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:

Posted by Susette Burns on April 2, 2022
Happy Birthday Fr Jim,
Hope my mom is making you a Stuffed Cabbage Roll dinner! We all miss you!
Posted by Dennis Dwyer on April 1, 2022
Happy Birthday in Heaven Fr. O’Grady. Thinking of you and missing your laugh and great sense of humor.☘️
Posted by Fran McGrath on January 30, 2022
Remembering our dear Fr. O'Grady on the anniversary of his passing on to a much better life with the Lord, the angels and his family. We miss you still Fr. Jim, and always will remember the laughter and good times with friends.
Rest in peace dear Fr., you earned it. 
Posted by Jonathan Geraghty on January 26, 2022
Remembering a special and great man today. In our thoughts today Fr Jimmy from all your relations in Ireland. Love Jonathan and family Co. Mayo. ☘❤
Posted by Dennis Dwyer on January 26, 2022
On this first anniversary, missing you Father O’Grady and at the same time remembering all the special memories of our time together over the years. You were a good friend, a peoples priest and a funny and kind man. We miss you very much and have our dear memories to comfort us.
Dwyer’s ☘️
Posted by Suzanne Russo on January 25, 2022
One year... remembering a great priest, great man, great friend...
Russo Family: Suzanne, Jennifer, Nicholas
Posted by Kurt Wohlgemuth on April 4, 2021
Dear Father O'Grady,

You have blessed our family in so many ways over the years. The Wohlgemuth family was fortunate to experience your arrival at Visitation Church and the many years of service that followed. We also appreciate that you baptized our daughter Faith. Thank you for your caring and friendly ways. Rest in peace.

Kurt, Renee' and Faith Wohlgemuth
Posted by Renee' Wohlgemuth on April 4, 2021
Dearest Father O'Grady,

How grateful I am to have known you. I will always appreciate your guidance and influence on my becoming Catholic. You were respectful of my Lutheran upbringing and you gently guided me on my path towards the Catholic Church. You also looked at the heart of a person rather than to judge them. I am proud to be Catholic. Thank you for this blessed gift. May you always rest in the Lord's peace.

Renee' Wohlgemuth
Posted by Fran McGrath on April 1, 2021
\HAPPY 87th Birthday to my dear friend, Fr. Jim. I thought of him this
morning and wished him a beautiful day with his relatives and hopefully
with the Lord on this Holy Thursday. May you always rest in peace, dear
Fr. and know we will never forget you down here.
 With love, Fran your traveling buddy.

