Order of Premontre, Premonstratensians, Norbertines, and White Canons

R. D. Christian (Thomas) O’Brien, O. Praem.

Birth: May 30, 1935

Death: March 28, 2011

House: St. Norbert Abbey

Father Christian (Thomas) O’Brien, O. Praem., age 75, a member of the Norbertine Community of St. Norbert Abbey, De Pere, WI passed into God’s eternal kingdom on March 28, 2011.

Father O’Brien was born on May 30, 1935, in Green Bay, WI, to Dr. E.J. and Margaret (Hart) O’Brien.   

He attended St. Patrick’s Grade School and at Central Catholic High School in Green Bay was the valedictorian of his class and President of the student body.  He also played on the football and basketball teams.  In the summers 1954 through 1957 he was the popular park supervisor at Fisk Park on Green Bay’s west side.

 In 1957 Father O’Brien graduated from the University of Notre Dame in South Bend, Indiana.  He received a B.A. degree in Philosophy.  While at Notre Dame he was president of the Wranglers, a scholarly club.  Father earned a MA in Theology from Marquette University, Milwaukee, WI.

Upon entering St. Norbert Abbey, he was vested as a novice on August 28, 1957.  He professed                     Simple Vows on August 28, 1959, Solemn Vows on August 28, 1962 and was ordained to the Priesthood on September 12, 1962.

Father O’Brien began his ministry as a member of the faculty at Abbot Pennings High School and later at St. Norbert College, De Pere, WI.  He served as Assistant Pastor at St. Joseph Parish, De Pere, WI; Pastor at St. Joseph Parish, New Franken, WI, St. Martin Parish (Tonet), St. Amand Mission (Walhain), St. Odile Mission (Thiry Daems), Luxemburg, WI; and at Resurrection Parish, Green Bay, WI.

In 1987 his ministry took him to the Norbertine Priory of Santa Maria de la Vid, in Albuquerque, NM where he served as Associate Pastor at Holy Rosary Parish. Father O’Brian ministered as Chaplain at the Veterans Medical Center and the Albuquerque Regional Medical Center (formerly St. Joseph’s) in Albuquerque, NM.

Father O’Brien is survived by the Norbertine Community; three brothers, Rev. Dr. Charles (Elvy) O’Brien, Rev. John O’Brien, Dr. Michael (Sally) O’Brien; one sister, Patricia (Donald) Schneider and numerous nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his parents.

The Reception of the Body/Vespers of the Dead will be held at St. Norbert Abbey, on Sunday, April 3, at 7:00 p.m.  Visitation will follow until 8:30 p.m. and will continue on Monday, April 4 from 8:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m.  The Mass of Christian Burial will be held in the Abbey Church on Monday, April 4, at 4:30 p.m. Rt. Rev. Gary J. Neville, O. Praem., Abbot of St. Norbert Abbey will preside at the funeral liturgy.

Burial will be in the St. Norbert Cemetery.

Ryan Funeral Home, De Pere, is in charge of the arrangements.

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