Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
Week of July 21, 2008
O'Connell made outstanding contribution to local liturgy
By RAMON GONZALEZ
WCR Staff Writer
Margaret O'Connell will be remembered as a top-notch liturgist and adult educator.
O'Connell, who spent 20 years working with the Edmonton Archdiocese and Newman Theological College, died in Edmonton July 1 after a courageous battle with cancer. She was 68.
O'Connell was executive secretary of the archdiocesan liturgy commission for several years.
"I have a very good impression of this lady who wanted the liturgy to be as beautiful and as correct as possible," says John MacDonald, director of pastoral care and life initiatives for the archdiocese.
"She was very, very thorough about trying to make liturgy conform to all of the rules of the Church and yet have it be inspirational and beautiful at the same time. She was very creative in that regard, I thought."
MacDonald and O'Connell both had offices in the Catholic Pastoral Centre and collaborated a few times in preparing liturgies. "I held her in very high regard around her commitment to liturgy. If Margaret was involved, it had to be good."
O'Connell helped to establish and then to lead the Formation for Pastoral Service Program (FPS) at Newman and made many good friends along the way.
Michelle Hawgood, Newman's market and recruitment coordinator, took the FPS between 2002 and 2004 and remembers O'Connell with fondness.
"She was a lady with a very good sense of humour, extremely knowledgeable," Hawgood said. "She was an absolutely stand-up lady; you had a very clear sense of how important family and the Church was to her."
The FPS prepared Hawgood to take on greater responsibilities in her parish and subsequently to obtain her current job as market and recruitment coordinator for Newman.
"I have to thank Margaret O'Connell and her team for all of this," Hawgood said. "She did run an excellent program."
Born in Humboldt, Sask., Feb. 19, 1940, O'Connell is survived by her husband Tom of 46 years, her children Kevin O'Connell (Amanda), Karen Tetrault (Ken), Sean O'Connell, four grandchildren, two brothers and many nieces and nephews.
A funeral for O'Connell was held July 7 at Good Shepherd Church.