O'BRIEN, M. C.
Rev. M. C. O’BRIEN, pastor of St. Ann’s Catholic church of Toluca,
is a native of
Ireland. After completing his
theological studies in Troy, N.
Y., he was ordained in
Massachusetts, in September, 1879,
by Archbishop Williams, in the church of which his brother was
assistant pastor. His first pastorate was in
Illinois, where he served as
assistant priest, and also served in the same capacity at
Monmouth. His first charge as pastor was in
Ohio, Bureau county, Illinois, after which he
was transferred to Lacon.
church of Toluca was established through the
efforts of Father O’BRIEN, then pastor of the Immaculate
Conception church at Lacon, where he had located in 1884. In
October, 1893, he came to Toluca, where he succeeded
in calling together a meeting of perhaps fifty persons, who were
members of other parishes, and services were first held in a
building in what is now known as the old town. In the following
October he became a resident of Toluca and the regular
pastor, holding services in the Fay hotel, which was not then
completed. Father O’Brien raised the funds with which he erected
the first house of worship, and mass was there celebrated for
the first time on Christmas morning, 1893. The old building is
still standing, but a much better church has since been erected.
It is a beautiful, modern structure, one hundred by forty-four
feet, with a seating capacity of six hundred, and was erected at
a cost of fifteen thousand dollars. This was raised through the
efforts of Father O’Brien, who is an indefatigable worker in its
interests. Here services were first held Easter morning, 1896,
and on the 19th of the following July the church was dedicated,
and a class of sixty confirmed by Bishop Spaulding.
Father O’BRIEN is a conscientious, earnest
Christian, faithful in the discharge of his duties, a friend to
the poor and needy, and he has the love and respect, not only of
his parishioners, but of the community at large. Under his
pastorate his present congregation has steadily increased. In
politics he is a democrat, and an advocate of free silver.
Extracted May 2011 by Norma Hass from
The Biographical Record of Bureau, Marshall and Putnam Counties, Illinois, 1896.