Samuel O'Connor, OFM
1926 – 2005
Fr. Samuel D. O’Connor, OFM, was born in Brooklyn, N.Y., on April 4, 1926. He served in World War II and enrolled in St. Joseph’s Seraphic Seminary in Callicoon, N.Y.
In 1950, he was received into the Province’s novitiate at St. Bonaventure Friary, Paterson, N.J., and professed first vows the following year. Fr. Samuel made his solemn profession of vows in 1954 and was ordained a priest in 1956 at the Franciscan Monastery, Washington, D.C.
Following his ordination, Fr. Sam first served as an educator both at Siena College, Loudonville, N.Y., and at Archbishop Walsh High School, Olean, N.Y. In 1962, he began his parish work as an assistant at St. Joseph’s in Winsted Conn. He also served at the Province’s New Jersey parishes in East Paterson, Garfield and Wyckoff.
After a five-year leave of absence, Fr. Sam returned to active ministry in 1982. He went on to serve 20 years at St. Anthony Shrine in Boston. There, he was one of the first friars to become involved with the shrine’s Project Rachel Program, for women who had lost a child through abortion. He retired to St. Anthony Friary, Butler, N.J., in 2002.
Fr. Sam was said to have a quick but gentle sense of humor and often ended interesting conversations with the phrase “to be continued.” He was a real community man who blessed his fellow friars with his warm pizzas.
He died Nov. 1, 2005, in Butler. Fr. Sam was 79 years old, a professed friar for 54 years and a priest for 49 years.