ROME — Former Provincial Minister John O’Connor, OFM, has been named by General Minister Fr. Michael Perry, OFM, and the General Definitorium as the executive assistant to the Minister General for development and fundraising for the Order of Friars Minor. He will be responsible for coordinating the Order’s fundraising and financial development efforts, working closely with the General Curia.
“I am honored to have been chosen by our Minister General for this important position,” said John. “I look forward to the challenge, and I fully expect it to be a challenge, as fundraising is never easy. I am being asked to raise funds for the mission of the Order, specifically funds for the work of friars and formation of friars in developing countries. My new ministry will take me to a number of countries in the world, as well as to Rome.
“I ask the friars to keep me in their thoughts and prayers as I begin this new ministry,” he added.
John’s work for the Order will not be in competition with individual provinces’ fundraising efforts. “It is complementary and specifically for the Order,” said the General Minister. This newly created ministry will be international in nature, though John will continue to be based out of the Washington area, where he is guardian of St. Francis Friary in Triangle, Va.
The Brooklyn, N.Y., native has served in numerous leadership positions since being solemnly professed in 1971.
“John has extensive experience in administration and fundraising,” read a statement on the Order’s website. “He brings his passion for missionary evangelization and formation of young men to Franciscan religious life and the priesthood to this newly-created executive position. May God bless him in his work to promote the life and mission of the Order of Friars Minor and to invite others to support these important endeavors.”
At the 2005 chapter, John was elected Provincial Minister, and in 2007, was elected to a two-year term as president of the English-speaking Conference of OFM Franciscans. Prior to his election, he served as a Provincial Councilor from 1996 to 2002. As director of real estate for the Province, he was instrumental in the development of the 63-story building, including a new St. Francis Friary, on West 31st Street in New York City.
He has served on the board of directors of the Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities, and on the board of trustees of St. Bonaventure University, Siena College, the Washington Theological Union and St. Francis Friends of the Poor.
John was also chair of the Catholic College Committee of the National Catholic Campus Ministry Association and served as a consultant on campus ministry to the National Conference of Catholic Bishops. His full biography is available on the Province’s website.
— Maria Hayes is communications coordinator for Holy Name Province.