The Diocese of Arlington in Virginia honored four priests for their golden and silver jubilees of ordination. Among them was John O’Connor, OFM, who is pastor of the Arlington Parish of St. Francis of Assisi in Triangle. John is celebrating his 50th anniversary of ordination to the priesthood.
Bishop Michael Burbidge and Bishop Emeritus Paul Loverde presided at a special prayer service for the jubilarians, another who was celebrating 50 years of ordination, and two who were marking 25 years in the priesthood. The prayer service was followed by a luncheon reception that was also attended by the vicars of the diocese.
“It was a moment of gratitude to God for my 25 years of service to the Diocese of Arlington, but most especially for my 50 years of ministry as an ordained Franciscan friar,” said John, who made his profession of solemn vows in 1971 and was ordained in 1973.
John and the other three jubilarians were featured in an article in the diocesan newspaper. It highlighted John’s long history with the Arlington diocese. He served as pastor of St. Francis in Triangle from 1991 to 2003, during which he led the construction of a new parish school. He also became more involved in the local community, serving from 2003 to 2005 as chief of fire chaplains for Prince William County Department of Fire and Rescue.
In 2016, John – who served for nine years as provincial minister of HNP, returned to the Triangle parish to serve as administrator, and shortly thereafter he was appointed to his current position of pastor. In his return, he again served as chief of the fire chaplains, from 2014 to 2023. He currently serves as a chaplain of the Prince William County Department of Fire and Rescue.
As director of real estate for Holy Name Province, he was instrumental in the development of the 63-story building, including the St. Francis Friary, on West 31st Street in New York City.
With all his years of service in the Arlington diocese, John said Triangle has become home for him as he provides pastoral and sacramental care and guidance to the multicultural, active and thriving St. Francis parish.