The wake for Father William P. O’Neill, senior priest-retired, will begin with vespers at 3 p.m. July 17 in St. Clare Church, 5659 Mayfield Road, Lyndhurst. Bishop Martin Amos, retired bishop of Davenport, Iowa, will preside. Father Richard Gonser will be the homilist. The wake will continue until 7 p.m.
Bishop-elect Michael Woost will celebrate Father O’Neill’s funeral Mass at 11 a.m. July 18 in St. Clare Church, with Father Allan Laubenthal as homilist.
Father O’Neill, 87, died on July 12.
He was born Feb. 15, 1935 to the late Harold and Gertrude (Flecknoe) O’Neill. Father O’Neill was educated at St. Aloysius School, Cleveland; St. William School, Euclid; Cathedral Latin High School, Cleveland; St. Charles College, Catonsville, Maryland; Borromeo Seminary, Wickliffe; and Saint Mary Seminary, Cleveland.
Bishop Floyd Begin ordained him to the priesthood for service to the Diocese of Cleveland on May 20, 1961 in the Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist.
Father O’Neill’s first assignment was as parochial vicar of St. Jerome Parish, Cleveland. He began canon law studies on June 10, 1965 at The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. On June 15, 1967, Father O’Neill was appointed diocesan chancellor and was assigned to serve as parochial vicar of St. Paul Parish, Euclid. He was assigned as parochial vicar of the Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist, Cleveland on Oct. 12, 1967.
He served in several positions in the diocesan Tribunal, beginning with his appointment as secretary of the Tribunal on Oct. 2, 1968. During this time, he also was assigned to serve as parochial vicar of St. Francis Parish, Cleveland. Father O’Neill was appointed defender of the bond and notary on June 18, 1969; vice-officialis, diocesan Tribunal, on Oct. 1 1974, officialis of the Tribunal on Feb. 9, 1979.
Father O’Neill was named pastor of St. Clare Parish April 7, 1983. On Jan. 1, 1993, he was appointed adjunct judicial vicar, presiding judge, Interdio Appeal Court. He was named pastor of Our Lady of Grace Parish, Hinckley, where he served until his retirement on Aug 31, 2010.
Those who knew him said Father O’Neill will be remembered especially for his love of the Blessed Mother and his prayerful life.
Interment will be at Calvary Cemetery, Cleveland.