Rev. John Connor, C.Ss.R., dies at 76
Rev. John Connor, C.Ss.R., was born July 5, 1939, in Boston to Michael and Hannah (Sweeney) Connor. He entered North East in 1953 and professed his first vows on August 2, 1960. Father John left the Redemptorists for a time and took vows again on November 3, 1983.
He was ordained to the priesthood on June 20, 1965 at Mount St. Alphonsus Seminary in Esopus, N.Y. He died April 11, 2016, at Monmouth Medical Center in Long Branch, N.J. He was 76.
Visitation will be held from 6 to 9 p.m. Thursday, April 14, at St. Michael Church, 800 Ocean Avenue, Long Branch, NJ 07740, across from San Alfonso Retreat House. The wake service will begin at 8 p.m. The funeral Mass will begin at 10:30 a.m. Friday, April 15, at St. Michael Church.
Services in Boston will be held at Mission Church in Boston on Monday, April 18, with a viewing at 9 a.m. and funeral Mass at 10.
Father John served in Brazil from 1967 to 1973. While there he served parishes in Paranaguá, Mato Grosso, and Bela Vista. From 1984 to 1987 he was stationed at St. Peter the Apostle in Philadelphia.
In 1987 he became a full-time missionary in the United States, giving parish missions and retreats and working out of Brooklyn (1987-1992 and 1996-2002) and Esopus, N.Y. (1992-96).
His ministry report for 1995 has Father John involved in 84 events, many of them lasting multiple days. He became involved in the Charismatic Renewal and gave retreats for this group at Long Branch.
He traveled to many parishes to offer Masses of healing for those broken in body, mind, and spirit, giving comfort to many people. Reluctantly, he stopped traveling for healing Masses when his own health made travel difficult.
His final assignment in 2002 was at San Alfonso Retreat House in Long Branch. He was always available in his office for the sacrament of reconciliation.
Those are the details of his life. Now about the priest/person of Father John Michael Connor, C.Ss.R. One of the people involved in his formation as a Redemptorist and priest writes: “He seems to be a good, conscientious, prayerful man. He makes a Holy Hour every day and is often in the chapel at other times.” This was an important part of who he was: prayer and a sincere love of the God who called him to the religious life and priesthood.
His classmates Rev. Andrew Costello and Rev. Clement Krug describe a person who was a wonderful preacher. He was confident and upbeat. He was very supportive of his classmates and their reunions.
He was a people person and loved to be in contact with them. He was often on the phone. Jokingly, some confreres referred to him as our own CNN, Connor News Network, contacting the confreres and sharing information on people’s health and encouraging, acknowledging, and supporting their work. He was very sensitive to anyone who was having difficulty.
When the news of his death was shared on Facebook these were some of the comments shared:
He was very special. He was always so kind and joyful. He was loved by many.
I was privileged to sing at the many weekend and healing Masses he celebrated. He will surely be helping all of us from heaven.
He was a very special man and a loving, caring priest.
He was a gift from God. A great sense of humor and a great healer. I will miss him.
We thank God for our confrere and ask him to continue to watch over the rest of us until we meet again in the kingdom of heaven.
Eternal rest grant unto him, O Lord, and let Perpetual Light shine upon him.