ForeverMissed
This memorial page was created in honor of our beloved pastor and friend Father James F. O'Grady (April 1, 1934-  January 25, 2021).  

Tributes to Father O'Grady on the Midwest Ireland Radio Death Notices page can be accessed here:   
https://www.midwestradio.ie/index.php/obituaries-home/44750-fr-jimmy-o-grady-los-angeles-usa-and-formerly-of-carrowena-killasser-swinford

Posted by reid rosati on February 17, 2021
One of my fondest memories was the few hours I was able to spend with him while I was in LA for a work trip several years ago. He made time for me even though he was busy, and I'll forever cherish his love and consideration. We miss you, Great Uncle Jimmy!
Posted by Thomas Russell on February 16, 2021
I was in the 7th grade when Father O'Grady arrived at Visitation. I remember being impressed by his friendly, easy going manner. Fast forward ten years later to 1973. I was standing on the alter at (I think St. Lawrence in Redondo Beach) awaiting instructions as I was about to be best man at my best friend's wedding. When who should appear but Father O'Grady. I exclaimed"Father O'Grady! I remember you at Visitation!" Noticing my Marine Corps uniform he quipped " Yes, well you had your boot camp, and I had mine". Of course, ironically he wound up back at Visitation and we were blessed for many years to come on account of it. He was a man who didn't hesitate to speak his mind. And also a very thoughtful , considerate and kind man. I've read some wonderful tributes about him. Among those; that he had a certain unique and genuine presence about him. Sort of a combination of light and real substance. That he did. And the quickest wit in the west. Father Jim O'Grady, you were always there for my family, and me. You cared. We love you. You will be missed dearly.
Posted by Jonathan Geraghty on February 15, 2021
It's with great sadness to hear of the passing of Fr Jimmy O'Grady. Fr Jimmy was an incredibly decent, respectful, thoughtful, compassionate and understanding man. He performed his duties honourably and was an incredible support in times of need and solace. His wit, sense of humour and gregarious nature was always admired by all he encountered. Fr Jimmy always kept up with the times. He approached situations and issues with a sense of pragmatism and honesty. He seen people for who they were inside, treated them fairly, regardless of their background, social standing or occupation. A humble and selfless servant who performed his duties without vanity or need for recognition. Fr Jimmy will be remembered by all in visitation. But he will be especially remembered by all in his ancestral home of Mayo. His annual summer trips home to Kilasser, Swinford and Laughtadurkan will fondly be remembered. Conversations regarding Mayo gaa, horse racing and golf were always intriguing. Fr Jimmy can be proud of his lifes ministry. He touched so many peoples hearts and will be lovingly remembered by all. May he now be rewarded by Gods grace and reunited once again with his loved ones in heaven. Rest well Fr Jimmy we love you now and always. Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam.

McGowan family laughtadurkan, Bohola, Mayo, Ireland.
Posted by Margot O'Carroll on February 10, 2021
Fionan and I arrived in LA in July 1983 from Ireland with our six young children. We had enrolled the four older children in Visitation school and met Fr. O’Grady who was so welcoming. He visited us often and made sure we settled in well. Our seventh child arrived inSeptember 1983 and we have very special memories of the day Fr.O’Grady christened him. Although we were only in LA for eighteen months we felt very much part of Visitation parish thanks to Fr. O’Grady . May he rest in peace.
Posted by Michele McCurdy on February 7, 2021
Thank you for allowing us to share in the beautiful Celebration of Life for Fr. O'Grady! He hired me as a cantor in the late eighties and it was my honor to serve as part of the music ministry team at Visitation for 15 years. I feel such a weight of loss and also a flood of wonderful memories. He holds a cherished place in my heart and I am so grateful for him. I am filled with love for all that I was blessed to be part of at Visitation. 
Posted by Michael Kramer on February 6, 2021
I had the good fortune to be introduced to Father O'Grady though my wife Kathy.
We became friends and had many, many adventures and fun times together. I loved his mischievous streak, his wicked sense of humor, his compassion and caring for all people, and his "approachability". He was an exceptional priest and an honorable man, and he would always do the right thing, even when it was not popular.
He was (wildly) athletic, masculine and a sharp dresser, but also tender, sincere and observant.
He was comfortable enough with me and Kathy to share with us his "Bucket List" desires, like visiting Death Valley or experiencing sea kayaking, and we would make it happen whenever we could - (He failed to tell me he couldn't swim until AFTER we paddled back in!)
It was my honor to be his friend, to assist with his ministry, to be the "facilities manager" of his room at Nazareth House, and to have been there for so many fun celebrations and meaningful moments in life. He touched so many lives for the better, and he made me a better person by knowing him.
You will be missed greatly, Jim O'Grady .
You were one-of-a-kind, and the "Real Deal".
Posted by peggy Groarke on February 6, 2021
We have many happy memories of Fr Jimmy during his visits to Carroweena He always brought good fun to every encounter with his very infectious laugh.  Bridie and Marty (Rowley) loved to see him.  We all remember with great affection when he said Mass in the house for Bridies 80th birthday followed by cake and drinks in the local.  It was a pleasure to have known him. If the card game 25 is played in heaven there is probably a good game going now.
Peggy Nathy Teresa Jim Pj Ann Tommy Eileen
Posted by Charles Berg on February 6, 2021
Father O'Grady was one of the most remarkable men I have ever known. It feels as though he was my smiling, laughing friend ever since I first served mass with him at nine years old. He was a kind man who never seemed too busy to talk to me.
Once, he even began telling tall tales while joking around with me and two of my brothers over coffee and donuts after mass. He warned us that late at night, when no one was around, he did his own workouts, mastering the monkey bars of the parish playground. He was roughly eighty years old at the time of this conversation.
I miss Fr. O'Grady very much, and I cherish the moments which I was blessed to share with him.
Posted by Alan Engler on February 6, 2021
We moved to Westchester in 1990 and met Fr. O’Grady soon thereafter. He was welcoming and kind and made us feel so at home. He quickly became a special part of our family through baptisms, First Communions, graduations and even a wedding celebration.

