Lewistown parish hall to be named for longtime pastor Msgr. Robert O’Connor

Msgr. Robert O'Connor

LEWISTOWN — Msgr. Robert O’Connor, who faithfully served St. Mary Parish for more than 50 years, never sought recognition for anything he did. He certainly wouldn’t allow anything to be named after him, according to longtime parishioner Elizabeth Forrest.

That doesn’t mean the parishioners at St. Mary didn’t intend to do it someday.

This Saturday, Sept. 29, they will honor their late pastor by naming the parish hall for him and dedicating it to his memory. The blessing ceremony will take place after the 5 p.m. Mass, which will be celebrated by Father David Whiteside, pastor.

Forrest, now the secretary for St. Mary, St. Patrick in Havana, and Immaculate Conception in Manito, said Msgr. O’Connor used his own money to help build the Lewistown church and hall. Designed by Father Cyril Schlarman, they were constructed in 1974.

The parish hall has never had a name until now.

“We couldn’t do it while he was alive,” Forrest said. “But he’s been with the Lord three years now, so we thought it was time.”

Msgr. O’Connor, who also served as pastor of St. Michael Parish in St. David, died Sept. 10, 2015. He was 92.

In addition to the parish hall, one of the new Stations of the Cross in St. Mary Church has been dedicated to Msgr. O’Connor.

A potluck, hosted by the Altar and Rosary Society, will follow the Mass and blessing. While reservations were requested for that, everyone is welcome to attend the Mass.

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