The Most Rev. Dennis Patrick O’Neil, auxiliary bishop of the Roman
Catholic Diocese of San Bernardino and a former associate pastor at
St. Finbar Catholic Church in Burbank, has died of natural causes.
Diocesan officials found O’Neil, 63, late Sunday morning in his
Grand Terrace residence after he failed to show up for several events
over the weekend.
O’Neil was the first of 10 children of Robert and Patricia
O’Neil. He was born in Fremont, Neb., but moved to Montrose and
attended Holy Redeemer Elementary School. He went to Loyola High
School in Los Angeles and received his bachelor’s degree from Loyola
University in 1961.
After graduating from Loyola, he attended St. John’s Seminary in
Camarillo and was ordained a priest for the Archdiocese of Los
Angeles in 1966.
While an associate pastor at St. Barbara’s in Santa Ana in the
mid-1970s, O’Neil helped Vietnam refugees settle in the area. He
continued refugee work at his next church, St. Finbar, where he
served from 1975-79, his brother, Rob O’Neil, said.
He served five years as a missionary in Alaska, and then served
his first pastorate at St. Thomas the Apostle parish in Los Angeles.
At St. Thomas, O’Neil began a youth soccer league under the
auspices of the parish.
A viewing and vigil service was Thursday and the funeral Mass was
Friday at St. Paul the Apostle Church in Chino Hills, where O’Neil
was ordained a bishop on March 26, 2001.
Cardinal Roger Mahony, archbishop of Los Angeles, and the Rev.
Gerald T. Barnes, bishop of San Bernardino, led the concelebrated
Mass. Burial was at Mountain View Cemetery in San Bernardino.
O’Neil is survived by his mother, Patricia Cannon O’Neil of
Montrose; brothers Rob of La Crescenta and Kevin of Glendale; sisters
Kathleen Braun of Mission Viejo, Mary Candace Rucker of Glendale,
Brigid Halpenny of Glendale, Patricia Hoying of Manhattan Beach, and
Anne Frazee of Montrose; and 37 nieces and nephews.