Father John W. O’Brien became pastor of St. Lucy in July 2008. He was born in Providence in 1949, the son of Marie and Francis J. O’Brien (both now deceased). He has four sisters (Maureen, Sandra (deceased), Joan, and Elaine) and a brother (James).
After growing up in Smithfield, RI, he attended La Salle Academy (1963-1965) and entered Our Lady of Providence High School Seminary (1965-1967). He continued for one year at Our Lady of Providence College Seminary (1967-1968) before leaving to attend the University of Rhode Island, where he earned a BA in Psychology (1971) and an MA in Experimental Psychology (1975).
After several years in “civilian life” – including parish lay ministry and early involvement (1973) with the Catholic Charismatic Renewal Movement – Father John again felt called to the priesthood. He completed his seminary studies at the Gregorian University, Rome, in the process earning a Bachelor of Sacred Theology (1980) and an MA in Theology (1981). He was ordained to the priesthood in the Cathedral of SS. Peter and Paul, Providence, on June 12, 1982.
Father John has served as assistant pastor at Our Lady of Grace, Johnston (1982-1986) and St. Matthew’s, Cranston (1986-1991); chaplain at Rhode Island Hospital (1991-1998); and assistant pastor at St. Elizabeth’s, Bristol (1998-2001). Prior to coming to St. Lucy, he was assistant pastor, then pastor, at St. Anthony Parish, Pawtucket, where he served from 2001-2008. As a priest, he has also continued his involvement with the Catholic Charismatic Renewal Movement, eventually serving as Diocesan Liaison.