Fr. O’Grady was always interested in how we were doing and how the kids were faring with high school and college. He genuinely cared about all of the parishioners. We loved his smile, his humor, his laugh, his love of golf, and how he always said “you don’t say/is that so.”

Father, you will be missed but never forgotten. Thank you for being the person and priest that you were. We are happy that you are now home with Jesus.

Alan and Terri Engler and family
Posted by sean mc cormack on February 6, 2021
Father Jimmy was a life long friend from our college days and it was with heartfelt sadness that I learned of his passing.
He was a special person,generous in word and deed.
He had wit, good humour and that strange alchemy of a thing called presence.
G.K.Chesterton once wrote"there are some people who seem to have existed always,they bear the marks of the elemental things,the things that recur.They are as old as Springtime,as old as Daybreak,as old as Youth"
Jimmy was such a man.
We shall not look on his like again.
Sean Mc Cormack
Posted by Tom Kennedy on February 6, 2021
We will miss you, Jimmy. You can teach the people up there 110 when we are all reunited - hopefully not too soon. We love you.

The Kennedys
Posted by Nor Woods on February 6, 2021
Met Father in 6th grade in the mid sixties, as he jointed St John the Evangelist Parish. We shared many loving memories of how he entertained & charmed the students he taught, along with their families with his humor, wit and devotion to the parish. He performed our marriage years later & gathered with his many friends. In fact that was the focus of our initial visit who would be coming to the wedding. Like a homecoming reunion. Well father you've come home to Heaven & it's brighter with you joining the chorus of laughter and love. RIP Father O'Grady. We knew you and loved you.
Posted by Veronica Miller on February 6, 2021
Earliest Memories of Father Jimmy

Fr Jimmy coming to clontarf on his days off from
All  Hallowes.

His Ordination and  Reception later that day in the Gresham Hotel .

His wonderful Letters and Christmas Cards to Jim my father.

His Surprise appearance in Medinahat at the Ryder Cup. thank you george.

Finally a wonderful evening in Los Angeles   at Barbaras 40th birthday.

Rest in Peace Jimmy.



Posted by Billie Anne Bay on February 5, 2021
My memories of Fr. Jim O'Grady will always be loving and warm. No matter what situation arose he was there to give understanding and compassion.He could be gentle yet doggedly determined when making a point.
Fr. O'Grady joined my family in the celebration of many happy times with great glee and a sparkle in his eyes! His spontaneous laugh and sense of humor brought joy to baptisms, parties, holidays and specially birthdays!
He brought great comfort to us through Anne Bay's years of physical pain and the finality of death. It was a great comfort to have him guide us through difficult times,
Fr. Jim O'Grady you were a very special man who was much loved and will be greatly missed. JOB WELL DONE !
Posted by Matthew Ceballos on February 5, 2021
Fr. O’Grady,
Along with Monsignor O’Connell, you baptized and gave my children, Christopher, Alana, Skyler, and Chase their first communion.

I enjoyed your visits to my basketball practices in the junior high courts where you would tell me,
“Coach, I wish you could bring that discipline into the classroom” and we shared a laugh.

You also celebrated my father’s funeral Mass and at the end came to me and said, “Matt, can your family celebrate a Hawaiian funeral when my time comes.”

Well Fr. O’Grady, during these unusual times, I can only offer you a lei of prayers from my entire Ohana and a fond “Aloha ‘Oe” (Farewell to Thee) and “A Hui Hou” (Until we met Again)

As you walk in Heaven, say hello to Sr. Perpetua,
and pray for us all.

Love and Aloha Fr. O’Grady
Posted by Rose Holguin on February 5, 2021
My family & I were parishioners for approximately 11 years, from 1983-1994. Fr. O'Grady baptized our 2 youngest daughter's & administered many sacraments to our 4 daughters while they attended Visitation School. He deeply cared for all members of his parish and made us feel like family. He was such a lovely man and I will never forget him. My sister, Mary Angela Vasquez, and her family are still parishioners at Visitation. Every time we visited, from Oregon, it was always special to see Fr. James. He always remembered us and made us feel like we were back home. I will miss his smile and beautiful voice.
Posted by Julie San Juan-Wing on February 5, 2021
Dear Father O'Grady,
We are forever grateful to have known you. You were always kind, caring and warm to us and our family. Dave and I will never forget our wedding day. You made it so special and we felt very blessed to have you celebrate our special day. Please know that you were loved by so many people and will sorely missed. Rest in peace.
Love, Julie And Dave
Posted by EILEEN VALLES on February 5, 2021
Such a kind man of God, generous of spirit with a quick smile and warm greeting every time we spent any time. Introduced by Kathy and Michael - he was always so kind to our kids Alyssa and Daniel and they truly loved him. Loved having him up to Camarillo for lunch and bocce ball or having him tour the Fire Station at LAX with my husband Robert - was always a guaranteed fun time that always left you feeling happy to be around Fr Jim. We will miss you and are grateful to have had you in our lives.  May you rest in peace.
Posted by Beverly Razzeto on February 5, 2021

