Published : Thursday, September 8, 2016 | 1:50 PM
Congratulations to St. Francis High School math teacher Mr. Jim O’Connor on his selection by The Italian Catholic Federation as the recipient of the 2016 Pope Saint John XXIII Award!
The 2016 recipient of the Pope Saint John XXIII Award is Jim O’Connor of La Canada, CA. Jim is being recognized for his over 22 years of volunteering at Los Angeles Children’s Hospital. Jim has comforted many patients and has donated more than 75 gallons of blood and platelets during his years of volunteer service.
Father Tony Marti, OFM Cap., President of St. Francis High School, where Jim teaches Algebra and Calculus, writes, “Jim is a Vietnam Veteran who exemplifies Franciscan ideals by teaching young minds values such as compassion, humility, service and goodness at school, while previously unknown to his students, giving blood and helping hold babies as a temporary father/grandfather to children in need of one. Jim has never married and has been giving blood and holding babies for more than 20 years. He is the top blood donor at Children’s Hospital in Los Angeles and has been recognized by various organizations for his service including the 2015 Cardinal’s Award.”
Father Marti also writes, “Jim has shown that the virtue of love, especially towards those who are defenseless, is a responsibility that each person is called to fulfill. He does it with a great heart. By his work with children, Jim demonstrates that it is our moral duty to care for these children and to advocate for their rights.”
Wendy Kellaris, Manager, Volunteer Resources at Los Angeles Children’s Hospital, states, “In his role as a TLC volunteer, Jim makes rounds on the patient units and holds and comforts the little ones who need that extra attention. He truly found his calling as a TLC volunteer. You will never see him that he isn’t quietly comforting a fussy infant, a fidgety toddler, a frightened preschooler . . . it doesn’t matter what the age is, he is their Pied Piper.”
The Italian Catholic Federation congratulates Jim O’Connor on being named the recipient of the 2016 Pope Saint John XXIII Award.
St. Francis High School, 200 Foothill Blvd., La Cañada, (818) 790-0325 or visit www.sfhs.net.