The cardinal’s legacy is already honored at the school, as his portrait is one of three that hangs in the school’s dining room. Further, the school annually awards a Founder’s Medal to honor his name. In the future, the school will award a need-based, Cardinal O’Connell scholarship.
St. Sebastian’s is a Catholic, independent day school that enrolls 350 boys in Grades 7 through 12.
However, the late Cardinal, in his will, states, “I direct that my funeral obsequies be as simple as possible and that I be buried in the Chapel of the Blessed Virgin on the grounds of St. John’s Seminary, Brighton, Massachusetts.”
Edward Kirk, great nephew of Cardinal O’Connell, a practicing attorney from Centerville, says that members of the family will challenge the ruling.
“It’s my estimation that we’ll be filing our opposition to the complaint that has been filed,” Kirk said.
Kirk’s brother, Paul, was at one time the chairman of the Democratic National Committee and an aide to the late Senator Edward M. Kennedy.
When asked about whether the late cardinal should remain at his current site, Kirk said, “That’s the basic position of a lot of us. We think that’s where he wanted to be and where we think he should stay.”
The historical significance of the tomb has drawn attention from the Massachusetts Historical Commission.
Cardinal O’Connell was the fifth bishop and second Archbishop of Boston, from 1907 to 1944. He was also Boston’s first cardinal.
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