Father Thomas O’Connor, C.P., Holy Cross Province (1842-1913)

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Born on March 3, 1842 in Westport, Ireland, as a young boy he came to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania where he was educated in the Catholic schools. It was at that time that he met Father Anthony Calandri who had just brought the Passionists to Pittsburgh. At that time Calandri was residing at Bishop Michael O’Connor’s residence. When the new St. Paul’s Retreat was opened on the Southside of Pittsburgh the young man applied for admission to the Passionists. He was clothed in the habit on August 5, 1855 at thirteen and one half years old. Father Dominic Tarlattini, impressed by the young man, took him to Rome where the decision was made for him to make his novitiate at Monte Argentario north of Rome. On March 19, 1858 he professed his Passionist vows. He then went back to Rome and began studies for priesthood. In 1863 he returned to the United States and at twenty-six and six months was ordained on September 17, 1863. He was appointed professor of philosophy for the Passionists. While he was a fine thinker, he did not have equal ability as a teacher. Less of a preacher, he was noted to be a very good confessor. He also held leadership positions. He was a religious superior, vice-provincial, and several times a provincial consultor. Twice he was a member of the Passionist General Council in Rome. During his last term in that position his health began to fail. He had arteriosclerosis and by the General Chapter of 1908 could not hold any leadership position and returned to the United States. At his own request he became a member of Holy Cross Province and resided in Louisville, Kentucky.

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