|Rev. Dr. Bernard O`Connor
died Sunday, May 10, 2015, in Mishawaka, Indiana, USA. He was born in North Sydney on March 13, 1951, to Cosmas Bernard and Ella Mae (Young) and ordained to the priesthood for the Diocese of Antigonish at St. Pius X, Sydney Mines on June 24, 1977, by Most Rev. W.E. Power, Bishop of Antigonish. Rev. O`Connor was educated at St. Francis Xavier University (Bachelor of Arts), Creighton University (Master of Arts), St. Paul`s University (M.Div-STB), and the University of Ottawa (MCL-JCL). He served as an assistant pastor at St. Theresa Parish, Sydney for three years and St. Ninian`s Cathedral, Antigonish, for one year before being sent for further study to Rome in 1981. Rev. O`Connor completed licenciate and a doctorate degree in sacred theology (systematics) at the Pontifical Gregorian University under the direction of Karl Joseph Cardinal Becker, SJ, who would remain Rev. O`Connor`s mentor and lifelong friend. Rev. O`Connor taught at the University of Tennessee for five years where he also received a civil law degree (JD) in 1994 after which he took up a teaching position at Eastern Michigan University where he remained for 10 years. In 2004 he was called by Pope John Paul II to Rome where he was appointed as an official in the Congregation for Eastern Churches, completing his appointment in 2010. In 2011, Rev.O`Connor was appointed Chancellor`s Visiting Professor of Law and Humanities at Indiana University (Kokomo). He was at the Graduate Theological Foundation, Mishakawa, Indiana at the time of his death. Numerous awards over the years include an Advanced Negotiation Certificate from Harvard Law School and Doctor of Humane Letters (honoris causa) from the Graduate Theological Foundation. He was twice named Michigan Professor of the Year by the Carnegie Foundation. Just prior to his passing, he was named John Henry Cardinal Newman Professor Emeritus. Rev.O`Connor authored two books and countless articles. He returned home to Sydney Mines each summer to visit his mother and many friends.
Rev.O`Connor is survived by his mother, Mrs. Ella Mae O`Connor, Sydney Mines. He was predeceased by his father, Cosmas Bernard O`Connor in 1979. Funeral mass was celebrated Monday, May 18, 2015 at Holy Family Church, Sydney Mines, with interment in the parish cemetery.