Maxyne Dorothy Schneider '65, SSJ, Ph.D., entered the Sisters of St. Joseph of Springfield, Massachusetts from North Adams, Massachusetts in 1960 and currently serves as the President of the Congregation. Her formal education includes an undergraduate degree from Elms College and a doctoral degree from Boston College specializing in inorganic and physical chemistry.
Sr. Maxyne taught four years at Cathedral High School in Springfield and then at Elms College in the Chemistry Department for ten years before becoming its Academic Dean in 1983. In 1987 Sr. Maxyne was elected to the Leadership Team of her Congregation for six years. After lecturing at Regis College for two years, Sr. Maxyne was among the founders of the House of Peace and Education (HOPE) in Gardner, Massachusetts in 1996 where she also served as Executive Director for over ten years. HOPE was founded to counteract violence through education, mentoring, leadership training, and the fostering of spiritual values. Here Sr. Maxyne brought her experience and ultimate belief that education must be available to everyone in order to afford the tools needed for life. In 2008, Sr. Maxyne then worked as grant writer for Weston Rehab Associates, Inc. on the grounds of their Motherhouse in Holyoke helping women who have been incarcerated learn and practice essential skills for life and work.
Sr. Maxyne assumed the Presidency of the Sisters of St. Joseph in 2011 and will continue until 2017. She has received many awards for her blending of humanitarian work and education, including Weston Annual Award, the Blacquiere Humanitarian Award, and the Gardner Chamber of Commerce Citizen of the Year. She has served on several boards in order to search out and respond to the local needs of the "dear neighbor" with whom the Congregation of the Sisters of St. Joseph focus their commitment to the people of God.
Born in New York City Dec. 23, 1937, he was the eldest of two sons of the late John J. and Margaret Looney McDonnell - both natives of County Cork, Ireland. Bishop McDonnell attended Catholic schools throughout his youth and was inspired in his vocation by an Irish born great uncle who was a priest. Bishop McDonnell's brother, John, was also inspired to answer a vocation and is a Marist brother in the United States Province presently stationed in the Philippines.
Ordained June 1, 1963 by the late Cardinal Francis Spellmen, then Father McDonnell served in parish ministry for the first seven years of his priestly ministry. In 1970, he was chosen as assistant director of the Office of Christian and Family Development. In 1977, he assumed the position as Director of the Society for the Propagation of the Faith, followed in 1984 by his appointment as vice chancellor for the archdiocese.
In 1983, he was named a monsignor and year later began a six year tenure as pastor of Holy Trinity Parish in Manhattan. Prior to his selection and ordination as an auxiliary bishop in 2001, he served for nine years as pastor of St. John and St. Mary Parish in Chappaqua - an active suburban parish where he oversaw a major renovation construction project to accommodate the rapidly growing parish community.
Bishop McDonnell's most challenging assignment came in 1990 when he helped to run Covenant House for six months following the resignation of its founder and director, Conventual Franciscan Father Bruce Ritter. Following that he served as chief operating officer for the archdiocesan Catholic Charities office.
On Oct. 29, 2001, the Pope named then Msgr. McDonnell as an auxiliary bishop in the Archdiocese of New York City. He was ordained Dec. 12, 2001 by Cardinal Edward M. Egan at St. Patrick Cathedral. He had been serving as co-vicar general for the archdiocese.
On March 9, 2004, Bishop McDonnell was named the eighth Bishop of Springfield and was installed at St. Michael's Cathedral the following April.