Wednesday, May 22, 2013

JS: Pewaukee priest resigns over relationship with woman

A young priest at a Pewaukee Catholic Church has resigned his duties as a result of a relationship he has had with a woman.

Milwaukee Archbishop Jerome Listecki said in a letter to Catholics Tuesday that Father Sean O'Connell has stepped down as administrator of Queen of Apostles Parish for failing "to exercise good judgement in a relationship he has had with an adult woman."

"Father Sean will need to address his actions and he will receive assistance in doing so," Listecki said.

No additional information was immediately available about O'Connell or the circumstances involving the relationship.

O'Connell, 32, was ordained in 2009 and has been at Queen of Apostles since 2012.
JS FaithWatch

He did not leave the priesthood at this point.

A couple decades ago there was a young priest at Aquinas in La Crosse who left the priesthood to marry one of his former students. 

The Archdiocese has a spotlight of him on thier website:
What is your favorite pastime? Playing 18 holes on the golf course with family and friends or reading a novel on the country of Ireland

How/when did you know God was calling you to the priesthood? During my freshman year of college at Marquette University, I began to feel this extraordinary calling to serve the people of God as a Roman Catholic priest. It was strange because this came at a time when I was not attending Sunday Mass and my prayer life was non-existent.  God provided me with a wake up call, and thankfully I listened!

List three words that describe your experience in the priesthood. Humbling, Unbelievable, Love

Are you assigned to a parish? If no, what is your ministry? St. Dominic Parish, Brookfield 

24 comments:

  1. It is odd that the Archdiocese made him leave. They have another priest in the diocses who did the same thing. He broke up a marriage and carried on for a long time. She eventually left her husband and three daughters. They married in the Waukesha County Courthousein 1990. And they both continue to function in the Church. Weakland, Dolan and Listecki have been tolerant of their bad behavior. It has been a scandle for years. Why should this priest have been dealt with so harshly???

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  2. Curious the nature of the relationship. Could it have been a friendship that someone viewed as a relationship and unfairly judged? Or did he break his vow to celibacy?

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    1. It was and still is a physical relationship.

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  3. Fr. Sean is a great priest, who is tremendously relatable and pastoral, yet very convicted in the truth and offers a beautiful and reverent Holy Mass.

    Everyone falls, and we should be sensitive to this fact and be even more humble in guarding ourselves in th face of sin and scandal.

    I pray first and foremost that God's will is of course done concerning his discernment, but I pray if possible that he is able to find conversion in healing during this time of discernment and penance and return to serve the Archdiocese with a heart that is more holy and vigorous. He truly has been a gift to the Archdiocese, and the flourishing of Queen of Apostles Parish and School under his leadership is unquestioned, whether he returns to there (where he is very missed, and many letters have already been sent to the Archbishop requesting his return), or to another place in the diocese.

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    1. From everyone who has been given much, much will be required; and to whom they entrusted much, of him they will ask all the more. (Luke 12:48)

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    2. My main question would be: How was the priest preaching about sexuality? What did he preach and how did he deal with the issue of divorced Catholics? He seems to be (and I know it is a label) a conservative priest... Why wasn't he conservative in this area? The problem in my humble opinion is not to fail, which can happen to all of us, but the question of hypocrisy.

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    3. Well after the fall we have a darkened intellect and a weakened will. So even if we know the truth of sexuality, we do not have a perfect will to do what is good. That is why we need grace from the sacraments and prayer, otherwise relying on our own power to do what is good is impossible.

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  4. There's no evidence here as to the nature of the scandal, and it's probably not our business to speculate. The Archdiocese (and subsequently Matt) have shared what is appropriate to be public at this time.

    Additionally, there's really no reason to speculate here as to how "harshly" the Archdiocese dealt with Fr. O'Connell. While we don't (and perhaps shouldn't) know the details of how things went down, the article and the statement from the Archdiocese certainly do not indicate any harsh action on the part of the Archbishop. All we know is that he stepped down.

    Let's pray for Fr. O'Connell and for the woman involved.

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    1. there is no speculation here. There are simply facts.You might have a different personal view but your employment dictates your response. You are the only one to decide to continue aiding and abetting this decades long miscarriage of ethical wrongs in the name of God.

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  5. I think the archbishop, the seminary rector and vocations director have some blame here in selecting this man for ordination!

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  6. I'm grateful my failures do not make the front page of the JS. A perfectly acceptable candidate could fall into sin(as of yet, we don't know to what degree). We must pray for him and let this be a reminder that we must never fail to our priests! They are the primary target.

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  7. Prays for Father O'Connell and the woman during these hard times. Yes, we do not yet know the extent of this situation.

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  8. Maybe this should be between the Archdiocese and the parish, and not for everyone to see in JS. They also leave comments open for typical Catholic Church bashing (a few even said good for the priest for living a normal life, leave the church), so I'm sure they like publishing stories like this, unfortunately.

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  9. Kudos to the Archdiocese and Archbishop Listecki for their transparency and truthfulness.

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  10. "let he who is without sin, cast the first stone". However, we ought to be hold accountable for our actions.

    Please don't forget this

    “Man is condemned to be free; because once thrown into the world, he is responsible for everything he does.

    ― Jean-Paul Sartre

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  11. My prayers are for the husband and his family!!!!!!

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    1. Do you have an inside line that you know the woman was married?

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    2. Why is this newsworthy? It is the Church's business to handle, as JR53072 stated. We don't know the full story, yet a few posters are ready to judge. I know him as a wonderful priest and I hope he gets the forgiveness that people like Clinton have gotten..and they were and probably still are, intense womanizers. When stories like this published, it only enhances the intense Catholic bashing that has taken place over the years. I will be among those praying for Fr. Sean.

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    3. Easily the best answer .

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    4. Your response is easily the most rational as a human being and even more rational as a Christian!

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  12. Anonymous commenters, I'd like to approve your thought, but can you reference something in regards to the accusations? Is there a police report or something that you are referring to?

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  13. Is Father Sean still a priest? I hope so. He is a wonderful man.

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    1. No he left the priesthood and is living with the woman he had a relationship who was married and got a divorce.

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  14. Yes, she was married with kids that went to school with Fr. Sean at Holy Apostles. Fact.

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