O’Brien, Rev Thomas F


July 17, 1948

Personal Info

  • Date of Birth: 1 January 1895
  • Place: Ballykerogue, Ireland
  • County: Wexford
  • Date of Ordination: 2 June 1917
  • Education: Blackrock College, Dublin; Skerius College, Dublin; St Peter’s College, Wexford
  • Place of Ordination: St Titus College Church, Wexford, Ireland
  • NOTE: Because Fr O’Brien was only 22 at the time of his ordination, Bishop Hennessy obtained a special Canon Law dispensation for him in compliance with the Canon Law age requirement.

Diocesan Assignments:

  • Student – Catholic University in Washington, D.C. – Philosophy graduate courses – 1917
  • Pastor – St Mary’s in McCracken, KS – 1920 – Under Bishop Hennessy’s direction, he was assigned to move the parish from the country to the city of McCracken. Fr O’Brien had a Romanesque brick and stone structure built in McCracken and on 4 May, 1926, Bishop Schwertner dedicated the new church.
  • Chaplain – Mercy Hospital, Fort Scott, KS – 3/18/1927 to 7/7/1927 (This followed after Fr O’Brien had resigned from St Mary’s due to an illness and had recuperated.)
  • Pastor – Sacred Heart, Larned, KS – 7/8/1927 to 6/29/1937, where he opened the parish school in 1936.
  • Pastor – Sacred Heart, Arkansas City – 6/30/1937 to 6/15/1944
  • Chaplain – St John’s Hospital, Iola, KS – 11/29/1944 to 10/15/1947
  • Pastor – St Patrick, Walnut, KS and St Mary’s Mission in Hiatville, KS – 10/16/1947 to 7/17/1948
  • Member – Diocesan School Board, Wichita

Robert Emmet Branch of the Friends of Irish Freedom met Friday evening in the Knights of Columbus Hall, 414 East Douglas. Darcey E. Dunne, Father Thomas O’Brien and W.D. Jochems were the speakers for the evening. Irish songs comprised the musical part of the program. Miss Eva Hussey sang “The Last Rose of Summer,” followed by Mrs. Lena Higgins who sang “A Little Bit of Heaven.” Miss Irene Crowder, on the harp, played “Believe Me If All Those Endearing Charms” and “Wooden Shoes,” an Irish clog dance. Permanent organization of the branch was prevented by the failure of the electric lights. Monthly meetings, of a social and educational nature, are scheduled for the remainder of 1919.

St Mary’s Church, the new church in McCracken, Kansas was dedicated on 4 May 1926 by Bishop A.J. Schwertner. The day started out with a High Mass and immediately following Mass the Bishop administered confirmation to a class of forty-two candidates. All of the town’s business establishments were closed for the dedication and non-Catholics were invited to attend this main event and enjoy a bounty of food that was prepared and served by the ladies of the parish. Father O’Brien, the pastor of St Mary’s was pleased with the town’s attendance and the support of his fellow priests from around the area.

Fr Thomas O’Brien, while pastor at Sacred Heart Parish in Larned, Kansas, doubled the Catholic population of the parish during his seven year tenure. Credit is given due to the extensive program Sacred Heart offers for adult religious education which encourages the parishioners to study the doctrines and practices of the Church to enhance their active participation in the lay apostolate.

  • Date of Death: 17 July 1948
  • Place: Los Angeles, CA (while on vacation visiting relatives and was returned by plane)
  • Age of Death: 53
  • Funeral Celebrant: Bishop Mark K Carroll, St Mary’s Cathedral, Wichita, KS
  • Burial: Calvary Cemetery, Wichita KS

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