Father Jim was so much to my entire family for so long that I cannot think of what life at Visitation would have been without him. I thank God for his loving presence for wuch a long time. May God hold him in the Palm of His Hand.
Posted by Maureen O'Donnell on February 4, 2021
Submitted on behalf of the Conlon family of Boyle, County Roscommon, Ireland:

Fond memories of Fr Jimmy, always had a smile and we shared many good stories when he visited us in Ireland, rest in peace Fr Jimmy. 

Posted by Fran McGrath on February 3, 2021
It's with heavy heart that we have to say goodbye to my dear, sweet friend, Fr. O'Grady. I will always remember him and the good times we had with K & M,
especially only last year when he came to visit me in Camarillo, and we had lunch and then played bocci ball, of which he was quite the champ. He was truly a wonderful priest, and I was privileged to know him. I know he is in heaven now, and playing golf, and enjoying the life he spent all his priesthood working towards. We will always miss his smile, and his brogue, and his generous spirit.  May he rest in eternal peace. 
Posted by Christian Abdelkerim on February 2, 2021
Father O'Grady thank you for being the amazing Pastor and Role model to all that have walked the hallways of Visitation as Students. Visitation would not be what it is today if it were not for you...Rest in Peace, you will be missed.

Chriatian Abdelkerim
Visitation Class of 1986
Posted by Adrienne Abdelkerim on February 2, 2021
Forever in our Hearts and All Our Prayers. Our Dear Father'O'Grady was our Pastor & a friend to all. There was never a time that he did not show his love and guidance to all who were members of Visitation Church. He was truly loved by all. We will watch for you Dear Father as our forever Blessed Meteor in the Heavens. Our family will remember and honour you always.
Samy& Adrienne Abdelkerim & family
Posted by Sheila Nelson on February 2, 2021
Dear Uncle Jimmy,
Your family in Chicago loves you very much and will miss you. We cherish the family gatherings, weddings, and baptisms that you made so special by celebrating with us. You always brought a personal touch to every celebration and that brought us great joy. I loved watching you join with my mom and your siblings at our Chicago family cookouts, sharing in uproarious laughter. You had the best laugh and I will miss hearing it. You have been someone we all look up to with your open mindset, loving acceptance, and pure kindness. Thank you for sharing your little house in Killasser with us for some cherished reunions in Ireland. I know you are in Heaven with my mom Peggy, Aunt Winnie, Uncle Pat, Uncle Tom, Aunt Tessie, and your dear parents. I bet it’s great craic.
Sheila Nelson
Posted by Elizabeth Anderson on February 2, 2021
Although Fr. Jim O’Grady was at Visitation when I arrived 18 years ago it was not in his capacity as a priest that I knew him best. We were friends. Fr Jim Forsen suggested in contributing to this tribute page that one could just chose a sentence or a word. I could not narrow it down to a word so here is my list: fun, funny, witty, adventurous, athletic, good sport, generous, humble, unpretentious, honest, modest, compassionate and a great raconteur. The list goes on as others have noted. I have been fortunate to have had Jim OGrady as my friend. He will be sorely missed by the many who loved him.
Posted by Dennis Dwyer on February 2, 2021
We will truly miss our very dear friend Father Jim. Fr. Jim always made us feel like family when we saw or visited him. He was a kind, gentle and funny man. He loved being a priest and having his Visitation family always there to worship with him, visit with him and have fun with him at all the Church
activities. He loved the children and the children loved him. We will really miss his smile and his kind heart. Farewell Father Jim, Thank You for all that you did for us and Visitation. Love, Dennis and Anne
Posted by HartyW Wagner on February 1, 2021
Father O’Grady was with us at Visitation in 1963 before he was assigned to other parishes. All were sad to see him go, but we did keep track of him! In 1973, while at a Marriage Encounter retreat at Marymount, to our surprise, we found Fr O’Grady with us. During these two days we found many times to chat and found Fr. quite interested in life at Visitation, “how are things going”, events, questions about many of the families he remembers from his time there. We did mention we would all be very happy to have him return. With that famous witty smile and look on his face, he said “Not if I have to eat boiled tongue every Thursday night!,” which Bridget, the housekeeper, was instructed to make! He returned to Visitation in 1976, and after his first Sunday Mass, we asked him how was dinner Thursday night. He laughed and said, “Wonderful, we had roast beef”! We most enjoyed working with him on many events over the years, as Parish Council co-presidents 1977-1979, and the weddings of our children and baptisms of our three grandsons. We are blessed to have him as part of our lives.
Fr. O’Grady, loving, compassionate, kind, athletic and fun. We all miss his Irish laugh and humor. Slainte.



