Rev. James E. O’Connor, also known as Father Jim, is a brother of the Sacred Heart Province of the Third Order Regular of St. Francis of Assisi. He is a graduate of West Virginia University with a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy, and of St. Michael’s College of the Toronto School of Theology of the University of Toronto, Ontario, Canada, with a Master of Divinity.
Prior to his higher education, Father Jim served in the United States Air Force as a North Vietnamese linguist and crew member of reconnaissance missions in Vietnam and South East Asia. While studying in Toronto, Father Jim served as deacon for the Vietnamese Catholic Community of Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
After ordination to the Roman Catholic priesthood, Father Jim ministered as an associate pastor in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. From there he became the pastor of the Marshall Catholic Community, overseeing the operation of the Catholic Newman Center at Marshall University, Huntington, West Virginia. He was the pastor of several parishes before beginning his present assignment as the Pastor of St. Augustine Church, Grafton, and St. Elizabeth Parish and Newman Center, Philippi, West Virginia.
As a musician/Christian songwriter/vocalist, Father Jim has traveled with his “Rejoicing in the Spirit” trio to more than a hundred United States Catholic churches. In 2000, he was invited to perform and give a musical presentation directing the combined choirs from the United States and Figi battalions of the Multi-National Peacekeeping Forces based in Egypt. In 2007, he was invited to give a musical presentation to United States troops stationed in Seoul, South Korea.