Rev. Francis M. O’Connor, SJ, was born on October 19, 1924, in Olyphant, PA. He graduated from Scranton Public High School, attended three years at Scranton College, and entered the Novitiate of St. Isaac Jogues in Wernersville, PA, on July 30, 1947. He received his B.A. in the Classics and his Licentiate in Philosophy from Bellarmine College in Plattsburgh, NY. He also earned his Licentiate in Sacred Theology from Woodstock College in Woodstock, MD, and a Doctorate in Sacred Theology from the Institut Catholique de Paris in France. While in formation, he taught at St. Joseph’s Prep in Philadelphia. Fr. O’Connor was ordained on June 22, 1958, at Woodstock College.
Following ordination, Fr. O’Connor served at Woodstock College for five years, first as a professor of Theology and then as dean and prefect of studies. In 1968, he became director of studies for the Maryland Province Jesuits, and in 1972, served for a year as parochial vicar at Holy Trinity parish in Washington, DC, and as a professor of Theology at Georgetown University. He was then appointed rector of the Loyola College Jesuit Community in Baltimore for three years.
In 1977, Fr. O’Connor went to North Carolina where he first served for two years as a professor of education at North Carolina Central University in Durham. He then served eight years as pastor of Holy Cross Church in Durham. While there, he was also vicar for religious at the Diocese of Raleigh and an acting superior for Jesuits serving in North Carolina.
Fr. O’Connor returned to the Maryland Province Curia in Baltimore in 1986 as socius to the provincial, an assignment he held for six years. While there, he also served as the provincial assistant for higher education. For the next twenty years, Fr. O’Connor’s call took him many places serving in many roles, from superior and pastoral minister at the Ferdinand Wheeler Jesuit House in Baltimore, to pastor of St. Aloysius Church in Washington, DC, to minister of the province novitiate in Syracuse, to teaching English and Theology at the Jesuit novitiate in Nigeria, back to Holy Cross Church in Durham, and finally to St. Ignatius Church in Baltimore.
In 2011, he moved to the Colombiere Jesuit Community in Baltimore where he continued to serve in pastoral ministry for eight years. He then moved to the Campion Jesuit Community in Weston, MA, where he died peacefully on December 23, 2023.