The George and Ann O’Connell Memorial       

“Honoring Our Family"


The Church of St Thomas in St Thomas Minnesota is the ancestral parish of George Burns and Ann O’Connell.  As you may be aware in October 2010 the of St Paul-Minneapolis recommended that the Church of St Thomas merge (close) with St Wenceslaus in New Prague.  St Thomas was identified to close not due to finances but due to lack of priests to serve all the parishes and to low number of parishioners.  After some discussion with the Archdiocese the recommended merger was modified.

The Church of St Thomas along with the cemetery remains open.  Currently they are considered part of the parish of St Ann’s in Le Sueur. They have a plan to continue to have mass at St Thomas once a month.  They can still have weddings and funerals.  Some parishioners are attending other area churches.

In other words, there is still a strong interest in keeping the parish open.  “Many have had time to process the idea and are getting onboard with the idea of keeping the church open as much as possible”.

Several people in the O’Connell Burns family were concerned about the situation in St Thomas and met to brainstorm ideas to find a way to help.  There are just a few bills that the church has; lights, heat, insurance, cemetery, but no salaries or benefits to pay, otherwise they have no debt!  We all wholeheartedly decided….


to honor our ancestry,

 “The George and Ann O’Connell Burns Memorial Fund”

is hereby established!


It is our intention to “kick-off” the Memorial Fund idea at the picnic so that we could start collecting donations.  Already other parish families have been making contributions in memory of their family members. 


Checks can be mailed to Tom Connelly’s home:   30700 241st Ave. Le Sueur, MN 56058, 507-995-7424.  Just make a note that this donation is in memory of George and Ann O’Connell Burns.  Tom collects and records the donation.  The donation stays with the Church of St Thomas.

Please consider this memorial as your new charity of choice in lieu of some others you might be giving to.  Link to church website:

Any questions comments or concerns contact:  Ken and Dick O’Connell, Nita Twaroski, Joann deLeon, Doug Burns, John “Hula” Burns, Marge Ecker, Ann Kegley, Steve Landgraf, Tom Burns or Tom Connelly.


A Family Prayer
Dear Lord, with Mary and Joseph, you have lived within a family; teach me always to appreciate

the precious gift of being part of a family.  Show me ever new ways to protect and comfort those

closest to me, and let me, each day, do something that will say ‘I love you’ without speaking the words.

But remind me also to frequently say those words. Let me never part from any member of my family
in anger. Prompt me always to turn back without delay - to forgive, and be forgiven.                       
And let me see your image within each person in my own family, and in my greater family,

knowing that in your Kingdom, we will truly be one family, united by your sacrifice on the cross. 



         July 2011


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