Posted by Katie Larsh on February 1, 2021
As members of Visitation Parish from 1981 to 1995, my family grew very close to Fr. O’Grady when I became parish secretary in 1989. He taught me so much about our Catholic faith and traditions and I am grateful for those years. I will always consider it a part of my continuing Catholic education and the beginning of my spiritual life.

Fr. O’Grady was such a kind and open pastor who provided pastoral care to his parishioners. He embraced Vatican II and yet understood and sympathized with those who struggled with all the change. I learned so much from this kind and gentle man who was juggling the many responsibilities in an active parish of longtime parishioners and all the new families who continued to join the parish.

Fr. O’Grady welcomed my children into parish life as he did so many of the young people at the school. I am forever grateful that they were able to participate in parish activities as it made them comfortable to always help out with whatever was needed and appreciate what it takes to run a parish. Their descriptions of Fr. O’Grady are gentle and steady, gracious and warm and a laughing Irishman! 

So many special memories come to mind, but I will never forget how excited he was after his return from a special trip to Rome and the Holy Land. It had truly made a huge impression on him and enlivened his spirit and he wanted to share it with his Visitation family.

Fr. James F. O’Grady was a gift to our parish family at Visitation! My prayers go out to all of his family, friends, and fellow parishioners who mourn our collective loss.

Katie Smith

Posted by Rita Boppana on February 1, 2021
What to say about Father O’Grady. How do you describe what the treatment of acceptance, goodness, human-ness, and the list goes on, really means to one’s soul. When visiting Father at Nazareth House, there was no yesterday, there was no tomorrow. There were only the moments in that visit. The freedom to be able to give yourself wholly over to the present moments in time with 100% percent openness is a gift to be cherished. May you Rest In Peace Father. But know this, COVID interrupted our visits. I wasn’t finished yet.
Posted by Visitation Church on February 1, 2021
As evidenced by all the beautiful tributes here, Father Jim O'Grady touched so many of our lives in meaningful ways. It was an honor to call him a dear and longtime friend. He spoke the truth, knew what truly mattered in life, and was loyal to a fault. He was humble, kind, funny, and up for any adventure. Perhaps his most special gift was his ability to make anyone and everyone feel welcome and comfortable around him-  everyone.

He gave homeless people his real phone number and would talk to them when they called him 10 times a day. He would engage the Jehovah Witnesses who would come to his door asking if he had a relationship with Christ. He held superhero status among the Vis school kids as the man who could kick the soccer ball as high as the church bell tower.

We had the privilege of visiting him in his hometown in Ireland one summer. We came downstairs one morning to find him cooking up a full breakfast fry with hard rock music- Ozzy Osbourne to be exact- blaring from the tiny transistor radio on the windowsill. I thought we had discovered some secret side to him. When I asked him about it, he replied that "this is the only station with the Swinford news- I have to keep it on this one."

Father O'Grady, your life was a gift to so many. I hope you are having a grand reunion with your family and friends, that the golfing is good and all radio stations coming in clear. You will be sorely missed.

Kathy McGrath
Posted by Maureen Hegarty on February 1, 2021
Condolence to the O'Grady families at home and abroad.

While I never met Fr. Jimmy in person he was frequently spoken of in our home when the news of his homecoming was given to my father usually on his return from the bog with horse and load of turf transversing "The Street of Carrowenna" and being greeted with the news "Fr Jimmy is home" (no need for a surname) by the then CNN - Carroweena News presenters Eddie Ginty or The Kelly brothers Johnny & Mike - all of whom have lead a pathway to heaven for Fr. Jimmy

I did have the privilege of attending many of the Masses he celebrated in Killasser cemetery and am pleased that we have a shared DNA thanks to the Kelly sisters of Carroweena

Rest in peace Fr, Jimmy


Maureen Hegarty

































Posted by tom and mary hunter on February 1, 2021
We always felt fortunate that we became parishioners of Visitation shortly after Fr. O'Grady arrived as pastor. We will always remember him for his humility, grace, kindness and compassion. He was truly a man of God. We will miss him but are thankful to have him lead Visitation parish for so many years.
Posted by Karen Holyk-Casey on January 31, 2021
We will remember Fr O’Grady as a kind, spiritual man who gently led Visitation through a time of change. He even began to let girls bring up the alter gifts when I was young.  He was a small community pastor in that he gave me my First Communion, officiated my marriage, baptized my children, gave my children First Communion and said the funeral mass for my mother-in-law. May he rest now in heaven with all the saints and golfers.
                            
