Archdiocese of Boston Appoints O’Connor General Counsel

BOSTON – Cardinal Seán P. O’Malley has appointed Francis J. O’Connor, Esq. as General Counsel of the Archdiocese of Boston. 

Previously Assistant General Counsel, O’Connor succeeds the late F. Beirne Lovely who passed away on June 7, 2020.

“Fran O’Connor is an experienced attorney who is respected across the Archdiocese and within the legal community,” said Cardinal Seán. “I have worked closely with Fran over the past eleven years as he has served as Assistant General Counsel and I appreciate his sound judgment and commitment to the mission of the Church. He brings a sense of fairness and decency to the position as well as provides wise counsel across a wide spectrum of issues. We are grateful for his willingness to undertake this demanding and important leadership position in the Archdiocese of Boston.”

O’Connor said, “I am honored by the confidence Cardinal Seán has shown in me by offering me this opportunity to continue serving the Church. I look forward to working with and in support of our parishes, schools and ministries. Getting to know and advise our priests these past many years has provided me a unique perspective and great appreciation for the essential ministry they provide to the people of God. We are a blessed Church and I am proud to serve Cardinal Seán and the Archdiocese of Boston.”

He will serve on the Cardinal’s Cabinet and as an in-house General Counsel for the Archdiocese of Boston.  

The General Counsel’s portfolio is extensive in terms of executing contracts and real estate transactions, overseeing litigation, policy implementation that requires legal oversight as well as advises the Cardinal and senior leadership on a number of mission critical matters. 

His office works in a collaborative manner with the entire Archdiocesan community, including clergy, religious, parishes, schools and laity, to assist in meeting their diverse needs.

Issues related to clergy sexual abuse will continue under the oversight of Mark Dunderdale, Esq., Director of Professional Standards and Oversight, for the Archdiocese of Boston.

A graduate of Marquette University and Suffolk University Law School, O’Connor joined the Archdiocese in 2009 as Assistant General Counsel. He previously practiced law with the Rogers Law Firm. 

He has served as a Board Member of the Massachusetts Board of Bar Examiners since 2018. 

He is admitted to practice in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts (1987), the United States District Court (1988), the United States Court of Appeals (1988) and the United States Supreme Court (2008). His memberships include the Massachusetts Bar Association, the National Diocesan Attorneys Association, the Catholic Lawyers Guild, the Association of Corporate Counsel and the Norfolk County Bar Association.

Both the Cardinal and O’Connor acknowledge the long and distinguished service Lovely provided to the Archdiocese. Cardinal Seán said, “Beirne loved the Church. He cared deeply for our priests and the people of the Archdiocese. He was a man of great integrity who willingly shared his expertise and knowledge in addressing the many challenging issues facing the Church. He will be missed.” 

O’Connor added, “Beirne was a mentor to me and a friend. I learned much during our time working together. He and his wife Joan and their family will remain in my prayers always.”

O’Connor and his wife Toni-Ann reside in Hanover. They are the parents of two girls: Collette, who is in her second year of medical school and Paige, who is entering her senior year in college.

Francis J. O’Connor, Esq. Photo credit: The Pilot

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