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Surnames: O'Brien, Buckley, Eldon, Freberg, Vincent, Connealy, Cobalt
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The Dunlap Reporter March 28, 2003
A Mass of the Resurrection for Fr. Michael J. O'Brien C.S.V. was celebrated at 10 a.m.
Monday, March 24, 2003 at the Viatorian Provincial Center, 1212 E. Euclid Ave., Arlington
Born July 9, 1920 in Dunlap, Iowa, the son of Joseph and Mary (nee Buckley) O'Brien,
he died Thursday, March 20, 2003 at the Villa Desiderata Retreat Center in McHenry, Ill.
Burial was in the Viatorian section of Queen of Heaven Cemetery, Hillside, Ill.
Fr. O'Brien professed First Vows as a Viatorian on January 25, 1942, Final Vows on
February 2, 1945, and was ordained to priesthood on June 6, 1948 in Sioux City, Iowa by
He was a graduate of St. Joseph High School (1933-37) in Dunlap. He attended St. Ambrose
College in Davenport and graduated from Fordham University (1943-45) in New York City,
N.Y., with a B.S. in Chemistry. He went on to graduate studies at Catholic University
(1952-57) in Washington, D.C., where he received his M.S. and his Ph.D. in Counseling
During his ministry, Fr. O'Brien served the Church as educator, administrator,
chaplain, parish priest and counselor. His first assignment was St. Joseph's School
for the Deaf (1943-45) in New York, N.Y., where he served as Prefect. After ordination, he
was assigned to Archbishop Stepinac High School (1948-52) in New York, N.Y., as a teacher
and then taught at Loyola University (1956-60) in Chicago, Ill.
He was assigned to the Evanston Viatorian Seminary (1960) as Director and Regent. From
there he was assigned to the Viatorian Seminary in Washington, D.C. (1961-66) as Director
and Regent. He returned to Loyola University as a member of the faculty (1966-86) and was
then assigned to St. Joseph Retirement Home, Palatine, Ill., as Chaplain (1986-April
He began working at Catholic Charities in the Diocese of Joliet (1987-89) as Pastoral
Counselor and was then assigned to St. Patrick Church, Kankakee, Ill. (1989-93) as
Parochial Vicar. He was Chaplain at Our Lady of Victory Nursing Home in Bourbonnais, Ill.,
from April of 1993 through April 30, 1995. He then retired to the Province Center
Retirement Residence in Arlington Heights, Ill., where he lived until the fall of 2002.
Fr. O'Brien then moved to Villa Desiderata Retreat Center in McHenry, Ill., where he
had celebrated Mass and co-coordinated retreats throughout his retirement years. He spent
his last days surrounded by family and the people of his community that he had come to
love so much.
Fr. O'Brien is survived by his sister, Mary Frances (Eldon) Freberg of Omaha, Neb., 20
nieces and nephews and numerous great-nieces and nephews.
In addition to his parents, Fr. O'Brien was preceded in death by his brothers, Rev.
Thomas G. O'Brien C.S.V., and Daniel P. O'Brien and his sisters, Elizabeth
(Vincent) Connealy, Margaret Rita Cobolt and Kathleen G. Connealy.
Visitation took place on Sunday, March 23, 2003 from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the Villa
Desiderata Retreat Center, 3015 N. Bayview Lane, McHenry, Ill.
Funeral arrangements were by Lauterburg and Oehler Funeral Home of Arlington Heights,
Respectfully submitted for other researchers
©The Dunlap Reporter 2003