In the past week the Archdiocese of Indianapolis unexpectedly lost two of its priests. Fr. Kevin Morris (63) died in a car accident on Tuesday, March 12, and Fr. Glenn O’Connor (66) died on Friday, March 15. In an age in which we hear so much bad news about priests, Fr. Kevin and Fr. Glenn are examples of good priests who gave their lives to the service of God’s people.
Fr. Kevin came to the priesthood after the death of his wife, Carol. He was one of the few people who received all seven sacraments of the Church. Fr. Kevin suffered from a combination of serious medical conditions for many years, but never allowed those conditions to stop his demanding ministry as the pastor of the three parishes of the Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton Parish in Richmond, Indiana. When asked how he was doing, his answer was always the same, “Blessed!” Father became gravely ill the week before Christmas and Fr. John Luerman, a retired priest of the Archdiocese who is 88 years old, peacefully and generously stepped in and led the parishes through the Christmas Masses and the Masses and funerals in the weeks following Christmas. Talk about unsung heroes!
Fr. Glenn was one of the most active priests of our Archdiocese. He was on the go 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. In addition to his ministry as pastor of Saint Susanna, he was the Chaplain of the Central Indiana Cursillo and a familiar figure at the Indianapolis Speedway known for his passion for racing. He also served as Chaplain at the Indianapolis International Airport. In 1999. Fr. Glenn helped establish ‘Seeds of Hope, a recovery center for women fighting drug addictions. Fr. Glenn was the person people called in the middle of night because they had run out of gas on the highway or needed a place to stay because they had been evicted. Priests often joked that Fr. Glenn’s phone number was written on bathroom walls because people in need always found their way to his door. And they always found that door open.
There’s a lot of bad news about priests today. But behind those headlines there are so many good priests like Fr. Kevin and Fr. Glenn and retired priests like Fr. Luerman and our own Fr. Bonke who go above and beyond every day to make our world a better place. Rest in peace, Fr. Kevin and Fr. Glenn!
May God grant the Church a new generation of good and holy priests like Fr. Kevin and Fr. Glenn.
See you at Mass!