Posted by Suzanne Russo on January 31, 2021
   Many years ago, I came to Visitation to have my first child baptized. Father O'Grady performed the baptism. Forty years later, I am still a member of Visitation, and he, was a big part of why. Over the years, his words, actions, and friendship were a source of help and inspiration. One particular time stands out in my memory.
   It was a number of years ago. I had just finished at the gym after work and remembered it was Ash Wednesday. I did not want to miss mass. So off I drove to the church wearing long gym pants and a sweatshirt. The church was very crowded and there were not enough people to assist with distribution of ashes. He asked several times for help. I was afraid to come forward as I was embarrassed because of how I was dressed. Finally, I walked up and said to him, "I will help." And, in a soft voice I whispered, "I'm sorry Father. I would have come up sooner, but I was afraid because of how I was dressed." He said in a kind, reassuring voice, "Oh, do not worry about how you are dressed. We are all servants of God." I felt welcome, respected and valued. And that was the beginning...
   He always spoke from the heart...his homilies were filled with compassion, sincerity, kindness, and yes, a great sense of humor! He gave the same love and support to all members of the congregation.
   I once read that some people come into our lives and we are never quite the same, but we are infinitely better because of them. Father O'Grady was one of those people in my life. 
   Thank you, Father O'Grady, you shall be greatly missed.
   Love and blessings,
   Suzanne Russo, Jennifer and Nick
Posted by Thom Mallen on January 31, 2021
Dear Father O'Grady

Now that your work is complete I will miss you and your smile everlasting. Prayers for all your family and friends. So many attributes! Pray for us!
Sean; Shane; David.
Posted by Tomandclaudia Mallen on January 31, 2021
Dear sweet Father O'Grady we will miss your wonderful sense of humor and little chuckle that you would sometimes give when we were chatting. Your kindness was always available and the only time we ever heard harsh words from you were when you had to get up on the altar and ask for money which you didn't like to do. You always voiced the wish for not having to do that at all. Our 3 sons all had the honor of serving with you on the Altar. I will never forget when David came home one day from school, he was only 9 at the time,
and father had asked him for the first time to serve at a funeral. He was surprised, excited and in awe because he was not old enough to serve but father had confidence in him.  This was Father's way of kindness. Rest in Peace dear Father O'Grady and know that we all love you in so many ways. 
Love, the Mallen Family
Posted by Mary O grady on January 30, 2021
Fr jimmy our uncle.from beatrice,mary,jimmy,frank,tommy,his wife diane,louis,Sean his wife sandra,kirean,his wife jessica.great niece and great nephew's emily,ewan,and Adam.   
From the time we can remember our uncle fr jimmy coming home on vacation it was a great moment getting ready for his arrival. Now it could be any time day or night when he would arive.flying up the road to the house on the hill.he would jump out of the car with a big smile and grin on his face.big hand shakes and welcomes given all around. When he would settle in our father pake as he would call him pat and mother Beatrice would start chatting well let me say this you wouldn't need to days technology. Google ,Facebook ,mapquest or ancestory.com. he knew every road,village,and town and fields from tubercurry to wesport,ballaghadreen to knock,and from carraramore to foxford.he knew every house and people that were living in them and where they were gone in the world.he knew every relation and who was related to whom .he always had a great love for his home town killasser and the people in it never for got where he came from.every Time he would call he would ask how is every body from home doing and loved hearing the latest news.
As we all know he Also had a great love for foot ball,the horse races,and of course the game of golf. He would drive down to kerry,tipperary,galway,and portumna to be with his great friends when they would be home on holidays.it was like a reunion to them all.what a great bunch of men they were loyal to each other. It would be always around August 15 when there would be mass at our killasser cemetery come rain or shine he would always come back for the mass and help the celebrate with the other great visiting priests from the parish.that time of year everybody would be home and this was one of the places to reunite with old school friends,neighbours and relations he loved that .even when at home in killasser visation was never far away from his heart.we would here all the great stories about all the great people in visation.at the end of his trip he would be lonesome of course but always had the aching to get back to his flock.we his family are great full for the great life he had in visation and Los Angeles. To sum up our uncle. He was

Kind.
Understanding
Great since of humor.
Full of wisdom and courage.
And above all his love of people and love of God.

Fr Jimmy until we meet again .may you rest with the saints and people of heaven.
And God's glory.
Slan abhaile. Thanks a lot for the uncle you were .
Posted by Liz Murray on January 30, 2021
Tribute to Father Jim O’Grady
Jan 25, 2021
From Liz, Becky, Rach and Tibet Murray

Father’s life was a gift and I thank God every day for lending him to us.
How do you pay adequate tribute to such a person! Father was special with extraordinary talents, yet his humility set him apart.
We recall his fundamental goodness and kindness, his humor, his grace, his gentleness, his athleticism, his fight for justice and fairness. He was more than friend to us, he was family, always being there at the times of celebration and of need.
The latter couple of years were more challenging for him yet he continued to handle his changing circumstances with his ever-present humor, concern for others and gentleness, although not without an occasional expression voiced if things were not sitting the way he thought they should!
He touched our lives leaving us the better for having known him. The memories of laughter shared and a life well lived will sustain us though our loss. Peace be yours Father and “thanks a million,” “buíochas le milliún,”
Posted by shsron rouse on January 29, 2021
He was a good man, loved and respected by all.
Posted by John Craigie on January 29, 2021
To a wonderful man and great leader. He was kind and gentle and remembered everyone no matter how long it had been since he'd seen them. Thank you for all you did for us.
Love,
John Craigie
Posted by Michael Jay on January 29, 2021
I got to know Fr. O'Grady really well when Maureen and I served as Presidents of the Parish Council. We found how generous and appreciative he was for the work volunteers did, and how sensitive he was to the feelings and concerns of every member of our parish. Years later he asked me to become his Parish Manager and I saw the other side of him , when I was now an employee. His kindness with everyone became even more apparent to me. His kindness to me and everyone in our family was incredible. Over the years he rejoiced with us, consoled with us, guided us, and remarried us several times. I think we had every sacrament administered by him to someone in our family.

