Editor's Notes: Priest's Plight Leaves Me Sad
April 25, 2014
A little more than a week ago a story came out that a Catholic priest from Chicago had been returned to active ministry after the Cook County Sheriff's Department concluded there's no evidence he sexually abused a minor nearly 20 years ago.
His name is the Rev. Michael O'Connell.
To probably all of you reading this column, his name has no meaning. To myself and my family, he's Father Mike. Let me tell you about him.
In 2004, Linda and I wanted to get married in a Catholic church. We both were widowers and because we would be uniting our families to live in her Mokena home, we went to the local Catholic church to secure a wedding date. The pastor said we had to be a member of the parish for a year before we could get married.
We both were upset when my soon-to-be mother-in-law suggested her church, Our Lady of the Woods in Orland Park. While it's about a 20 to 25 minute drive from Mokena, we went to visit the pastor, Father Mike O'Connell.