Fr. John O’Connor, OFM
Fr. John O’Connor, OFM, a native of Brooklyn, N.Y., served as Provincial Minister from 2005 to 2014.
After attending St. Joseph Seminary in Callicoon, N.Y., Fr. John entered the novitiate in Lafayette, N.J., in 1967, professing temporary vows in 1968. He continued his education at The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C., earning a bachelor’s degree in philosophy, and then a master’s degree in theology from Washington Theological Union. He made his profession of solemn vows in 1971, and was ordained a priest in 1973.
Fr. John’s first assignment was as director of campus ministry at St. Bonaventure University in Allegany, N.Y., from 1973 to 1982. He also served as pastor of the university parish and an instructor of theology. While there, he was elected to the Cattaraugus County Mental Health Society. He was instrumental in helping Allegany, Olean and Cattaraugus County receive funding from the New York State Division of Youth for programs in these jurisdictions. As a member of the Allegany Fire Department, he served as assistant fire chief for three years.
From 1982 to 1990, Fr. John served as guardian and director of formation for Holy Name College, first in Washington, D.C., and then supervised the construction of its new facility in Silver Spring, Md. From 1990 to 1991, he was chaplain at Trinity College in Washington, and director of real estate for the Province.
Then from 1991 to 2003, Fr. John served as pastor of St. Francis Parish in Triangle, Va., where he constructed a new school and became involved in community efforts, serving from 2003 to 2005 as chief of chaplains for Prince William County Department of Fire and Rescue.
Fr. John was elected a Provincial Councilor in 1996 and reelected in 1999 and 2002. As director of real estate for the Province, he was instrumental in the development of a 63-story building, including a new St. Francis Friary, on West 31st Street in New York City.
At the chapter of 2005 Fr. 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.
He was elected to the board of directors of the Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities (ACCU), the first campus minister to be elected to that position. In addition, Fr. John was elected chair of the Catholic College Committee of the National Catholic Campus Ministry Association. He has also served as a consultant on campus ministry to the National Conference of Catholic Bishops (NCCB).
He has served on the boards of trustees of the following organizations: St. Bonaventure University, Siena College in Loudonville, N.Y., Washington Theological Union, and St. Francis Friends of the Poor in New York City.