Indiana Church Mourns After Two Pastors Die Within a Week from Car Crash and Cancer

Frs. Glenn O’Connor ( L-inset) and Kevin Morris (R-inset) who served at Saint Susanna Parish church in Plainfield, Indiana, both died tragically just days apart.

A day after Saint Susanna Church gathered to mourn their former pastor, Father Kevin Morris, who was killed in a tragic car crash last Tuesday, they were sent reeling in grief again when the man who replaced him in 2012, Father Glenn O’Connor, an auto-racing enthusiast known in racing circles as the “Priest in the Pits,” succumbed to stage 4 cancer on Friday.

“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 told Fox 59.

Authorities noted in an RTV6 report that Morris died Tuesday afternoon in a head-on crash after his car crossed the center line on U.S. 40, just outside of Richmond, Virginia, and hit the other vehicle.

Morris who would have been 64 in October, led Saint Susanna Church from 1999 until 2012. In a Facebook post on the day he died, the church noted that he “was well-loved by the Saint Susanna community.”

At the time of his death he was serving as pastor of the St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Church.

Even though Morris spent most of his priestly life in Virginia, his obituary noted that it was at Saint Susanna that he “blossomed as a priest.”

“He blossomed as a priest and developed the foundation of his ministry to an active, hospitable and growing parish.  The schoolchildren of St. Susanna, many of them now young adults, credited him with lighting the fire of faith in their souls and nurturing it toward active participation in the church,” it said.

Father O’Connor who was well known for his faith as well as his presence on the auto racing track in Indiana, was 66 when he died after his unsuccessful battle with cancer.

For more than four decades, O’Connor, according to the Indy Star, was a fixture at the Indianapolis 500 and other races.

“During the 500 last year, I thought it was funny and maybe a sign of good luck to have him in front of my pit,” IndyCar driver Simon Pagenaud told the publication. “It was always a sense of comfort to have him around and he was a lover of life.”

Click here to read more.

SOURCE: Christian Post, Leonardo Blair