PLAINFIELD, Ind. – A Plainfield church is mourning the loss of two pastors, Father Glenn O’Connor and Father Kevin Morris.
Morris died in a crash on Tuesday, and O’Connor passed away from stage 4 cancer on Friday. Those back to back deaths have left Saint Susanna Parish church members devastated.
"You could tell people have a lot of anguish, a lot of pent up anxiety over the loss of these two great men in three days time," Saint Susanna Parish Deacon Charlie Giesting said.
There’s no doubt in Giesting’s mind that father Glenn O’Connor and Father Kevin Morris walked right into heaven.
"We know where they are at. We will get there too; it will take a little bit of time," Deacon Charlie Giesting said.
He said both men had a love for Christ and served their congregation well.
"When I was reading about the transfiguration as our gospel this week, and I saw Moses, and I saw Elijah next to Jesus. I also imaged in my mind Father Glenn and Father Kevin standing next to Jesus in that heaven," Giesting said.
Morris served as the head pastor at Saint Susanna Parish from 1999 until 2011. Father Glenn took over once he left.
"He backed up everything he said and more by what he did every day. The man was non-stop. He was always doing something thinking about God’s kingdom," Giesting said.
It’s hard saying goodbye to their pastors, but Giesting said leaning on one another will help with the grief.
"When we get there, we are hopefully going to say hi to our relatives and others we knew. I’m going to be looking for those guys. I’m going to find them," Giesting said.
Father Morris’s funeral is being held this Monday. Father O’Connor’s funeral date hasn’t been set.
Hulman & Company, the parent organization of INDYCAR and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, released a statement about the passing of Glenn O’Connor.
"Indianapolis native O’Connor was a fixture around the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and NTT IndyCar Series paddock for more than 40 years – celebrating Mass, administering to spiritual needs and working on pit crews for numerous Indianapolis 500 teams – and served as the Catholic chaplain for IndyCar Ministry. O’Connor, who was known by many as “the priest in the pits,” also served in numerous Indianapolis-area parishes and was the Catholic chaplain for the Indianapolis International Airport.
Everyone at INDYCAR and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway is saddened about the passing of Father Glenn O’Connor. His passion for auto racing, especially his beloved Indianapolis 500 and the Month of May, made him a legendary and revered figure across the paddock.
His devotion to serving God and people through his various ministries fueled a life of inspiration, giving and character. Father Glenn had such a warm personality, with a wide smile and hearty laugh that he shared with everyone he met, whether he was celebrating Mass in Gasoline Alley with his trademark checkered flag stole or turning a wrench for an Indy 500 team. We’re going to miss him dearly.”