O'Connell, John Patrick

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Theologian, editor, actively involved in the liturgical apostolate; b. Chicago, Ill., Jan. 12, 1918; d. Chicago, Feb. 20, 1960. Educated at Quigley Seminary, Chicago, and St. Mary of the Lake Seminary, Mundelein, Ill., where he earned the degrees of M.A. and S.T.D., he was ordained on May 1, 1943. After serving as a parish priest and as a teacher at Barat College, Lake Forest, Ill., he was selected by Cardinal Samuel Stritch to be the editor for The Catholic Press, Inc., of Chicago, of the Holy Bible (Holy Family edition, 1950, and several subsequent editions); the Sunday Missal ; the Prayer Book and the Life of Christ, issued as a set (1954); the Bible Story (1959); and Christ and the Church (1960). Under his direction, The Catholic Press also published the French La Sainte Bible (1956), the Spanish Sagrada Biblia (1958), and after delays extending beyond his death, Portuguese and Italian translations of Holy Scripture. O'Connell was a member of the Mariological Society and of the Catholic Biblical Association.

Influenced by his pastor, Joseph P. Morrison, O'Connell became a zealous promoter of the liturgical apostolate. He served the Liturgical Conference as secretary (194647); as treasurer (194952); as a member of its Board of Directors and Advisory Council; and as editor of the proceedings of the 1946, 1957, 1958, and 1959 Liturgical Weeks. During the last years of his life, he was engaged in the work of programming the annual Liturgical Weeks. O'Connell contributed many articles to publications and addressed many clerical and lay audiences in spreading knowledge of the Church's worship.

At the directive of Cardinal Stritch, Father O'Connell made preliminary surveys with a view to the publication of a new edition of the Catholic Encyclopedia. Shortly after he was named a papal chamberlain on Dec. 28, 1959, he fell prey to a fatal disease. Until the day of his untimely death, he continued working to complete many of the projects he had undertaken.

Bibliography: f. r. mcmanus, Yearbook of Liturgical Studies 1 (1960) xixiv.

[n. randolph]

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