Thomas and Mary McDonough Memorial Fund


Monsignor John McDonough was a longtime priest in the archdiocese who passed away in 1992. He left a gift in his will to establish the Thomas and Mary McDonough Memorial Fund named for his parents. This fund supports seminarian education and enrichment beyond normal seminary training. Fr. Tri Nguyen, Director of Vocations for the Archdiocese of Atlanta, shared that the Archdiocese “provides opportunities for seminarians to be enriched by the formational programs that might not be covered in the Seminary.” This includes a Spanish immersion program each summer in Guatemala, the Institute of Priestly Ministry at Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska, and apostolic mission experiences to learn and practice missionary discipleship in countries or areas with challenging living situations.


Many of the programs were cancelled this summer due to the pandemic, but the seminaries and vocations office found other ways to assist the men in their formation. Alternative enrichment programs were held in Atlanta and New Orleans.


Seminarian Jared Kleinwaechter said, “taking Spanish classes in the Archdiocese of Atlanta allowed me to be exposed to the specific Hispanic cultures that are present in the archdiocese and to the future parishioners I will be ministering to, with their personal joys and struggles.”


Avery Daniel, a seminarian who participated in the ministry program in New Orleans, shared an impactful encounter with a fellow African-American man who was begging for food at an intersection. “[The man] told me he was even more grateful that one of his own, another African-American man, stopped to take care of him.” After talking about the pandemic and the racial unrest in our country, “I walked away from that encounter extremely grateful for the integral formation in spirituality, crisis psychology, and pastoral counseling that the summer institute provided me; it equipped me to minister to that child of God in the way he needed in the moment.”


The grant distributions from the Thomas and Mary McDonough Memorial Fund benefit seminarians from the Archdiocese of Atlanta during their formation years.


Give to the Thomas and Mary McDonough Memorial Fund