O’Neill, Rev Owen P ‘Rory’
REV. OWEN P. ‘RORY’ O’NEILL
August 7, 2002
- Date of Birth: 29 October 1923
- Place: Dublin, Ireland
- County: Dublin
- Education: Catholic University, Dublin; Royal College of Surgeons and Physicians, St Stephen’s Green, Dublin; University College, Dublin; Cistercian College attached to Mt. Melleray Abbey, Waterford; and St Kieran’s College, Kilkenny
- Date of Ordination: 5 June 1955
- Place of Ordination: St Mary’s Cathedral, Kilkenny, Ireland
- Ordained by: Most Rev. Patrick Collier Land, Bishop of Ossory, for the Wichita Diocese
- Assistant – St Rose of Lima, Great Bend – 1955 to 1956
- Assistant – St John’s, Hoisington – 6/8/1956 to 10/25/1956
- Assistant – St Joseph’s, Ellinwood – 10/26/1956 to 6/16/1960
- Pastor – St Joseph, Tribune with mission St Anthony of Padua, St Theresa – 6/17/1960 to 1968
- Pastor – St Bernard’s, Belpre – 1968 to 1974
- Chaplain – Larned State Hospital and part-time chaplain of St Joseph Memorial Hospital, Larned – 1970 to 1975
- Pastor – St Mary’s, McCracken – 1975 to 1980
- Pastor – Holy Rosary, Medicine Lodge and St John, Kiowa – 1980 to 1991
- Pastor – St Joseph, Offerle and St Mary, Hodgeman County – 1991 to 1995
Father O’Neill, an assistant priest at St Joseph’s parish in Ellinwood, planned a two month vacation in Ireland and Europe. His family included a visit to Rome for him.
Father O’Neill, was one of 41 Ireland-born priests of the Wichita and Dodge City Dioceses to attend a dinner party hosted in honor of the Most Rev. Michael Browne, Bishop of Galway whom visited Wichita. All in all, there were 45 guests with the priests comprising 91 percent of the attendees. The Bishop made a four-month visit to the USA to visit his native-born priests.
Father Rory O’Neill possibly offered the first Mass ever in the city of Leoti. The city was named the new site of the enlarged St Anthony parish in September 1963 by a decree issued by Bishop Marion Forst. Mass will be held in the Leoti grade school until permanent quarters can be provided. Adding St Anthony’s in Leoti, reduces the number of county seats in the 28 counties represented by the Diocese of Dodge City to three without any kind of a Catholic Church. However, Father O’Neill, who covers the Leoti area continued to live and operate as resident pastor of St Joseph Church in Tribune. At present, St Anthony’s parish has 15 registered families representing 50 souls. However, with the establishment of new parish boundaries, families are expected to move from the Marienthal parish to St Anthony’s.
Edmond O’Neill, father of Rev O’Neill, pastor of St Joseph Parish, Tribune died in Ireland. He was 69 years old at the time of his death. The funeral services were held January 5, 1961 and unfortunately, Father O’Neill, the only child of the family, was unable to attend. One of the many family sacrifices made by missionary priests and their families.
In the summer of 1961, Father O’Neill went home to Ireland for a visit. He left New York on a Saturday morning and was in Dublin before noon. “In a word,” he said, “I was home in time for dinner.”
- Date of Death: 7 August 2002
- Age of Death: 78
- Place of Death: Catholic Care Center, Wichita, Kansas
- Funeral Mass: Celebrated by Bishop Ronald Gilmore at St Elizabeth’s Chapel, Catholic Care Center, Wichita, KS
- Burial: Ascension Cemetery, Wichita