Two friends celebrate 65th anniversary of priesthood on same day

June 13, 2017

Seminary classmates Monsignor Fred O’Connor, at right, and Monsignor Eugene Francis, at left. Photo by Michelle Eisterhold.

CROSBY and SPRING — Monsignor Fred O’Connor and Monsignor Eugene Francis celebrated their 65th anniversary of the priesthood on Sunday, May 21.

Monsignor O’Connor celebrated the 65th anniversary of his ordination at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Crosby in the morning, then traveled to Spring to celebrate the anniversary of his seminary classmate Monsignor Francis’ at St. Edward Catholic Church in Spring that afternoon.

The Crosby celebration began with Mass co-celebrated by Archbishop Emerius Joseph A. Fiorenza and Monsignor O’Connor. Also in attendance were Retired Auxiliary Bishop Vincent M. Rizzotto; Sacred Heart Pastor Father Gary Rickles; Father Chris Unachukwu, MSP; and five other priests from the Archbishop Joseph A. Fiorenza Priest Retirement Residence.

he event was attended by more than 300 people from the many parishes Monsignor O’Connor served. He was also with the prison ministry during the many years of his priesthood.

Monsignor O’Connor and the group from the retirement residence then traveled by bus from Crosby to Spring to celebrate Monsignor Francis’ anniversary, joining 650 people.

Monsignor Francis was the founding pastor of St. Edward Catholic Church. In 1968 he was brought from Hungerford, Texas, to start a church in Spring. In the fall of 1971, a beautiful wooded site was purchased. In 1976, St. Edward the Confessor Church was blessed and dedicated by the Most Reverend John L. Morkovsky, Bishop of Galveston-Houston at the time. Monsignor was the pastor at St. Edward parish from 1969 to 1981.