Cover photo for Rt. Rev. Xavier Connelly, O.S.B.'s Obituary

Rt. Rev. Xavier Connelly, O.S.B.

October 23, 1954 — April 8, 2021

Still River

Rt. Rev. Xavier Connelly, O.S.B.

Right Reverend Xavier Connelly, O.S.B., 2nd 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, Ann Connelly, his brothers, Admiral Thomas J. Connelly, USN (ret.) KM and wife, Darlene, their daughters, Julie and Marie and grandchildren, Arthur and Eleanor, his sister, Mary, her daughter, Kate (and Ken) Wade and their children, Emily and Thomas, his brother, Fr. Peter Connelly, O.S.B., his sister, Joan (and Robert) Conway and their daughter, Anne, his brother in law, James Fitts and his daughters, Mary and Sarah, his sister, Bernardine (and Mark) Clark and their children, Teresa, Jack, Peter, and Antonia. 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.
Watch Abbot Xavier’s funeral Mass live on Friday April 15, 2021 at 1:30 pm by going to click onto “Abbot Xavier’s Mass Livestream” or click onto

Abbot Xavier was an enthusiastic supporter of monastic vocations. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to Saint Benedict Abbey, 252 Still River Road, P.O. Box 67, Still River, MA 01467 or online at

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Rt. Rev. Xavier Connelly, O.S.B., please visit our flower store.

Past Services


Thursday, April 15, 2021

1:00 - 8:00pm (Eastern time)

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Mass of Christian Burial

Friday, April 16, 2021

Starts at 1:30pm (Eastern time)

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