Father C. Donald Howard, SA, Franciscan Friar of the Atonement
(June 14, 1945 – January 6, 2018)
(January 11, 2018—Graymoor, Garrison, NY) Father C. Donald Howard, SA, a Franciscan Friar of the Atonement, entered into eternal life on Saturday, January 6, 2018.
Fr. Howard was born on June 14, 1945 in Phoenixville, PA. He attended elementary school in Phoenixville and high school at St. John’s Atonement Seminary in Montour Falls, NY, from which he graduated in 1963. Fr. Howard attended St. Pius X Seminary at Graymoor in Garrison, NY and graduated in 1968. He earned two Master’s Degrees, awarded in 1972, from St. Paul’s College, Washington, DC and the University of Notre Dame.
Fr. Howard entered the Community of the Friars of the Atonement in September 1959. He received his habit in 1963 and professed First Vows in 1964. He made his Final Vows in August 1967. He was ordained to the priesthood in June 1972 by Bishop Joseph M. Pernicone.
In 1972, Fr. Howard was assigned to St. Luke Parish in McLean, VA as the Director of Liturgy. In 1973, he was appointed Associate Director of Novices at the Atonement House in Medford, MA, a position he held until 1975. He returned to St. Luke Parish as Director of Liturgy and Religious Education for one year from 1975–1976. From 1976–1979, Fr. Howard worked for the Diocese of Richmond, VA as Director of the Office of Worship. In 1979, he served as Director of Liturgy and Adult Education for Star of the Sea Catholic Church in Virginia Beach, VA. In 1980, he moved to Williamsburg, VA to assume the role of Associate Pastor and Director of Liturgy for Saint Bede Catholic Church. Fr. Howard returned to Graymoor in 1981 for a one-year assignment as Associate Director and Coordinator of Retreats for the Christian Unity Center. From 1982–1984, he was Director and Guardian of the Atonement Seminary in Washington, DC. He served as Retreat Director at the Friars’ Washington Retreat House from 1984–1985. From 1985–1988, Fr. Howard worked for the Archdiocese of Baltimore as Director of the Office of Liturgy. In 1988, Fr. Howard moved to Sterling, VA and served as Associate Pastor at Christ the Redeemer Catholic Church. In 1989, he was appointed Pastor at the church, a position he held for twenty-four years, until 2013. Fr. Howard retired from active ministry in 2013 and, following a one-year sabbatical, he took up residence at the Atonement Friary in Washington, DC. He served on the Friars’ Finance Committee from 2009–2012.
Fr. Howard was the son of the late George H. Howard of Phoenixville, PA and Agnes M. Bryne Howard. He is survived by his sisters Marilyn Miller of Phoenixville, PA and Ellen Piskal of Kimberton, PA. Fr. Howard died at his place of residence in Washington, DC.
Visitation will take place on Tuesday, January 16, 2018 from 4 to 8 p.m. at Christ the Redeemer Catholic Church in Sterling, VA and a Funeral Mass will be held at the church on Wednesday, January 17, 2018 at 11 a.m. A Memorial Mass at Graymoor and Interment in the Friars’ cemetery will take place at a later date to be announced.