Right Reverend Xavier Connelly, O.S.B., Abbot of Saint Benedict Abbey, Still River, passed away peacefully April 8, 2021.
Francis Xavier Connelly, the fourth of seven children, was born in Boston on October 23, 1954. He grew up in Newton and Belmont. Entering religious life as Br. Xavier after high school, he completed his studies for the priesthood at Collegio di Sant’ Anselmo in Rome and was ordained by Saint Pope John Paul II on May 28, 1989 in Saint Peter’s Basilica in Rome.
Fr. Xavier was elected abbot of the monastery on June 16, 2010 and served as abbot for almost 11 years until his resignation in March, 2021 when he was diagnosed with late stage ALS.
In addition to his monastic family, Abbot Xavier is survived by his mother, Nancy Connelly, his two brothers, three sisters, their spouses, children and grandchildren, along with many friends. Abbot Xavier is predeceased by his father, Thomas J. Connelly and his sister, Teresa Connelly Fitts.
Calling hours will be held in the Abbey chapel located at 252 Still River Road in the Still River section of Harvard, Massachusetts on Thursday, April 15, from 1 p.m. to 8 p.m. Please respect Covid prevention guidelines.
Abbot Xavier’s funeral Mass will be offered in Saint Cecilia Church, 170 Mechanic St. in Leominster, Massachusetts on Friday, April 16 at 1:30 p.m. Please pray for us and please share this with your friends. Thank you
Abbot Xavier was an enthusiastic supporter of monastic vocations. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to Saint Benedict Abbey.