Categotry Archives: Religious Leaders

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John Roach

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Categories: Religious Leaders

Archbishop John R. Roach, who led the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis for two decades, died Friday of heart failure. He was 81.
Roach graduated from the Saint Paul Seminary School of Divinity in 1946, and was ordained the same year. He worked as the parish priest of Saint Stephen, in Minneapolis, taught for a while and then became headmaster of Saint Thomas Academy.
Fourteen years later, Roach founded the Saint John Vianney Seminary and served as its first rector. He also received the first Saint Paul Seminary Lifetime Achievement Award.
In 1975, Pope Paul VI appointed Roach to lead the archdiocese. He was the first Minneosta native to do so. During his tenure, Roach was arrested for drunken driving and for mishandling the clergy sex abuse cases in the 1980s. Roach served until his retirement in 1995.

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Ignacio Velasco

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Categories: Religious Leaders

Cardinal Ignacio Velasco, the leader of the Roman Catholic Church in Venezuela, died on July 7. Cause of death was not released. He was 74.
Velasco was ordained in 1955 when he was 25 years old. He spent many years working in the Amazon jungle before rising through the ranks of the church. He was elected titular Bishop of Utimmira and appointed Apostolic Vicar of Puerto Ayacucho in 1989, then raised to the archbishopric of Caracas in 1995.
Velasco was best known for his combustible relationship with President Hugo Ch

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Norman O’Connor

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Categories: Religious Leaders

Rev. Norman James O’Connor, the jazz priest, died June 29 of a heart attack. He was 81.
O’Connor never had a problem mixing his work with his passion for music. Although he played piano with local jazz bands in his youth, O’Connor gave up his dreams of becoming a musician when he enrolled at Catholic University in Washington. Instead, he was ordained as a Paulist priest in 1948 and included jazz in his services.
During his decade as the chaplain at Boston University, O’Connor was named to the board of the first Newport Jazz Festival. Each year he’d appear at the event in his priest collar, and serve as the master of ceremonies. He wrote a weekly jazz column for The Boston Globe and freelanced for music magazines.
In the 1960s, O’Connor worked as the director of radio and television for the Paulist Fathers in New York. He also hosted a syndicated radio show and the local TV show, “Dial M for Music.”

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