The Diocese of Jefferson City

A Case Study of Clergy Sexual Abuse

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Childproof 34: An Epitaph for Anthony J. O’Connell

Page 34

Dear Bishop Gaydos:

Does it matter how death takes you?  After all, death is death.  As for Anthony J. O’Connell, we just may have his epitaph here.  Please feel free to consider the following.


Anthony J. O’Connell
10 May 1938 — 4 May 2012
An Epitaph for O’Connell
 “Everyone must leave something in the room or
leave behind when he dies . . .  A child or a book
or a painting or a house or a wall built or a pair
of shoes made.  Or a garden planted.  Something
your hand touched some way so your soul has
somewhere to go when you die, and when people
look at that tree or that flower you planted, you’re
there.  It doesn’tmatter what you do . . . so long
as you change something from the way it was before
you touched it into something that’s like you after
you take your hands away.  The difference between
the man who just cuts lawns and a real gardener is
in the touching . . .  The lawn-cutter might just as
well not have been there at all; the gardener will
be there a lifetime.”

Ray Bradbury
Fahrenheit 451

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