LOS ANGELES (CNS) — Three days of remembrances for slain Archdiocese of Los Angeles Auxiliary Bishop David O’Connell concluded Friday with a funeral Mass at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels.
The beloved, 69-year-old “Bishop Dave” — whom Archbishop José H. Gomez described as “a peacemaker with a heart for the poor and the immigrant” — was found shot at his Hacienda Heights home just before 1 p.m. Feb. 18, and the husband of O’Connell’s housekeeper has been charged with murder.
Gomez presided over Friday’s service, and the homily was delivered by Msgr. Jarlath (Jay) Cunnane, the Archdiocese of Los Angeles said.
The service followed a memorial Mass at St. John Vianney Catholic Church in Hacienda Heights on Wednesday, and public viewings and a vigil Mass on Thursday, also at the cathedral.
O’Connell was a native of Ireland and had been a priest and later a bishop in Los Angeles for 45 years.
His body was discovered when a deacon went to O’Connell’s home to check on him, because O’Connell was apparently late for a meeting, Sheriff Robert Luna said.
Carlos Medina, 61, was arrested around 8:15 a.m. Feb. 20 following an hourslong standoff at his home in the 2400 block of Kenwood Avenue in Torrance. Luna said two firearms were recovered at Medina’s home.
Medina is the husband of O’Connell’s housekeeper, and he also performed handyman work at the bishop’s home, authorities said. He has been charged with murder, and District Attorney George Gascón said that Medina had confessed to the crime, although a motive remains unknown.
The murder charge against Medina includes an allegation of the personal use of a firearm, meaning he faces up to 35 years to life in state prison if he is convicted as charged.
At the time of his death, O’Connell was vicar for the Archdiocese of Los Angeles’ San Gabriel Pastoral Region, a post he had since 2015, when Pope Francis appointed him as an auxiliary bishop for the Los Angeles Archdiocese.
O’Connell had previously served as associate pastor at St. Raymond Catholic Church in Downey, St. Maria Goretti Catholic Church in Long Beach, and St. Hilary Church of Perpetual Adoration in Pico Rivera and then as pastor of St. Frances X. Cabrini, Ascension, St. Eugene and St. Michael’s parishes, all in Los Angeles.