O’Brien, Monsignor John


October 3, 1947

Personal Info

  • Date of Birth:  18 June 1875
  • Place of Birth in Ireland: Listowel
  • County: Kerry
  • Education: St Michael’s, Listowel and St Patrick’s, Carlow
  • Date of Ordination: 9 June 1900
  • Place of Ordination: St Patrick’s Chapel, Carlow, Ireland

Diocesan Appointments:

  • Assistant – St Theresa, Hutchinson – 11/7/1900 to 7/28/1901
  • Pastor – St Patrick, Walnut – 7/28/1901 to 3/1/1920 included missions in Skiddy (1907) and Hiattville (1909 to 1920)
  • Pastor – St Michael, Girard – 1910 to 1911
  • Pastor – All Saints, Liberty – 1921 to 1928
  • Pastor – Holy Name, Coffeyville – 3/1/1921 to 10/3/1947
  • Chancery – Diocesan Consultor – 11/30/1940

Father O’Brien announced in late August 1921, that the new Holy Name Catholic School would open as the religious sisters arrived and they are prepared to welcome around 125  children. Just a few days later, Father told the Knights of Columbus members that 130 pupils had enrolled, which was the largest registration in the school’s history.

In April 1926, Father John O’Brien became a full-fledged citizen of the USA. Like many of the priests who immigrated to the USA, embracing the USA as their new homeland was seen as a natural step even though it took several years to achieve.

Monsignor O’Brien was so well thought of in Coffeyville that the editor of the paper, Coffeyville Leader, wrote a stunning editorial expounding on Monsignor’s personal characteristics. “Father O’Brien took over without shout or fanfare, the duties of his charge. Firm and adamant in his faith and convictions, he has gone about his pastoral work with a smile and good cheer. Lifting burdens from the hearts of men and women, offering consolation and guidance to the confused, showing the ways to a better life for all, administering functions, receiving confessions, offering prayers for the sinful and performing such other rites as are peculiar to the Catholic faith, has been this pastor’s lot and his closest friends testify that he has been steadfast to his obligations and remaining loyal toward all. This writer is not of that faith, but he does know Monsignor O’Brien and has admired his fine spirit of cooperation in several projects here.”

In 1943, Father O’Brien was elevated to a Domestic Prelate with a title change to Rt. Rev. Monsignor John O’Brien which brought great joy to his parishioners in Coffeyville.

  • Date of Death: 3 October 1947
  • Place of Death: Holy Name Rectory – Coffeyville, Kansas
  • Age of Death: 72
  • Funeral Celebrant: Bishop Mark K. Carroll
  • Burial: Calvary Cemetery – Coffeyville, Montgomery Co, Kansas

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