Posted by Mary O grady on April 1, 2021
To our uncle fr jimmy.
Sending you birthday wishes from all you have left behind here and across the the sure your are having a great reunion with all the people that have led the way before you .until we meet again uncle Jim but not to soon we all remember you with so much fondness. Happy birthday .and stick at it.
Posted by Mary Higgins (O'Donnell) on April 1, 2021
Happy birthday in Heaven Fr. Jimmy, hope you have met up with all your loved ones. I'm sure there will be a big party up there today and I can just imagine the fun and laughter there will be when all the O'Grady's get together. 
Posted by Susette Burns on March 18, 2021
Father Jim, was not only our pastor, but a part of our family. He married Michael and I and renewed my parents wedding vows on that day. He then baptized our son Barry, and was always available to him in and out of school. He would have dinner at our home, and had new stories to share with us about his family, priesthood, and funny ones about Msgr O'Sullivan. Fr Jim loved my mom's cabbage rolls, and she always made sure he had some every time she made them. When my mom passed he came to the house and had a beautiful prayer service, that I will never forget. My dad would go over to Fr Jim's house and tell him all about how he made his little biplanes, which one hung in his home. We feel so blest to have had the privilege of his friendship, and will miss him always. Safe in God's arms...kiss mom and dad for us!
Posted by Lisa Ogrady on March 18, 2021
I first met Uncle Jim in 1989. He married me and my husband Jim O'Grady, his nephew from the oldest brother. He also baptized my kids. He was always so wonderful to fly in whenever anyone in the family wished he was here to celebrate, morn, stressful times, and just for a visit. He always had a smile on his face. He told wonderful stories of his adventures from traveling around the world. He could also be just an uncle and a brother and not always be the Priest.  He always said how lucky his brother Tom and Mike were to have so much family around in times of need. He obviously had the same in his church family and friends. He had a wonderful laugh and always had kind words to say. He sent me letters over the years telling me how he felt about me and the kids. This is not an O'Grady trait. I loved when all his siblings got together because their laughter was non-stop. They spoke a secret language and told jokes only they understood. I will miss him dearly and send love to everyone else in the family here and in California and around the world. I will miss picking you up from the airport and having talks. I know you are in a beautiful place now. Love to you always.
Posted by Bernadette Robert on March 18, 2021
One could never say enough about the life and love of a man consistently filled with grace. Fr. O'Grady was always so grateful for the life he lived – truly believing it was abundantly blessed with constant privilege. He was so graciously wonderful to be in the presence of and to be with. He was resistant to taking credit, he was patient and kind, consistently thinking of and thanking others. Through gentle open conversation, he had a way of helping one understand. He was not a bragger, but selfless with sharing what was on his mind, and anxious to hear what others offered – making all feel important and comfortable. He would constantly remind us that he was indispensable (but I reminded him differently!), quick to turn the attention to the goodness of others, which is what our Father O’Grady did - what gracious people do - he always found the goodness and shared it with all of us. He was and always will be my gentle giant.  Your legacy of love, goodness, and grace will live on as an example in his legacy. Thank you for the grace you shared with me and the many, my precious Father O’Grady. You have taught me for a lifetime. God Bless you. Forever in my heart.
Posted by Pius McLaughlin on March 17, 2021
When I heard that Fr. Jim had died my mind went back to when I first met him in September 1984. I had just started my Masters Degree course at LMU and was living with the Franciscans down town Los Angeles. I was travelling every day by bus and it was a long journey. I heard about Visitation Parish and met Fr. Jim to see if he could accomodate me . Not only did he welcome me but drove me downtown to pick up my bits and pieces. That was the beginning of three of my happiest years where I got involved in the Parish as well as my studies. Our friendship has remained all those years.

Death may end a life but not a relationship because all that we love deeply becomes a part of us. Fr. Jim, dear friend, rest in Peace and know you will never be forgotten.

Fraternally in St Francis.

