The Reverend Jeffrey Donnelly, priest and pastor was the Incumbent of St. Saviour’s Pro-Cathedral, Nelson, BC. He passed away suddenly on January 3, 2022. (Funeral arrangements to be announced.)
Jeff was born and raised in Albany, NY. He earned his BA from Gordon College in Wenham. He began his MA, in 1990 with two majors, one in Biblical & Theological Studies and the other in Philosophy. In 1995 he earned his MA in Religion at Temple University in Philadelphia, PA. Jeff moved to San Francisco, California, in 1998 where he began the process of discernment toward ordination. After immigrating to Canada in 2004, he earned his M Div from Trinity College Faculty of Divinity. Jeff was ordained in the Diocese of California in 2006, and then became the Assistant Priest at The Cathedral Church of St James in Toronto from 2006-2008. In June, 2008, Jeff was Assistant Curate in the joint ministries of the Church of the Incarnation and St Matthew-the-Apostle, Oriole, Ontario. And then priest for St Peter’s, Oshawa, Ontario, from September 2010 until February 2015. His main areas of ministry were with youth and families, Christian education, and liturgy. Jeff began his ministry as Incumbent of St Saviour’s Pro-Cathedral, Nelson, and Kokanee parish (St Mark’s, Kaslo and St Michael & All Angels, Balfour) in February 2015.
On Jeff’s Twitter page, he describes himself as someone who loves art, traveling, photography, spirituality, nature, biking, and good food. He says of himself that he loves balance, harmony, and beauty.
The Kokanee Parish Newsletter paid tribute to Jeff’s ministry with the following words:
‘We have had a great and good example of discerning our gifts of ministry in the life of Jeff Donnelly, and so as the prayer goes, “may nothing good in this man’s life be lost …but be of benefit to the world… and continue to mean much to us.”’
The Nelson Star on September 26, 2017 records the installation of a Peace Pole in the St Saviour’s Prayer Garden. The ceremony of dedication was led by Jeff with contributions from Sinixt elder Shelly Boyd and French poet Vincent Des Lauriers.
On August 15, 2019, the Nelson Star, the Cranbrook Townman, and the Trail Times announced that the Rev Jeff Donnelly, as Incumbent of St Saviour’s Pro-cathedral, welcomes LGBTQ weddings.
Jeff said, ‘his churches had already been symbolically blessing, if not authorizing, same-gender marriages since 2016.’
Montana Burgess, Executive Director at West Kootenay EcoSociety, said, ‘I first met Jeff in 2015 when I reached out to faith groups across the West Kootenay to organize around Pope Francis’ Laudato Si – the encyclical on climate change. Jeff was the new Pastor of the newly consolidated ministry, the Anglican Parish of Kokanee. He was an outgoing and charismatic young pastor who enthusiastically participated in creating the Nelson Interfaith Climate Action Collective along with pastors, priests, and active members of local faith groups.’