In Loving Memory of Rev. Msgr. Cornelius P. O'Leary

June 29, 1922
Bridgeport, Connecticut
February 14, 2020
Riverside, CA
Funeral Home

Spear-Miller Funeral Home

39 South Benson Road,
Fairfield CT US 06824


St. Augustine's Cathedral

Mass of Christian Burial

399 Washington Avenue,
Bridgeport CT 06604

Saturday February 22, 2020 10:00am


St. Michael's Cemetery, Chapel Mausoleum

2205 Stratford Avenue,
Stratford CT 06615

February 22, 2020

Family Gathering


Cornelius Patrick O'Leary

Rev. Msgr. Cornelius Patrick O’Leary, Col. USAF (Ret.), age 97, of Riverside, CA, passed peacefully on Friday, February 14, 2020. Born June 29, 1922, in Bridgeport to Patrick and Catherine (Murphy) O’Leary, he attended St. Augustine School and later Bassick High School for three years before attending St. Thomas Seminary in Bloomfield in 1942. He completed his seminary studies at the University of Niagara, receiving his B.A. in 1944, and his M.A. in 1947. Msgr. Connie was ordained in 1948 at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Camden, NJ. In 1955 he joined the United States Air Force and attended Chaplain School at Lackland Air Force Base in Texas. He then served as a Catholic Chaplain in many places such as Bermuda, Bitburg, Germany, and finally in Riverside, CA. While in Germany, he took a trip to the Vatican City and met Pope Paul VI in 1970. Once he settled in California, Msgr. Connie received his PhD in Ministry from the San Francisco Theological Seminary in 1980, and a second PhD in Philosophy in Leadership and Human Behavior from the United States International University of San Diego in 1984. Msgr. Connie is survived by his two loving nieces and their spouses, Sheila and Dr. Christian Heineken of Shelton, Patricia and Thomas Maguire of Milford; several great-nieces and nephews; as well as two devoted friends, Lya O’Brien and Linda Kocian. He is predeceased by his parents and his two brothers, Charles and John. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at St. Augustine's Cathedral, 399 Washington Ave., Bridgeport, on Saturday, February 22, 2020 at 10:00am with interment to follow at the St. Michael’s Cemetery Mausoleum, 2205 Stratford Ave., Stratford. For information or to sign an online register, please visit

Sign the Guestbook

Print Guestbook

14 Guestbook Entries for Rev. Msgr. Cornelius Patrick O’Leary

  1. I had the honor of caring for Fr. O’Leary while working at Air Force Village West/Altavita. I always enjoyed stopping by his room and having those long talks…. he always had wonderful stories to share with me…. I will miss that. I was hoping to go back to California an stop by to visit him, I’m so sorry I will not get to do that:’-( I had made picture boards for Fr. Iglesias and Fr. Cardoza; Fr. O’Leary wanted one too ….. I pray someone will fulfill his wish. I will miss him and will keep him and all who looked after him in my prayers.

  2. In memory of Fr. O’Leary for all the kind services provided to our parishioners and as well as staff members, please accept our condolences. He is missed. Our prayers are with you on your journey home!

  3. It has been an honor to meet and know Msgr. O’Leary these many years. We shared so many memories of our East Coast upbringing and old stomping grounds. He was such a kind and gentle man. I so enjoyed his stories about his beloved puppy Kevin. Since we both loved our dogs we would share funny antics of our fur babies, they would make us laugh. He will be greatly missed.
    I pray for his eternal peace and Heavens reward for such a faithful servant.
    Blessings Always, Angela Loran Boggeln, St. Martha Catholic Church, Murrieta , CA., Diocese of San Bernardino.

  4. My family met Father when I was 3 (1963) years old in Japan, he has been apart of our family ever since. We lived together in Germany and when he moved to Riverside and us to Vegas we’d often visit. He would call every other night and we never missed an opportunity to tell him we loved him.
    He was such a big part of our lives, we will miss him forever. We love you Vati

  5. I have very fond memories of Msgr. O’Leary. He was a very devoted priest. He cared for all of us deeply. We became a close knit military family in short time. I have know him for years. In fact – he married my parents in the church at March, where my sister and I were the lucky ones to be the witnesses after my father had obtained an annulment to his previous marriage. My parents faithfully took us to church all those years before they were married in the eyes of God.

    I also remember a day when I ran into him at the library – he was coming out with a book cart full of books he had just purchased from the “for sale” section. The librarian said he always comes in for books. He just doesn’t bring that many back – he had a ton of books and loved reading about history.

    He was a very smart man and treated everyone with the utmost compassion.

    I went to his memorial mass yesterday in San Bernardino and you would have loved that we had a “FAMILY” section, because you see – we had a lot of us that were family to him and he to us since we met him when he was in the military. We are family and he will be dearly missed.

    God bless you all. He is now at peace and has his dream PCS assignment and is with our Lord God and Savior. RIP Msgr. O’Leary. Thanks for all the talks, stories and just listening over the years. You will be missed.

  6. RIP Msgr. O’Leary. We became family over the years through our military association. You were one of a kind and will be greatly missed. Thank you for all you did for myself and my family. You lived a good life and helped a lot of people along the way. Your memorial mass showed just how much you impacted others and their families over the years. We also had the pleasure of listening to the Bishop read a letter from your old Diocese of Camden. There wasn’t a soul who met you who didn’t appreciate you and love you from the very start.

    God bless your family. I know they are proud of who you were.

  7. My family was so blessed to have known him for over 50 years. He was sent to us as a guardian angel during a difficult time in our life. He was more than a Msgr. to us, he was truly a beautiful soul, man of deep integrity, and man whose love was always shared to all he met. I miss him but know he lives on in our hearts and memories.