The Pastor’s Desk

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Rev. David O’Connor

A Prayerful Setting

Father David O"Connor presents today's Natchez History Minute about the dedication of St. Mary Basilica which took place this day, Christmas Day, December 5 in 1843. The cornerstone had been laid in 1842 but construction on the magnificent structure would take another 40 years. Today, the congregation of St. Mary takes pride in the architectural masterpiece but also its prayerful setting.

A Trip to Ireland with Father O'Connor.

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Father O'Connor returns to the Emerald Isle in June 2017 and what better way to welcome him home by joining in on the celebrations across Ireland. Join him on this exciting trip of Ireland when he hosts a tour that will visit iconic landmarks, encounter famous hospitality and engage in unique experiences with this travel package… Visit Father O'Connor's webpage for all of the information.
Download the information: Registration form.

The Pastor’s Archives

Christmas Greetings from Father O’Connor

December 20, 2015

I wish each of you a happy, peace-filled and joyful Christmas celebration. I am sending my greeting in writing because I might not have an opportunity of expressing my wishes to you personally. Christmas, the anniversary of Jesus’ birth, is less than a week away, and my wish and prayer for you is that your heart will be filled with the spirit of Christmas.
During Advent I have noticed that Mass attendance at St. Mary and Assumption parishes increased. I was delighted to see that. I believe strongly that the spirit of what took place in Bethlehem touches the heart of most people whether pious or not. My reflections for the Sundays of Advent were… Read more

Father David O’Connor

Ordained to the priesthood on June 14, 1964
Cathedral of the Assumption, Thurles in Tipperary County, Ireland… View slideshow

Rev. O’Connor honored during 50th anniversary

By Mary Kathryn Carpenter —The Natchez Democrat
NATCHEZ — The Rev. David O’Connor had several reasons to be jubilant Wednesday.
His reasons were the occasion of his jubilee celebration as well as the dedication of St. Mary’s Family Life Center in his name… Read more

St. Mary rector celebrates 50 years of ministry in Catholic Church

The Rev. David O’Connor can summarize the last 50 years of priesthood in two simple, yet complex words.
“It’s been amazing and challenging,” said O’Connor, who is celebrating this month his 50-year anniversary of being ordained… Read more

Jesus Birth And Life: A Lesson On The Dignity Of Being Human

People in this community will experience Christmas in many different ways. Some will welcome family members from different places to celebrate Christmas in Natchez, some will travel to be with family members and friends out of town, some will spend Christmas alone in their home, approximately 400 individuals will eat Christmas dinner prepared at the Stewpot, and a number of people will serve as volunteers to prepare the Stewpot meal… Read more

Christmas Greetings from Father O'Connor

December 23, 2012
I wish each of you a happy, peace-filled and joyful Christmas celebration. I am writing this message to you because I might not have an opportunity of expressing my wishes to you on a one-to-one basis. The great anniversary celebration of the birth of Jesus is only a few days away. My wish and prayer for you is that you will be renewed by the spirit of Christmas… Read more

Catholics Pray For Their Dead During November

The month of November is observed in the Roman Catholic Church as a time for remembering deceased loved ones in special ways. That does not mean that these deceased are not remembered at other times. The tradition of doing this grows out of the Catholic belief that at the time of one's death, a person is judged as worthy of heaven or as deserving of hell. Even those destined for heaven may not… Read more

The International Eucharistic Congress In Dublin, Ireland

June-10-17, 2012
By Father David O’Connor, Pastor
The International Eucharistic Congress, held in Dublin in 2012, was a week- long program of events linking faith and culture and was focused on the Sacred Eucharist. All fifty Eucharistic Congresses, beginning with the first which was held in Paris, France in 1881, aimed at highlighting the centrality of the Eucharist… Read more

Christmas Lights Remind Us Of The Great Light

Natchez is a beautiful city, but in the past few weeks it has taken on an extra beauty because of all the lights that are added for Christmas - store windows, in homes, in the ante-bellum plantations, in Memorial Park, along the Mississippi River bluff… Read more

Shepherds are more than filler

It’s very likely the shepherds didn’t own the sheep they were watching, that they were uneducated and that they were generally low-regarded. The image of a lovable shepherd protecting innocent sheep probably didn’t apply to the group in the fields that night, St. Mary Basilica pastor the Rev. David O’Connor said… Read more

Renewal Of Faith Commitments At Pentecost

At Easter all Catholics are encouraged to renew their baptismal promises. At Pentecost all Catholics are likewise called to renew the commitment to living their faith in the life of the Church that they made at Confirmation.
This outline is offered as an aid to setting goals for living the faith as a committed Catholic Christian. When completed, do not return this to the parish but keep it as a reminder of your own challenges to… Read more

The Journey Of Jesus The The Cross As Basis For Prayer Service

A visitor to St. Mary Basilica at 5:30 pm or to Holy Family or Assumption Catholic churches at 6:00 pm on any Friday during Lent would find groups of people gathered in each for a prayer service called the Way of the Cross. During this prayer service, participants meditate on the final hours… Read more

The Magi Seen as Seekers of the Truth

The feast of the Epiphany, traditionally celebrated on January 6, is now observed on the second Sunday after Christmas, and this year it was observed on Sunday, January 2. The word Epiphany in its Greek roots meant the appearance or manifestation of a god among people. The feast, generally, marks the manifestation or appearance of Jesus, the Savior, to the world... Read more

The Life & Role of John the Baptist Parallels the Purpose of Advent

John the Baptist was the son of Zachariah and Elizabeth. He was born when both were elderly and was dedicated to God at his birth. He lived a life of austerity and prayer in the desert; and when he began his work, he was the nation's first prophet in four hundred years.
His message was “Repent and change your life to prepare for the Messiah who will… Read more

Is There a Sin that is beyond God's Mercy?

Do you know a person who seems to have no sense of God in her/his life, without moral values, seems to have lost his/her way, and might be labeled as a 'lost soul?' Most likely this person has lost contact with the Church, may be blaming the Church for its shortcomings, and may be lacking any faith anchor to which he/she can turn in times of difficulty. This person may be addicted… Read more