Dear friends in Christ,
Like you, I am shocked and saddened by the death of Bishop David O’Connell of Los Angeles. He was a loving, compassionate and committed man of God who served the people of Los Angeles as a priest and bishop for more than four decades. He gave special care and priority to those on the margins of our communities – whether it was the wayward youth, the immigrant or the elderly man or woman. He went about his ministry with joy and good Irish humor. I am grateful for the moments of fraternity I shared with him as a bishop.
We must acknowledge that circumstances surrounded Bishop O’Connell’s death make it especially painful for us. A man of peace and non-violence taken from us apparently by an act of violence. We can make no sense of it but surely our God walks with us and grieves with us in these difficult days. He wills that we are to live in loving relationship with Him and with each other. He weeps when one of his children takes the beautiful gift of life from another.
Let us unite ourselves in prayer now for the repose of Bishop O’Connell’s soul, for the consolation of his family and for Archbishop José Gomez as he leads the Catholic community of Los Angeles in this time of mourning. Let us also pray for the conversion of those who would commit violence against anyone in our communities. Bishop O’Connell would want nothing less.
Eternal rest grant unto him O’ Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon him.
Bishop Alberto Rojas