This story is part of a series featured in a commemorative issue honoring Bishop David O’Connell. Read more stories at the Bishop Dave Commemorative Issue web page.
Christmas 2022 was like no other for the O’Connells.
The family — nieces, nephews, aunts, and uncles, most living in Ireland — were accustomed to getting together for the holidays. This year, 16 sat down for Christmas dinner in the backyard of Bishop David O’Connell’s home in Hacienda Heights to servings of ham, turkey, and sweet potato mash. It was their biggest gathering ever.
“We were thinking that if it was our last time with Uncle Dave, then it was the best time,” recalled his sister-in-law Paula O’Connell, who is wife of O’Connell’s youngest brother, Kieran.