March 15th, 2009


The O'Brien file- 2009 St. Patricks Day Grand Marshal


-- Father Patrick John O'Brien was born in Kileagh, County Cork, Ireland.

-- A multi-sport athlete at Mount Melleray College in Waterford, he played Gaelic football and rugby before earning his degree in philosophy.

-- He earned a graduate degree in theology from St. Peter's College in Wexford, where he was ordained a Catholic priest on June 1, 1969, and has done graduate work in the U.S. at Loyola University, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Tulane University, the University of Missouri and the U.S. Army War College in Carlisle, Pa.

-- He came to Savannah shortly after his ordination. Parish assignments include Nativity of Our Lord Church, the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist and Our Lady of Lourdes. He was founding pastor of St. Peter the Apostle parish. He's also worked at Cathedral Day School and St. Vincent's Academy.

-- He has served as chaplain for a number of law enforcement organizations, as well as such Irish organizations as the St. Patrick's Day Parade Committee, the Daughters of Ireland and the Ladies Ancient Order of Hibernians.

-- While he never lost his love for Mother Ireland, O'Brien also is devoted to his adopted country, having become a U.S. citizen some 30 years ago.

Clergy as grand marshal

When he donned the sash last Sunday, Father Patrick John O'Brien became only the fourth member of the clergy to serve as St. Patrick's Day Parade grand marshal. The others, all deceased, were:

-- The Rev. Joseph E. Ware in 2004.

-- Msgr. Daniel J Bourke in 1997.

-- Msgr. T. James McNamara in 1967.