He was the epitome of a great pastoral priest, with no ambition to rise in the hierarchy. We all love and admire him deeply, and I miss his laugh.
Posted by Mary Higgins (O'Donnell) on January 29, 2021
Sincere sympathy to the family and colleagues of Fr. Jimmy. My uncle Bill O'Donnell was married to Fr. Jimmy's sister Peggy. On his regular visits to his native home in Killasser he always visited my parents home. We loved listening to the lovely conversations between Fr. Jimmy and my parents and of course he always had lots of goodies for the children. I was privileged to attend mass in Killasser in 2018 for his golden jubilee. You will never be forgotten Fr. Jimmy, may your gentle soul rest in peace.
Posted by Shelley Tucker on January 28, 2021
As a former parishioner I had the pleasure of knowing Father O’Grady since 1975. He was the finest example of Catholic priesthood that I have ever known. We have lost one of the kindest, most thoughtful and generous men. I love to recall his expression “I mean to say” while delivering the homily. Heaven has gotten a very special angel. We will always love you, Father Jim.
Posted by Maureen O'Donnell on January 28, 2021
Fr Jimmy O’Grady: A Tribute

                             By Bernie O’Hara

Father James (Jimmy) O’Grady, who passed away on 25 January 2021 in Los Angeles at the age of 86, was a former County Mayo junior and senior footballer in Ireland. He won Mayo minor, junior and senior football medals, a rare distinction. A good all-round athlete and handballer, his football career began in secondary school in St Nathy’s College, Ballaghaderreen, when he captained their junior team to win the Connacht Colleges’ championship in 1950/51. Jimmy was also a member of the St. Nathy’s senior team in 1950/51 which was defeated 2-9 to 2-7 by St Jarlath’s College, Tuam. He won a Mayo county minor championship medal with Swinford in 1951, and county junior medal with them in 1954 (but he had to return to college before the last games of that campaign because of the inflexible regulations in seminaries at that time and for many years afterwards). As a clerical student in All-Hallows College, Dublin, it was difficult for him to play county football because he was not allowed out during term time. He played a challenge game for Mayo seniors at centre half-back against Galway at Easter 1955, when he held the great Seán Purcell (1928-2005, generally regarded as Galway’s greatest ever footballer) to one point from play. He played on the Mayo team in the Connacht championship semi-final against Leitrim on June 26, 1955, at Markievicz Park, Sligo. Mayo won the Connacht final against Roscommon by 3-11 to 1-3. In the All-Ireland semi-final on August 21, 1955, Mayo drew with Dublin. In the replay on September 11, 1955, at Croke Park, Jimmy came on as a substitute at right half-back and played very well. Dublin won by 1-8 to 1-7 before an attendance of 71,000 and it was the end of a great era in Mayo football from 1948 to 1955. Jimmy O’Grady was right full-back on the Mayo junior team that won the All-Ireland in 1957, a team captained by Dr Mick Loftus. He played in ‘the home final’ where Mayo defeated Cork by 1-11 to 1-3 in Croke Park. It was then customary for the Irish champions to play the winners in England, but Jimmy was not allowed by All-Hallows College to play in the final proper at Glebe Farm in Birmingham, where Mayo defeated Warwickshire by 2-7 to 2-5. He won a Mayo senior championship medal with East Mayo in 1957.
     Jimmy O’Grady was the third son in a family of eight, four girls and four boys, born in April 1934 to of Frank and Mary, née Conlon, in Carroweena, Killasser, County Mayo, Ireland He was educated at Knocks Primary School in Killasser, St Nathy’s Ballaghaderreen, and All-Hallows College, Drumcondra, Dublin, where he was ordained on 22 June 1958. His first Mass was the following evening in All Saints Church, Killasser. Following his ordination Fr Jimmy O’Grady left Ireland and served the Catholic Church in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, where his charismatic uncle, Fr John Conlon 1899-1960, was a renowned pastor.
      Fr Jimmy served in parishes in Baldwin Park, Pasadena, Redondo Beach and Stanton, before moving to Visitation Parish in Los Angeles where he served for over forty years. It is a big and demanding parish where he had a heavy daily workload, and was held in high esteem. It is said that Fr Jimmy came in direct contact with every Catholic family on special occasions in the parish like baptisms, first communions, confirmations, marriages, and deaths, in many cases over three generations.
      Fr Jimmy visited Killasser almost every summer and kept in touch with his roots. He loved a quiet rest there with family and neighbours, as well as following GAA games especially the fortunes of Mayo football, and where possible attending the races in Ballinrobe, Sligo, Roscommon and Galway. His last visit to Ireland was in summer 2018 for the diamond jubilee of his ordination. He concelebrated Mass in Killasser Church on Sunday 15 July, followed by a reception in his honour organised by Fr John Durkan PP and the Pastoral Council in the church. He met some former St Nathy’s classmates at a meal in Sligo, before going to All-Hallows for the official reunion. Shy, unassuming, affable, with a good sense of humour, he exemplified a true Christian in thought, word, and deed. As his health declined towards the end of 2018, he was unable to cope and entered a nursing home, but the last two years were difficult for him. I was fortunate to be able to visit him in July 2019, and the conversation was about Killasser, deceased friends, and Mayo football. Eventually, he became another victim of the coronavirus. Predeceased by his sisters Winnie, Margaret, Teresa, brothers Pake and Tom, he is survived by his brother, Mike (Chicago, a US veteran of the Korean war 1950-53), Sarah (Chicago), sister-in-law, Beatrice O’Grady (Killasser), nieces, nephews, extended family, and his many friends in Los Angeles, Chicago, and Ireland. May he have arrived safely at the Pearly Gates. Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam dílis.

