60+ Barons: The O’Brien Family – St. Paul ’58, ’59, ’64 & Bishop Barry ’61, ’67, ’70, ’72

To commemorate the 60th anniversary of the school’s opening in 1957, St. Pete Catholic is honoring its alumni through the 60+ Barons spotlight series.  To nominate a Baron alumnus for the series, please email blog@spchs.org.  To support 60+ Barons of the Future (our current and future students), please consider making a gift to St. Petersburg Catholic High School.

The 7 @ 11's Heaven, July 27, 2007

The O’Brien Family from left to right: Mary Jo Murphy ’58 SP, Father Michael O’Brien ’70 BB, Pat Freehan ’59 SP, Tim O’Brien ’67 BB, John O’Brien ’61 BB, Rita Rewiski ’64 SP, Dan O’Brien ’72 BB



The Seven O’Briens

Mary Jo O’Brien Murphy, St. Paul, Class of 1958, Graduate of Univ. of Florida, degree in communications, married to Dr. KR Murphy, optometrist in Tarpon Springs, two children and three grandchildren. Worked in broadcasting for the bishop on the Catholic radio station for many years.

Patricia A. O’Brien Freehan, St. Paul, Class of 1959, RN Graduate of Good Samaritan School of Nursing in 1962.  I married my high school sweetheart Bill Freehan, 1959 Bishop Barry graduate. We have been together for 53 years.. Stay at home mom who did volunteer work all my life. Eucharistic Minister, Parish Council, Scouts, Mothers’ Club, fund raiser for Catholic Schools. I loved my Catholic education as it gave me an excellent moral compass to live a successful life. I am most proud of our three daughters who have gone to Catholic schools and colleges and are still practicing Catholics, along with their husbands and grandchildren.

John C. O’Brien, Jr. Bishop Barry, Class of 1961, Graduate of University of Texas in Austin ’65, and St. Louis University School of Medicine ’69. Practicing Surgical Oncologist in Dallas for 41 years. Happily married to Sarah for 51 years with three great children and 8 grandchildren. Favorite teachers at BB: Mr. Aurelio Mora and Father Fahey. My Catholic education gave me a strong foundation in caring and ethics upon which I built my vocation in medicine and family life.

Rita O’Brien Rewiski, St. Paul, Class of 1964, Married Rick Rewiski, Bishop Barry graduate of ‘64, Attended St. Petersburg JC and retired from her real estate business in Tallahassee. They have two children and 6 grandchildren. I am so grateful to my parents for my strong family values and excellent Catholic education…both have shaped the person I am today.

Tim J. O’Brien, Bishop Barry, Class of 1967. Married to Dianne since 1970. They have 2 lovely daughters and 4 grandchildren. They have lived in Tallahassee since 1974. He is now retired after working in his construction and property development company for 34 years.

Father Michael T. O’Brien, Bishop Barry, Class of 1970. Graduated from SPJC in 1973 with an AA degree, St. Vincent de Paul Seminary 1975, BA in Philosophy, St. Vincent de Paul Seminary, 1978, MDiv, Villanova University 2011, MSCM. Currently pastor of St. Clement Catholic Church in Plant City. Favorite memory of BB: head football manager for Coach Bill Kleir for my junior and senior years. Solid education at BB helped prepare me for college and post graduate years intellectually, spiritually, and morally. This Catholic education gave me the basic foundation I needed to help me discern, in my twenties, that God was “calling me” to be a Catholic priest.

Daniel J. O’Brien, Bishop Barry, Class of 1972, BS at Florida State University, 1976, MEd at SIUE, 1983, Retired teacher/coach. My experience at Bishop Barry is the reason my son is attending a Catholic HS in Michigan with an emphasis on a Christian learning environment. Fondest memories at Bishop Barry: sock hops in the gym with a live band playing; Mr. Burke’s (Spanish) distinctive deep voice asking questions; Mr. Mora (English) having us memorize Marc Antony’s “Friends, Romans, countrymen…” speech, which I remember today.

The seven O’Brien children created the Esther and Jack O’Brien Scholarship to honor our parents, Esther and Jack on the occasion of their Fiftieth Wedding Anniversary for all the sacrifices they had made to send all of us to Catholic school. The scholarship was designed to give financial aid to 8th graders of St. Jude Parish to attend St. Petersburg Catholic High School. This is a four year partial scholarship that has been awarded to 25 scholars since 1991. The total amount given thus far is $165,420.


The O’Brien Family at St. Jude’s from left to right: Dan O’Brien ’72 BB, John O’Brien ’61 BB, Pat Freehan ’59 SP, Rita Rewiski ’64 SP, Father Michael O’Brien ’70 BB, Tim O’Brien ’67 BB, Mary Jo Murphy ’58 SP

To support 60+ Barons of the Future (our current and future students), please consider making a gift to St. Petersburg Catholic High School.


2 thoughts on “60+ Barons: The O’Brien Family – St. Paul ’58, ’59, ’64 & Bishop Barry ’61, ’67, ’70, ’72

  1. Pingback: “There Is More To Us Than Meets The Eye”: Homily From 60th Anniversary Celebration Mass by Fr. Michael T. O’Brien (Bishop Barry ’70) | Baron Blog

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