Art and opera bring much joy to All Hallows’ Fr. Jerry O’Donnell
Rev. Raymond G. “Jerry” O’Donnell is the Pastor of All Hallows Catholic Church, situated at the top of Mount Soledad in La Jolla. He is a native son born in San Diego and raised in Chula Vista.
Fr. Jerry received his B.A. from the University of San Diego, and advanced academic degrees from St. Patrick’s Seminary and the University of Notre Dame. He was ordained a priest for the Diocese of San Diego in 1972. Previous assignments include: Associate Pastor of Holy Family (Linda Vista), Associate Pastor of All Hallows (La Jolla), Faculty Member of St. Francis Seminary, Faculty Member USD, Director of the Center for Liturgy for the Diocese of San Diego, and Founding Pastor of the Church of St. Luke in El Cajon.
Fr. Jerry was named the Pastor of All Hallows in April of 2006.
What brought you to La Jolla?
The Bishop of San Diego’s “invitation” to pastor All Hallows Church! (I was stationed at All Hallows as a newly-ordained priest from 1976 to 1980, so this is my “second time around” – or a “homecoming” of sorts.)
What might you add, subtract or improve in the area?
If I could snap my fingers and make it happen, I’d like to see many of the issues facing our community handled through dialogue, consensus and compromise rather than turning to the courts as the first recourse.
Who or what inspires you?
Human generosity of time, talent and treasure – I am inspired every time people set aside their/our very natural “self-interest” for the sake of the good of others.
If you hosted a dinner party for eight, whom (living or deceased) would you invite?
Jesus, Mohammed, Moses and the Buddha (for a scintillating Ecumenical dialogue) – as well as Albert Schweitzer, Mother Teresa of Calcutta (because they did some wonderful, unselfish things for their fellow human beings), and our present Pope, Francis (because I think he “gets it.”) I would be included as the eighth person at the table.
What are you currently reading?
My reading includes The Bible; “Paul Among the People,” by Sarah Ruden; “Rebuilt…Making Church Matter” by Michael White and Tom Corcoran, and “The Lady of the Camellias” by Alexandre Dumas Fils (this book because I just saw “La Traviata” in Santa Fe – an absolutely splendid production!)
What is it that you most dislike?
A sense of entitlement! After all, everything that we have and are is a “gift” – a “grace”! We aren’t owed anything. We are simply stewards of God’s creation.
What is your most-prized possession?
Although they are not “possessions,” what I prize most are the important people in my life: my parishioners, my friends, my sister, Morlane, (she and I are the “last of the Mohicans” in the O’Donnell family), and of course, my dog, Monsi!
What do you do for fun?
I spend time with friends (one-on-one or small groups of three or four) often around the table in a favorite restaurant. I also enjoy reading, listening to music (all kinds, but I am especially drawn to Classical; while Opera holds the No. 1 place in my heart), walking my dog at the Cove or WindanSea, and collecting Native American Art (especially Southwestern pottery). I’ll also watch sports if we’re fielding a winning team.
What is your philosophy of life?
Use the gifts that God has given you, wisely, well, and generously to help make the world a little better place than it was before you were born. “Not being able to ‘do it all,’ is no excuse for ‘doing nothing at all.’”
What would be your dream vacation?
My “dream vacation” is the vacation I’ve taken for the past 15 years: travel to Santa Fe, New Mexico (by way of Sedona, Arizona) for Indian Market, in August. Spend some time, while there, working for SWAIA (Southwestern Association for Indian Arts) which sponsors the two-day market, and spend some time with friends, catching up on life, at one of Santa Fe’s stellar restaurants and taking in an opera or two. Finally, if all goes well, adding a great piece of pottery to my collection.
- Dr. Ajit Varki’s inquisitive mind never seems to rest
- A.J. Frank is new board chair for San Diego Women’s Foundation
- Doreen Schonbrun shares a love of art with children in need
- Nancy Walters strives to expand the fun factor at La Jolla Community Center
- Erin Preuss brings her marketing skills to her job with UCSD development
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