(Bernie O’Hara is a former neighbour from his home parish of Killasser in Ireland and a life-long friend of Fr O’Grady)
Posted by Mark Rosati on January 28, 2021
Father Jim embodied all that is good in the Roman Catholic priesthood. A kind, loving and spiritual man, he was deeply devoted to his family, his faith, and his parish. I first met him when he celebrated his brother's wedding, and the next year he officiated at the marriage of my wife (his niece) and me. Over the years, there would be many more times where his family called upon him to preside over major life events - weddings, christenings, and funerals. He always was a source of joy and inspiration in glad times, and comfort in times of sorrow. Now he has been called home. Rest in peace, Father Jim, and thank you for everything. And, Up Mayo.
Posted by Nancy Ferrandino on January 28, 2021
Father O'Grady, Visitation will never be the same without you. Rest In Peace and thank you for always being there for me and my family. Heaven is lucky to have you.
Posted by Anna London on January 28, 2021
About Fr. O’Grady:

From the time he married Bob & I in 1989, and all the sacraments he officiated for our boys, he was a guiding light to our family. He helped shape my children’s faith while attending Visitation School and have provided them with a solid Catholic foundation. He leaves us with many warm memories which we will cherish in our hearts forever. I appreciated how he always asked about each of my sons, and impressively remembering their names (Tyler, Spencer, & Carter.) He genuinely was interested on how they were getting along in their adult lives. Bob, my husband, is also known to imitate Father’s Irish accent and mannerisms. One day, Father asked Bob about it. Bob said, would you like to hear it? Father just laughed and declined. I guess he realized that imitation is a great form of flattery. To Father O’Grady, the pastor and blessing, we thank you for all the lessons, many laughs, and prayers shared. May you now Rest In Peace and continue to watch over us from above.

Love and prayers,
Anna London & The London Family
Posted by Visitation Church on January 27, 2021
A letter I sent to Father shortly before his passing.

Dear Father O'Grady,

I am sending you love and prayers from one of your sheep, who has wandered far from Visitation physically, but never very far in her heart. As you may recall, my husband and I have moved quite a bit, serving in several African countries and Europe as well.

I feel so grateful that I grew up at Visitation, in a parish run by you. I learned all that is the very best of the Catholic Church: to love, to respect, to forgive, to pray, and to serve. I have spent my career working in international development, and married a man who equally wants to do his part to make the world a little better. I know the light that guided me was born at Sunday masses and in religion classes that were not about dogma as much as about the heart of the gospel. Thank you for all your service to so many parishioners like myself. 

I would also like to say that I will never, ever forget your heroic decision to allow girls to be altar servers. I had just entered high school, and missed the chance myself. I had always wanted to join my brothers, to be more involved in the mass like them. I don't think I'm the only girl who felt excluded and I might have absorbed a message that I, a girl, was not as worthy, as any boy. Fortunately, so much else at Visitation at the time taught me that we were all equal. However, you made that message so much more complete when you opened your arms to all children who wanted to serve. You gave girls a chance to better understand the mass and thus grow their faith. I know that what you did took courage. I remember the protests. And I remember being so very proud that you, that my parish was breaking down an important barrier. This is just one example of your years of tireless service. It's one that I deeply cherish. It is an example I have I can model.

May I continue to try to live as you taught and focus on being that which God calls on us to be. 

Most Sincerely,
Susan Jay
Posted by Mary Vasquez on January 27, 2021
He truly was a man of God and the people. He always had such a warm and welcoming smile and would drop everything, regardless of time of day, to be available for one's needs. One of a kind.

