Together with my brother bishops across California, I am in shock and dismay at the untimely and violent death of Bishop O’Connell.  We learned of his death Saturday afternoon with a message from Archbishop Jose Gomez.  This morning we learned that the death was a homicide.  An investigation is underway.

Bishop O’Connell was a man of deep prayer and one who stood closely with his people, through crises, joys, and difficulties.  An immigrant himself from Ireland, he cared deeply for the immigrant, the imprisoned, and the poor, bringing to them the hope of the Gospel, helping them to make their lives better, and showing them how to build a more just society.

I ask you to join Archbishop Gomez and me, and countless people whose lives he touched through his priestly and episcopal ministry, to pray for the repose of his soul and for justice and peace.

Bishop Oscar Cantú