William Patrick O'Connor

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William Patrick O'Connor
Bishop of Madison
ChurchCatholic Church
DioceseDiocese of Madison
In officeMarch 12, 1946 – July 13, 1973
SuccessorCletus F. O'Donnell
OrdinationMarch 10, 1912
ConsecrationMarch 7, 1942
by Archbishop Moses E. Kiley
Personal details
Born(1886-10-18)October 18, 1886
Milwaukee, Wisconsin,
United States
DiedJuly 13, 1973(1973-07-13) (aged 86)
Madison, Wisconsin,
United States
BuriedResurrection Cemetery, Madison, Wisconsin,
United States
DenominationCatholic Church
ParentsPatrick D. O'Connor & Ellen A. McCarthy
Previous postBishop of Superior (1946)
Alma materSt. Francis Seminary; Catholic University of America

William Patrick O'Connor (October 18, 1886 – July 13, 1973), was an American prelate of the Roman Catholic Church who served as the fifth Bishop of the Diocese of Superior (1942–46) and the first bishop of the Diocese of Madison (1946–67).


Early years[edit]

William O'Connor was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, to Patrick Dennis and Ellen Anna (née McCarthy) O'Connor.[1] He received his early education at St. John Cathedral School, and then attended Marquette University.[2] He studied for the priesthood at St. Francis Seminary.[2]

Ordination and ministry[edit]

He was ordained a priest on March 10, 1912.[3] His first assignment was as assistant pastor of St. Rose Church in Milwaukee, where he remained for four years.[2] During World War I, he served as a chaplain with the 32nd Infantry Division; he was awarded the Croix de guerre medal for bravery in action.[1] He then furthered his studies at the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C., earning his degree in 1920.[1] He taught philosophy at St. Francis Seminary for twenty years, and was named pastor of St. Thomas Aquinas Church in Milwaukee in 1941.[2] He became president of the American Catholic Philosophical Association in 1939.[1]

Bishop of Superior, Wisconsin[edit]

On December 27, 1941, Pope Pius XII appointed O'Connor bishop of the Superior Diocese and he was consecrated on March 7, 1942.[4]

Bishop of Madison, Wisconsin[edit]

On February 22, 1946, O'Connor was appointed the first bishop of the newly created Diocese of Madison, by Pope Pius XII.[5][6] On February 18, 1967, Bishop O'Connor retired. He died in Madison, Wisconsin.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d Curtis, Georgina Pell (1947). The American Catholic Who's Who. VII. Grosse Pointe, Michigan: Walter Romig.
  2. ^ a b c d "Bishop O'Connor Dies at 86". Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. July 14, 1973.
  3. ^ "Bishop William Patrick O'Connor". Catholic-Hierarchy.org.
  4. ^ "History". Catholic Diocese of Superior. Retrieved May 18, 2009.
  5. ^ "A Brief History of the Diocese". Cathedral Parish of the Catholic Diocese of Madison. Retrieved May 18, 2009.
  6. ^ "The Diocese of Madison was born out of the Archdiocese of Milwaukee and the Diocese of La Crosse on January 9, 1946". Diocese of Madison. Retrieved May 18, 2009.

External links[edit]

Catholic Church titles
Preceded by
Bishop of Madison
Succeeded by
Cletus F. O'Donnell
Preceded by
Theodore H. Reverman
Bishop of Superior
Succeeded by
Albert Gregory Meyer