Auxiliary Bishop David O’Connell was remembered as a man “gripped by grace” and “at ease with movers and shakers and also with the moved and shaken” as nearly 5,000 attended a funeral Mass at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels on Friday morning.
The Friday Mass was the conclusion of a three-day tribute to O’Connell, starting with a Wednesday night memorial service at St. John Vianney Church in Hacienda Heights. Thursday at the cathedral, local Catholics said farewell to Bishop O’Connell in an all-day public viewing followed by a vigil Mass.
A homily on Friday by Msgr. Jarlath Cunnane, Bishop O’Connell’s classmate and close friend from their seminary days in Ireland in 1971, called upon the phrase “Anam Cara,” the Celtic concept of having a friend of the soul.
“You’re blessed if you have a soul friend,” said Msgr. Cunnane, the pastor of St. Cornelius Church in Long Beach. “And I was blessed to have David. … I was better for having known David O’Connell. Many of you were too, were you not?”