Sister Conall O'Connell

February 1, 2013


Sister Conall O'Connell, 85, a Franciscan Sister of the Congregation of Our Lady of Lourdes, Rochester, died at Assisi Heights on Tuesday, January 29, 2013.

Helen Patricia O'Connell was born to John F. and Phoebe M. (McConnell) O'Connell on March 16, 1927, in Simpson. Helen entered the Sisters of Saint Francis in 1944 from St. Bridget Parish, Simpson, and made profession of vows in 1947. Sister Connell received a BS degree in mathematics at the College of St. Teresa in 1964, and a MTS degree in 1970 from Catholic University, Washington, D.C.

Sister Connell served as an elementary and junior high educator and principal over a span of 27 years. She taught in Catholic schools in the Diocese of Winona (1947-1974: St. Joseph School, Winona; St. Adrian School, Adrian; St. Mary School, Ellsworth, Wisc., Sacred Heart School, Waseca; St Mary School, Owatonna; and Pacelli High School, Austin. She also served as principal at Sacred Heart School, Waseca, 1964-1966. Following her years of teaching in 1974, she served for five years in ministries at Assisi Heights. Sister Connell then moved to Vanceburg, Ky., where she served as Outreach Coordinator and Pastoral Worker atHoly Redeemer Parish (1979-1987), and as the Director of Christian Community Center, Applachian Apostolate, Inc. (1987-1998). She also provided direct service in a group home with Bear Creek Services (1999-2001). Sister Connell also served as an out reach volunteer in Whitesville, W. V. (2003-2007) until her retirement at Assisi Heights.

Sister Connell is survived by her Franciscan Sisters, with whom she shared life for 68 years, and her siblings, Charles O'Connell, Boulder City, Neb.; Theresa Helgerson, Rochester; Rosella Jech, Elgin; Phoebe Whistler, Mesa, Ariz.; and Marlene (Jerry) Towey, Rochester.

She was preceeded in death by her parents and siblings: Brothers: Walter, John, Nicholas, Clarence, Richard, and Edward; Sisters: Mary, Margaret Bischoff, Elaine Stokes, Catherine Fitzgerald, and Alice Puhmeister.

A Funeral Liturgy will be held Tuesday, Feb. 5, at 11a.m. in the Chapel of Our Lady of Lourdes, Assisi Heights, Rochester.

Friends may call at Assisi Heights for the Vigil Service at 6:30 p.m. Monday, Feb. 4, and before the time of service on Tuesday.

Memorials are suggested to the Sisters of St. Francis, Office of Benefactor Relations at Assisi Heights, 1001 14th St. N.W. - Suite 100, Rochester, MN 55901.

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