It's a Boy!

"Certainly sons are a gift from the Lord, the fruit of the womb, a reward.  Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the sons born in one's youth.  Blessed is the man who has filled his quiver with them.  He will never be shamed, for he will destroy his foes at the gate."  ~Psalm 127:3-5

Fulton Michael
Born 8/26, 7:12 P.M.
9 lbs. 7.5 oz.
22 1/4 in.

We stuck with our modern-day saint first name, family middle name "formula" in naming Fulton Michael.  He is named after Venerable Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen.  Just as we did with John Paul, we anticipated an immanent declaration from the Church.  Fulton Sheen's Beatification, which we hope to attend with our Fulton, awaits only final approval from the College of Cardinals and then from Pope Francis.  Sheen will (hopefully) be the first American-born male saint to be Beatified.

Who was Fulton Sheen?  He was an American priest and bishop most known for his Life is Worth Living television program in the 1950s.  As a Catholic bishop, he actually won two Emmy's for Most Outstanding Television Personality!  His show was syndicated in the 60s and his TV career was preceded by 20 years on the radio hosting The Catholic Hour in the 30s and 40s.  The digital versions of his shows often keep me company during my commute to work and on long road trips.

Archbishop Sheen's book Three to Get Married has had a profound impact on both Sarah and me.  We often quote it during our marriage prep instruction, and it's our favorite gift to give to our newly engaged or married friends and family members.

My connection to this shoo-in saint is intensified by his Illinois roots.  He was born in El Paso, Illinois and raised and ordained in Peoria.  He went to undergrad at what was St. Viator College (now Olivet Nazarene University) in Bourbonnais, near my hometown.  Some of his family members even lived in Herscher and were parishioners at my home parish of St. Margaret Mary.

Monsignor Sheen became Auxiliary Bishop of New York City in 1951 before being named Bishop of Rochester in 1966.  He died in 1979.  His cause for sainthood was opened by the Diocese of Peoria in 2002 and cleared step two (of four) when Pope Benedict XVI declared him "Venerable" in 2012.  A miracle attributed to his intercession is required for the third step of Beatification (after which he will be called "Blessed").  That miracle has been recently approved by both the medical and theological boards!  It involved a 2010 miraculous recovery of a stillborn Peoria baby who showed no signs of life for 61 minutes!

Venerable Archbishop Fulton Sheen, pray for us!

Fulton Michael is also named after his triple-great grandfather.  Michael Sr. was the original O'Connor to emigrate from Ireland in 1852, and Michael Jr. followed with his siblings in 1853.  They first lived in Paris, KY (near Lexington) before moving to Utica, IL in 1854 and then finally settling outside of my hometown of Herscher in 1868.

See more pictures below.  We thank God for this most amazing blessing!


  1. Congratulations to all of you. Aaron

  2. Beautiful O'Connor family.... thank you for your incredible witness and your love that overflows from your cup into our lives. Congratulations on the birth of your son Fulton Michael... we are praying for you and so happy for you. love, the Hesley family Mitchell, Danielle Rose, and baby still snuggled in the womb

  3. Thanks to you Ryan O'Connor with your lovely wife Sarah for this joyful witness to the Divine Life that is present in the contemporary times. Sometimes we miss the wonders and glory in the world because we are too busy with our lives of the world. With a martyr/soldier, philosopher/prophet and now a priestly media voice to guide your three sons along with the guidance and examples of you and your wife, John Paul, Kolbe and Fulton Michael can help to preach the word of God using words sometimes. Congratulations and my prayers are with you! See you Tuesday, Ryan.