John Joseph O'Hara

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John Joseph O'Hara
Auxiliary Bishop Emeritus of New York
Titular Bishop of Ath Truim
ChurchRoman Catholic
ArchdioceseNew York
AppointedJune 14, 2014
InstalledAugust 4, 2014
RetiredApril 7, 2021
Other post(s)Titular Bishop of Ath Truim
OrdinationDecember 1, 1984
by John Joseph O'Connor
ConsecrationAugust 4, 2014
by Timothy M. Dolan, Gerald Thomas Walsh, and Dominick John Lagonegro
Personal details
Born (1946-02-07) February 7, 1946 (age 78)
ResidenceSt. Agnes' Church (Manhattan), St. Charles' Church (Staten Is.)
MottoJesus, I trust in you
Styles of
John Joseph O'Hara
Reference style
Spoken styleYour Excellency
Religious styleBishop

John Joseph O'Hara (born February 7, 1946) is an American prelate of the Catholic Church, who served as an auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of New York from 2014 to 2021.


Early life[edit]

St. Joseph's Seminary, Yonkers, New York

O'Hara was born on February 7, 1946, in Jersey City, New Jersey, and was educated in a Catholic elementary school in Ridgewood, New Jersey, and at Don Bosco Preparatory High School in Ramsey, New Jersey. He earned a Bachelor of English degree from Seton Hall University in South Orange, New Jersey.[1] While a student, O'Hara was active in the school's radio station, WSOU, serving as news director during the 1966-67 academic year.[2] O'Hara worked in broadcast journalism for 13 years before entering St. Joseph's Seminary in Yonkers, New York.[3]


St. Charles's Church, New York City

O'Hara was ordained into the priesthood for the Archdiocese of New York by Archbishop John O'Connor on December 1, 1984.[4] His assignments, both in Staten Island, included St. Charles Parish' as parochial vicar from 1984 to 1992, and St. Teresa's Parish from 1992 to 2012 as both parochial vicar and pastor.[5] O'Hara served as the director of strategic pastoral planning for the archdiocese from 2012 to 2022, where he led the "Making All Things New" planning process for parish mergers.[6]

Auxiliary Bishop of New York[edit]

O'Hara was named titular bishop of Ath Truim and an auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of New York by Pope Francis on June 14, 2014. He was consecrated by Cardinal Timothy Dolan in St. Patrick's Cathedral in Manhattan on August 4, 2014. Auxiliary bishops Gerald Walsh and Dominick Lagonegro were the co-consecrators.[4] O'Hara's crosier had been used by Cardinal Terence Cooke, a former archbishop of New York.[5]

In October 2017, O'Hara intervened to prevent the International Human Rights Art Festival from performing at one of the churches in the archdiocese due to some gay and transgender content. The archdiocese offered to host the event if these specific acts were rejected, but the festival director declined.[7][8] In contrast, after Staten Island's 2020 Saint Patrick's Parade was heavily criticized for excluding supporters of LBGTQ+ rights, O'Hara planned to meet with the "hard line" parade organizer to urge "change in the future".[9][10]


On February 7, 2021, O'Hara reached the mandatory retirement age of 75 and submitted his letter of resignation as auxiliary bishop of New York to Pope Francis, as required by canon law. On April 7, 2021, the pope accepted O'Hara's resignation.[11] He has continued to serve as episcopal vicar of Staten Island and as vicar of planning for the archdiocese.[6]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Bishop John O'Hara". Archdiocese of New York. Retrieved 2023-11-09.
  2. ^
  3. ^ Chicoine, Christie L. (August 6, 2014). "Bishop O'Hara: His Broadcaster's Voice is Paired With a Pastor's Heart". Catholic New York. Retrieved May 30, 2020.
  4. ^ a b Cheney, David M. "Bishop John Joseph O'Hara". Catholic-Hierarchy. Retrieved August 14, 2014.
  5. ^ a b Woods, John (July 24, 2014). "Ordination of Three Auxiliary Bishops". Catholic New York. Retrieved August 14, 2014.
  6. ^ a b Barron, Ann Marie (March 31, 2022). "'A big heart': Retired Bishop John O'Hara has no plans to stop serving the people of Staten Island". Staten Island Advance. Retrieved June 27, 2022.
  7. ^ Avery, Dan (October 15, 2017). "Human Rights Performance Forced To Move After Catholic Church Complains About Gay Content". Retrieved April 9, 2021.
  8. ^ Otterman, Sharon (October 13, 2017). "Festival Moves Event After Church Objects to Gay-Themed Content". The New York Times. Retrieved April 9, 2021.
  9. ^ Kashiwagi, Sydney (February 19, 2020). "'Don't try to keep asking a million friggin' questions, OK?' says Island St. Patrick's Parade organizer on Pride Center's role". Staten Island Advance. Retrieved August 28, 2020.
  10. ^ Farinacci, Amanda (March 3, 2020). "After a Heavily Boycotted Staten Island St. Patrick's Day Parade, Will Anything Change?". Spectrum News NY1. Retrieved August 28, 2020.
  11. ^ Woods, John (April 7, 2021). "His Canonical Appointment Completed, Bishop John O'Hara Plans to Continue Serving". Catholic New York. Retrieved April 9, 2021.

External links[edit]