Saint Meinrad Seminary & School of Theology

Formation and Education for the Life of the Church

Alumni Obituaries

James F. "Jim" O'Connell

James Francis OGÇÖConnell died peacefully in the Lord on Feb. 1, 2014 at the Brookside Village in Jasper, Indiana.He was born on August 22, 1919 at Terre Haute, Indiana to James F. and Olga (Warner) OGÇÖConnell.He graduated from Columbus High School in Columbus, Ohio. He became a practicing Catholic through the influence of a friend his senior year in high school. His fervor for Catholicism led him to enroll at Saint Meinrad Archabbey, Seminary and School of Theology to study for the diocesan priesthood for the Archdiocese of Indianapolis in 1938. He was required to repeat his senior year of high school because of his limited Latin background.He searched a call to a penitential life and left Saint Meinrad after one year and entered Gethsemani from 1939-1940. He was given the monastic name of Baldwin. Reverend Dom Frederick Dunn was the abbot at that time. After a year at Gethsemani my father returned to Saint Meinrad from 1940-1944. Bishop Joseph Ritter was the bishop of Indianapolis at that time. My father left Saint Meinrad in 1944 and re-enrolled at Gethsemani for several months. It was during this period that my father met Thomas Merton. Thomas Merton was in simple vows and my father was in the novitiate. He left Gethsemani in 1944 and on June 23,1945 he found his vocation and married his childhood sweetheart Racine V. OGÇÖConnell. He retired from the Rockport Power Plant in Rockport, Indiana. He was the assistant chief construction electrician. He retired after 32 years with the power company.He married Racine V. Rochester from Logan, Ohio on June 23, 1945. They were married 68 years. She survives her husband along with eight children (Pat, Therese, Mike, Kathleen, Katie, Jim, Dan, and Kevin OGÇÖConnell.) The children and spouses live in the following areas; Pat and his wife Linda in Terre Haute, Indiana. Therese and Bob Hochstetler in Jasper. Kathleen and John Abernathy in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Mike and Linda OGÇÖConnell in Springville, Indiana, Katie OGÇÖConnell in Bloomington, Indiana, Jim and Louise in Paoli, Indiana, Dan and Ann OGÇÖConnell in Portage, Michigan and Kevin and Janet OGÇÖConnell in Elk River, MN. They have many grandchildren and great grandchildren. His motto was GÇ£Deus Est.GÇ¥ and God Alone. May he rest in the peace of God who he sought his entire life.The funeral mass will be celebrated by Fr. Joe Moriarty at St. JosephGÇÖs Catholic Church in Jasper, Indiana at 10:00 am Friday, February 7, 2014, with burial to follow in Fairview Cemetery in Japer. Visitation is 5:00 GÇô 8:00 p.m. Thursday evening and Friday morning 9:00 GÇô 9:30 am at the Becher GÇô Kluesner North Chapel, 3221 N. Newton Street, Jasper, Indiana 47546In lieu of flowers the family request that you donate to the monks of Saint Meinrad Archabbey, Gethsemani, and the Carmelite Sisters of Terre Haute.