by NZ CATHOLIC staff
Msgr Patrick Edward O’Connor, long-time parish priest and first superior of the Missio Sui Iuris of
Tokelau, one of the most isolated places on Earth, died at Silverstream on December 3.
Fr O’Connor was born in Masterton in 1932, the son of Patrick James O’Connor and Mary Elizabeth
Dorset. He was educated at St Patrick’s Convent School, Masterton, St Joseph’s College (now Chanel
College), Masterton and Holy Cross College, Mosgiel.
He was ordained on July 16, 1957, at Masterton by Cardinal Peter McKeefry.
Fr O’Connor got to know the Tokelau people through the Tokelau community in Sacred Heart parish in Petone.
He spent three months in Tokelau in 1984. In 1987 he was appointed parish priest of Tokelau, and remained there until his retirement in 2011.
Fr O’Connor was ordained for the archdiocese in 1957 and served in a number of parishes.
At his own request, his funeral was held privately.
List of appointments: Assistant, St Joseph’s, New Plymouth,March 1, 1958; Assistant, St Mary’s, Palmerston North, Feb. 1, 1959; Assistant, St Pius X, Titahi Bay, Jan. 31, 1965; Assistant, St Joseph’s, Ohakune, Jan. 29, 1966; Parish Priest, Sacred Heart, Manaia, Jan. 31, 1969; Parish Priest ,
Holy Family, Gonville, Feb. 2, 1975; Chicago, USA – pastoral counselling for Alcoholics (Marianella
Course, Dublin) Jan.–Dec. 1978; Parish Priest, St Joseph’s, Mt Victoria; Feb. 4, 1979; Chaplaincy, Wellington Hospital, Newtown, Feb. 1, 1981; Parish Priest, Sacred Heart, Petone, Feb. 1, 1984;
Leave – Samoa, Tokelau, 1984 (3 months); Spiritual Adviser – Society of St Vincent de Paul, 1986; Parish Priest, Tokelau, Dec. 1987.