Fr. Pius McLaughlin, OFM

Posted by Lorie Suyenaga on March 13, 2021
I first met Fr. O’Grady on Easter of 1989 with my daughters Colleen and Megan. We had been going to a closer parish for a year and was virtually ignored when I decided to go to Visitation. We were in our Easter best when Fr. O’Grady came up to us in Church .. warmly welcomed us.. and asked us to bring up the gifts... It was then that I knew I was in the right place..and registered my girls for school at Visitation. Father was always so kind .. he made you want to be involved in all aspects of parish life.. and because of him .. I made life long friends and grew in my faith. My favorite memory was on a trip to Ireland where a group of us from church met up with him several times in Kiltamagh..he was such a star there and so much fun.. Our family loved you Fr. O’Grady.. my grandson is named Brady.. an anglicized version of O’ Grady.. Rest In Peace in God’s love and holy grace.
Posted by Maria Bialy on March 10, 2021
Father O'Grady was a pillar at Visitation Parish and in the community. He was loved by all because he had a kind word and smile for everyone.
He was encouraging and comforting and always remembered to ask about our grown children and how they were doing. We will always remember him in our prayers and miss his happy face.
May he rest in peace
The Bialy Family
Posted by Toni Kerker on March 6, 2021
The Rouseyrol Family
Our first meeting with Fr. James F. O’Grady took place in late October 1970. Immediately we knew that Fr. O’Grady would be our Pastor and Visitation our parish. In late 1970, Fr. O’Grady married us in a private ceremony.
Fr. O’Grady made sure that we met parishioners who would be sure to introduce us Ruth Guth (now deceased), Mary Raftery (deceased), and Bunny Cassel (deceased). Fr. O’Grady had Sister Celine (deceased), retired and in residence at the convent begin a “Visiting the Homebound” program. Each Monday morning, a Visitation volunteer would call on the ill, read scripture, share Communion and visit with the parishioners. My husband Andre was in the program for many months. This is still available when the coronavirus is no longer a problem.
Fr. O’ Grady was frequently a visitor for dinner at our home, alone, with other priests, or parishioners. Other times when in our area, Father would drop by just to say “hello”.
On December 26th, Fr. O’Grady was a regular to celebrate St Stephen’s Day with other parishioners at the Rouseyrols. In telling a story or joke, we all enjoyed the way Fr O’Grady would laugh before he got to the punch line.
One year, a group of 8 people from Visitation was in Ireland at the same time as Fr. O’Grady was home for his vacation. We saw how the locals loved him. Everyone would greet him, shake his hand and talk. A true Hero from his school and college days!
Fr. O’Grady offered to drive Andre and myself in our van to a Casino, a half a day away, to play Black Jack. Father knew how much we wanted to go but we had to turn down his kind offer.
When Andre was rushed to the hospital, Fr. O’Grady immediately went to see him. He cared so much for his parishioners.
Fr. O’Grady came to our home to give Andre the Last Rites. He said the Funeral Mass for him and also blessed Andre’s ashes. Just as Fr. O’Grady was about to Bless the Ashes, the people on the first floor of Holy Cross Mortuary started to sing Here I Am, Lord. Father stood holding the ashes as the music continued to fill the whole Mausoleum. I have never been so moved as I was during those moments.
In late September, 2019, I moved to Nazareth House for four months. During this time, Fr. O’Grady, his attendant, and I would walk around the beautiful grounds after daily Mass. Father was so inspiring on these walks. One day we had lunch together at his favorite Chinese restaurant at his suggestion. For several days, I was honored to sit beside Fr. O’Grady during the daily Mass. On January 6th, 2020, I was moving to Alabama to be near family. Fr. O’Grady and his attendant came to say good-bye to me. He refused to take a remembrance gift from me. Then he saw the Jesus Washing the Feet of his Apostles statue from Israel. He held the statue in his hands with a really moving expression on his face. This was to be the last time we said “good-bye”. He gave me a hug and left the room with the “Washing of the Feet” statue.
Good-bye, dear friend.
From Barbara Rouseyrol
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.
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Recent Tributes
Posted by Susette Burns on April 2, 2022
Happy Birthday Fr Jim,
Hope my mom is making you a Stuffed Cabbage Roll dinner! We all miss you!
Posted by Dennis Dwyer on April 1, 2022
Happy Birthday in Heaven Fr. O’Grady. Thinking of you and missing your laugh and great sense of humor.☘️
Posted by Fran McGrath on January 30, 2022
Remembering our dear Fr. O'Grady on the anniversary of his passing on to a much better life with the Lord, the angels and his family. We miss you still Fr. Jim, and always will remember the laughter and good times with friends.
Rest in peace dear Fr., you earned it. 
his Life

Father James F. O'Grady Obituary

Father James Francis O’Grady was born on April 1, 1934, to Frank and Mary, née Conlon, in Carroweena, Killasser, County Mayo, Ireland. “Jimmy” O’Grady was the third son in a family of 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 well as a County Mayo Gaelic footballer in Ireland. To this day his football photos hang in honor at places of business in Swinford, County Mayo. 

After captaining the junior football team at St. Nathy's College to win the Connacht Colleges' championship in 1950/51, he later won Mayo minor, junior and senior football championship medals. He was on the County Mayo senior football championship team in 1955, and played in the All-Ireland senior semi-final replay that year, when they lost by one point to Dublin in Croke Park before a crowd of 71,000. In 1957, he won an All-Ireland junior medal with Mayo, and a county senior football medal with East Mayo.  

He was ordained at All-Hallows College on June 22, 1958. Fr. O’Grady celebrated his first Mass the following evening at All Saints Church in Killasser, where a spirit of pride and celebration  packed the pews with what seemed like everyone in his village. Following his ordination, he was assigned to serve the Catholic Church in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, where his charismatic uncle, Fr. John Conlon (1899-1960), was a pastor renowned for both his social justice work and gift for charming Hollywood stars.

