collections Center, Seton Hall University.

Robert F. Garner papers 1946-1998 (bulk 1976-1987), ADN 0003.010, in the Monsignor William Noé Field Archives & Special Collections Center, Seton Hall University.

Processing Information

Finding aid created by Luciana Cardona as part of the Overhaul Project, 2014.

Charles J. McDonnell papers, 1965-2008 (bulk 1994)
Luciana Cardona
June 2014
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the The Monsignor Field Archives & Special Collection Center Repository

Archives, Walsh Library
400 South Orange Ave
South Orange NJ 07079 US