Faith and Family: Reception honoring St. Mary’s retiring pastor set for June 23

Published 12:15 am Friday, May 31, 2019


NATCHEZ — The congregation of St. Mary Basilica invites the community to contribute to a tribute for the Rev. David O’Connor as he embarks on his new journey in retirement.

O’Connor recently announced his retirement after serving the last 16 years as the pastor of the St. Mary and Assumption Catholic churches.

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St. Mary Basilica is honoring O’Connor with an appreciation reception from 3 to 5 p.m. on Sunday, June 23, at the O’Connor Family Life Center on Main Stree across from the church.

A blessing of the prayer garden across Rankin Street will be given before the reception.

The reception is open to the entire community, church business office manager Mary Flowers said.

“It is open to the community. Anyone who feels a connection in any way, please come to show their appreciation,” Flower said.

As part of the reception, the church invites parishioners and community members to honor O’Connor’s ministry in two ways.

First, the church is collecting photographs of O’Connor from his year’s ministering to the parish and the community. Pictures from important occasions and events are suggested.

The photos will be used for a picture presentation during the reception for O’Connor.

Each person or family submitting items is asked to limit their submission to five photos, to help keep the number of submissions manageable.

The photos are to be submitted by email to Mike Chatman at by Monday, June 3. Please include “Father O’Connor” in the subject line.

Community members also are encouraged to contribute a written reflection on O’Connor’s ministry.

Written on an 8 ½ x 11-inch sheet of paper, the personal reflections may be anecdotal, inspirational or amusing, Flowers said.

Reflections may be brought to the reception on June 23 or may be mailed to St. Mary Basilica, 107 S. Union Street, Natchez, MS 39120, dropped by the church office or emailed to

The reflections submitted will be collected as a keepsake for O’Connor, Flowers said.

More importantly, community members are invited to come to the reception to share their appreciation of O’Connor’s ministry on June 23.

“Father O’Connor has not only been such a good steward of St. Mary’s but also to the community,” Flowers said. “His presence here has not been in just in the Catholic circle. We want anybody in this community to feel welcome and invited to come share in the celebration of Father O’Connor’s ministry.”