Fr. O’Grady served at St. John the Baptist Church in Baldwin Park from 1958-1963; Visitation Catholic Church in Los Angeles from 1963-1967; St. John the Evangelist Church in Los Angeles from 1967-1972; St. Lawrence Martyr Catholic Church in Redondo Beach from 1972-1976 and St. Polycarp Catholic Church in Stanton in 1976. He returned to Visitation Church in 1976, where he served as pastor from 1980 to 1999 and pastor emeritus from 1999 until his death.

During more than 40 years at Visitation, Fr. O’Grady handled a busy daily workload with wit, resourcefulness and dynamic energy, ministering to three generations of some families.
“Is there a family in our parish who did not have Fr. O’Grady baptize their babies, marry their children, anoint their sick and dying, preside over their funerals, hear their confessions, give them their First Communion, and especially, celebrate life with them?” said Msgr. Jim Forsen, pastor of Visitation Church.  “He loved life.”

In 2000, he helped organize a memorial Mass at Visitation for the 88 victims of the crash of Alaska Airlines Flight 261. It was attended by an estimated 700 people, including many relatives of the victims.

Fr. O’Grady intervened for parishioners whenever he could, cutting through bureaucratic red tape and speaking truth to power. And he was able to do so in a way that usually left people laughing.

He enjoyed joining in the odd soccer game or two, kicking a ball around with the parish kids. Some say they watched him kick a ball almost to the top of the steeple.

Almost every summer, Fr. O’Grady returned home to Killasser, Ireland, where he loved a quiet rest with family and neighbors. He enjoyed following GAA games–especially Mayo football, and when possible, attending Ireland’s famous horse races in Ballinrobe, Sligo, Roscommon and Galway. He also enjoyed catching up with other Killasser emigrants when they made summer visits home.

In his honor, his church named the parish center O’Grady Hall in 2020. Visitation also named one of its most popular outings the O’Grady Golf Classic.

He liked the music of folk singer Kate Rusby, chocolate, and the occasional cigarette. Fr. Jimmy also was an avid and competitive golfer, and played regularly into his 80s. 

He made frequent visits to Chicago, home of five of his brothers and sisters, where he took care of family baptisms, weddings and funerals. He cherished the visits, although his dislike of Midwestern mosquitoes matched their appetite for him. 

His last visit to Ireland was in the summer of 2018, for the diamond jubilee of his ordination. He concelebrated Mass in Killasser Church on Sunday, July 15, 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. 

As his health declined towards the end of 2018 and he was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, he moved to Nazareth House in Culver City, California. His final year was spent at Silverado Memory Care Community in Redondo Beach, California, where he succumbed to the coronavirus on January 25, 2021.

He was predeceased by his parents Mary and Francis O’Grady (Killasser, County Mayo); sisters Winnie McGowan (Meelick, County Mayo), Bridget “Tessie” Burke (Chicago) and Margaret “Peggy” O’Donnell (Chicago); brothers Pake (Killasser, County Mayo) and Tom (Chicago), and his nieces Mary Geraghty (Ireland) and Mary Burke Griffin (Chicago). 

He is survived by his brother, Mike (Chicago, a U.S. veteran of the Korean war 1950-53); sister Sara (Chicago); sister-in-law, Beatrice O’Grady (Killasser, County Mayo); his nephews in Ireland: Tony and Pat McGowan and Frank, Jimmy, Louis, Sean and Tommy O'Grady; his nephew in Philadelphia, Kieran O'Grady; his nieces in Chicago: Kathy Hennessy, Sheila Nelson, Maureen O’Donnell, Mary O'Grady, Noreen O'Grady and Eileen Vukelich; his nephews in Chicago, Michael O'Donnell and Jimmy O'Grady and Mike O'Grady; many grand-nieces and grand-nephews in Colorado, Illinois, Michigan, Oregon and Ireland; many cousins in Ireland, England and the greater United States, and his many friends in Los Angeles, Ireland and wherever he went.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the student scholarship fund at Visitation School, 8740 Emerson Ave., Los Angeles, California 90045. 

May his faithful soul be at God’s right. Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam dílis.

Recent stories
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.