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Recent Tributes
Posted by reid rosati on February 17, 2021
One of my fondest memories was the few hours I was able to spend with him while I was in LA for a work trip several years ago. He made time for me even though he was busy, and I'll forever cherish his love and consideration. We miss you, Great Uncle Jimmy!
Posted by Thomas Russell on February 16, 2021
I was in the 7th grade when Father O'Grady arrived at Visitation. I remember being impressed by his friendly, easy going manner. Fast forward ten years later to 1973. I was standing on the alter at (I think St. Lawrence in Redondo Beach) awaiting instructions as I was about to be best man at my best friend's wedding. When who should appear but Father O'Grady. I exclaimed"Father O'Grady! I remember you at Visitation!" Noticing my Marine Corps uniform he quipped " Yes, well you had your boot camp, and I had mine". Of course, ironically he wound up back at Visitation and we were blessed for many years to come on account of it. He was a man who didn't hesitate to speak his mind. And also a very thoughtful , considerate and kind man. I've read some wonderful tributes about him. Among those; that he had a certain unique and genuine presence about him. Sort of a combination of light and real substance. That he did. And the quickest wit in the west. Father Jim O'Grady, you were always there for my family, and me. You cared. We love you. You will be missed dearly.
Posted by Jonathan Geraghty on February 15, 2021
It's with great sadness to hear of the passing of Fr Jimmy O'Grady. Fr Jimmy was an incredibly decent, respectful, thoughtful, compassionate and understanding man. He performed his duties honourably and was an incredible support in times of need and solace. His wit, sense of humour and gregarious nature was always admired by all he encountered. Fr Jimmy always kept up with the times. He approached situations and issues with a sense of pragmatism and honesty. He seen people for who they were inside, treated them fairly, regardless of their background, social standing or occupation. A humble and selfless servant who performed his duties without vanity or need for recognition. Fr Jimmy will be remembered by all in visitation. But he will be especially remembered by all in his ancestral home of Mayo. His annual summer trips home to Kilasser, Swinford and Laughtadurkan will fondly be remembered. Conversations regarding Mayo gaa, horse racing and golf were always intriguing. Fr Jimmy can be proud of his lifes ministry. He touched so many peoples hearts and will be lovingly remembered by all. May he now be rewarded by Gods grace and reunited once again with his loved ones in heaven. Rest well Fr Jimmy we love you now and always. Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam.

McGowan family laughtadurkan, Bohola, Mayo, Ireland.
his Life
Heartfelt thanks to Mr. Bernie O'Hara for this information.

Father James Francis O’Grady was born on April 1st, 1934, to Frank and Mary, née Conlon, in Carroweena, Killasser, County Mayo, Ireland. “Jimmy” O’Grady was the third son in a family of eight - four girls and four boys. He was educated at Knocks Primary School in Killasser, St Nathy’s Ballaghaderreen, and All-Hallows College, Drumcondra, Dublin. 

During his school years, “Jimmy” O’Grady was a formidable athlete, as a County Mayo junior and senior footballer in Ireland. He won Mayo minor, junior and senior football medals, and he captained the junior team at St Nathy’s College to win the Connacht Colleges’ championships in 1950 and 1951. He won a Mayo County minor championship medal with Swinford in 1951, and a county junior medal with Swinford in 1954. Jim went on to play on the Mayo team in the Connacht championship semi-final and in the All-Ireland semi-final in 1955. He played on the Mayo junior team that won the All-Ireland in 1957, and he won a Mayo senior championship medal with East Mayo in 1957. Fr. Jim was also an avid and competitive golfer, and played regularly into his 80s.

Fr. O’Grady was ordained at All-Hallows College on June 22nd, 1958, and celebrated his first Mass the following evening in All Saints Church, Killasser. Following his ordination, Fr. O’Grady left Ireland and moved to Los Angeles, California. He served the Catholic Church in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, where his charismatic uncle, Fr John Conlon 1899-1960, was a renowned pastor. 

Fr. O’Grady served in parishes in Baldwin Park, Pasadena, Redondo Beach and Stanton, before moving to Visitation Parish in Los Angeles, where he served faithfully for over forty years. It is a big and demanding parish where he had a heavy daily workload, and was held in high esteem. It is said that Fr. Jim came in direct contact with every Catholic family on special occasions in the parish like baptisms, first communions, confirmations, marriages, and deaths, in many cases over three generations, and he was respected and beloved.

Fr Jim returned to Killasser, Ireland, almost every summer and kept in touch with his roots. He loved a quiet rest there with family and neighbors, as well as following GAA games - especially the fortunes of Mayo football, and where possible, attending the races in Ballinrobe, Sligo, Roscommon and Galway. 

His last visit to Ireland was in summer 2018, for the diamond jubilee of his ordination. He concelebrated Mass in Killasser Church on Sunday, July 15th, followed by a reception in his honor organized by Fr John Durkan PP and the Pastoral Council in the church. He met some former St Nathy’s classmates at a meal in Sligo, before going to All-Hallows for the official reunion. 

Shy, unassuming, affable, with a wicked sense of humor, he exemplified a true Christian in thought, word, and deed. As his health declined towards the end of 2018 and he was diagnosed with Alzheimers, he moved to Nazareth House in Culver City, California, a retirement facility that houses many Catholic priests. His final year was spent at Silverado Memory Care Community in Redondo Beach, California, where he succumbed to the Covid 19 virus on January 25, 2021.

Predeceased by his sisters Winnie, Margaret, Teresa, brothers Pake and Tom, he is survived by his brother, Mike (Chicago, a US veteran of the Korean war 1950-53), Sarah (Chicago), sister-in-law, Beatrice O’Grady (Killasser), nieces, nephews, extended family, and his many friends in Los Angeles, Chicago, and Ireland. May he have arrived safely at the Pearly Gates. Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam dílis.
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Shared by Addie Casey on January 29, 2021
I was so sorry to hear of the sad news of Father O’Grady. I have nothing but the fondest memories of Father throughout the 9 years my daughter Mila attended Visitation.  Along with all the memories beyond those 9 years. You were such an enormous help to both of us and I will never forget it. Our loss is Heaven’s gain. Rest In Peace Father and get all the golf in you can.