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Archdiocesan Priest, Rev. James T. O’Connor, Dies

Fr. O’Connor was Pastor Emeritus of St. Hugh Parish, Lyons, Ill.

Chicago, IL (May 1, 2018) – Rev. James T. O’Connor, pastor emeritus of St. Hugh Parish in Lyons, Ill., passed away on April 27, 2018. He would have turned 90 years old on June 10.

Fr. O’Connor was born in 1928 in Chicago. He attended St. Francis Xavier School in La Grange, Ill., and Quigley Preparatory Seminary in Chicago. He earned a master’s degree at the University of St. Mary of the Lake/Mundelein Seminary in Mundelein, Ill., in 1953.

Fr. O’Connor was ordained to the priesthood on May 5, 1954, by Samuel Cardinal Stritch, Archbishop of Chicago, and celebrated his first Solemn Mass at St. Francis Xavier Parish in La Grange, Ill., on May 9 of the same year.

After ordination to priesthood, Fr. O’Connor served the archdiocese as assistant pastor at the following parishes: Resurrection Parish on Jackson Street in Chicago, St. Francis de Sales Parish on Ewing Avenue in Chicago, Divine Savior Parish in Norridge, Ill., and St. James Parish in Maywood, Ill.

Subsequently, Fr. O’Connor served as pastor of Our Lady of Loretto Parish in Hometown, Ill., St. Joseph Parish in Libertyville, Ill., and St. Hugh Parish in Lyons, Ill. In 1994, he was bestowed the title of pastor emeritus.  

Rev. John Finnegan, pastor emeritus of St. Mary of Vernon, remembers his “closest classmate and closest friend” as a strong and yet gentle priest with a great sense of humor who built long-lasting relationships with his parishioners. “Jim was the best,” added Fr. Finnegan. “We all wanted to be like him. Jim really knew how to serve the people and serve the Church.”

Visitation hours will be 3 – 9 p.m. on Monday, April 30 and 9:30 – 11 a.m. on Tuesday, May 1. A prayer service will be celebrated on Monday, April 30 at 7 p.m. while the Funeral Mass will take place on Tuesday, May 1 at 11 a.m. All funeral services will occur at St. Francis Xavier Church, 124 N. Spring Avenue, La Grange, Ill., where Fr. O’Connor was baptized.

Rev. John Hoffman will be the main celebrant and homilist. Interment will take place at All Saints Cemetery in Des Plaines, Ill.