Fr. O’Connor Named Rector of Creighton Jesuit Community
The Rev. Robert (Roc) F. O’Connor, S.J., has been appointed rector of Creighton University’s Jesuit Community by the Provincial of the Wisconsin Province of the Society of Jesus.
As rector, Fr. O’Connor will be responsible for fostering the spiritual and physical health of 50 Jesuits housed on Creighton’s campus. The appointment is effective Aug. 20.
Creighton’s current rector, the Rev. Richard J. Hauser, S.J., joined Creighton in 1972. He has served as religious superior of the University’s Jesuit community for the past six years while teaching in the Department of Theology and serving as director of Creighton’s Summer Christian Spirituality Program. He will return to those roles full-time in August.
An Omaha native, Fr. O’Connor has been a priest for more than 27 years. At Creighton, he is an instructor in the theology department, a liturgist, and an associate pastor of St. John’s Catholic Church. While serving as rector, he will continue teaching part-time in the theology department.
In the years following Vatican II in the early 1970s, Fr. O’Connor and several young Jesuit met at St. Louis University. Their companionship, centered on composing liturgical music, came to be called the St. Louis Jesuits. This group brought the ancient traditions of church music into the present by setting scripture to melodies in a contemporary idiom. In May 2006, Creighton University awarded the group, which composed, recorded and published nine collections, an honorary Doctor of Music degree for its thirty years of service to the Church.
Since being ordained in 1979, Fr. O’Connor has served as an associate pastor and minister of music at several parishes. In the late 1980s, he was a staff member of the Jesuit Novitiate in St Paul, Minn. After completing a Licentiate (S.T.L.) in Biblical Theology at the Weston Jesuit School of Theology (1993), he returned to St. Paul to be the Associate Catholic Chaplain at Macalester College for six years.
Since coming to Creighton in 2000, he completed a master’s degree in liturgical studies at The Catholic University of America. Fr. O’Connor plans to keep his hand in teaching, liturgical, and musical ministry during his tenure as rector.