About Father Jay Donahue

Father Jay pastors "The Great Grouping," a merger of the Good Samaritan, St. John the Baptist, Saints John and Paul, and Our Lady of Peace parishes in the Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  In his service to our Lord, he is the host of the videocast Exploring Catholicism, and his homilies, interviews, and reflections can be heard on The Padre Jay Cast. In addition, Father Jay serves as a spiritual leader and supporter for various local and national non-profit organizations.

Father Jay "By the Numbers"

Weddings Celebrated 


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Renew the 'I do' Events Hosted





Favorite Number


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Favorite Sports Teams


Vocation Story

In this video interview from February 13, 2014, Father Jay tells his vocation story and its "leap of faith" foundation.  During his college days, he gravitated toward a career on Wall Street. But soon the idea of chasing happiness on the floor of the NYSE was replaced with a need for a different kind of fulfillment...set in motion by his meeting of Pope John Paul 11. 

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His "change of life moment" as a college sophomore shaking the hand of Pope John Paul II. Vatican City, January 2, 1993.   

Father Jay has often commented that his own calling was inspired by The Calling of Saint Matthew, a masterpiece by Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio, depicting the moment at which Jesus Christ inspires Matthew to follow Him.

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Father Jay, a native of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania is blessed to be part of a "small" family, where his grandparents have 13 children, 84 grandchildren, and 160+ great-grandchildren.  

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Fr. Jay's Grandma, Rh0dora Donahue




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John F. Donahue was born on September 23, 1972, and baptized into the Catholic Faith on October 14 at Saint Philomena Catholic Church in the Squirrel Hill neighborhood of Pittsburgh.


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Fr. Jay attended Central Catholic High School in Pittsburgh, PA, and was one of the founding members of the Crew Team. 


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Fr. Jay attended the University of Virginia, Charlottesville and was a member of Phi Kappa Psi fraternity.  After a summer internship on Wall Street, a fateful jump from 30 thousand feet, and a chance meeting of  Pope John Paul 11, he realized his calling was to pursue a career serving the Lord, his faith, and others. 


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The Lord led Fr. Jay through training and ministry experiences to Rome, Mexico City, Washington DC, and Atlanta. During this time, as a member of the Legionaries of ChristFr. Jay worked with youth and family life ministries. 

Another pivotal moment in his spritual journey came in 1996, when Fr. Jay met Pope John Paul II with his family in Castelgondolfo, Italy.  


On December 23rd, 2006, surrounded by many of his family and friends, Fr. Jay was ordained by Cardinal Franc Rode in the Basilica of Saint Mary Major in Rome, Italy. 

Father Jay Donahue Ordination



On June 1, 2011, Fr. Jay transferred from the Legionaries of Christ to the Diocese of Pittsburgh. 


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Fr. Jay pastored at St. Mary of the Assumption in Glenshaw, PA, and Saints Simon and Jude in Scott Township, PA.  In 2015, along with St. Mary parishioner, Arlene Milon, he founded Renew the 'I do', a foundation that inspires marriages to thrive in today’s culture, guided by research, science, and the Holy Spirit.

2018- present

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In 2018, Fr. Jay became Pastor of The Great Grouping, a merger of the four parishes: Saints John & Paul, Good Samaritan, Our Lady of Peace, and Saint John the Baptist.