New Resting Place for Boston's First Catholic Cardinal

Aug 5, 2011 - LegalZoom News Sources
The burial site of the first Catholic cardinal from Boston has been moved.

Settling a legal dispute related to the last will and testament of William O'Connell, Boston's first Catholic cardinal, O'Connell's descendants recently agreed the cardinal's remains could be moved to a new gravesite, The Boston Globe reports.

O'Connell's grave occupied land owned by the Catholic Archdiocese of Boston until 2004, when the Archdiocese, needing money to compensate victims of the clergy sex abuse scandal, sold the property to Boston College, according to The Globe. When Boston College sought to move O'Connell's grave to clear the ground for building, the cardinal's descendants objected, prompting the university to file suit.

In making their case, O'Connell's descendants cited his 1943 last will and testament, in which he requested burial on the hillock near St. John's Seminary, where he was interred in 1944, the news source reports.

Edward Kirk, one of O'Connell's descendants and a party to the suit, told The Globe that pursuant to the terms of an amicable agreement, O'Connell's remains have recently been moved to another location on the St. John's property. Kirk said he believes the new location still honors his relative's last will and testament.

The Catholic Church of Massachusetts is involved in another case involving a last will and testament. Irene Kuzontkoski granted all her assets to a Northampton parish that closed shortly after her death, and as a result her bequest has been undistributed for two years, the Hampshire Gazette recently reported.