Rev. Henry G. Heffernan, SJ, was born in Washington, D.C., on November 5, 1930. He attended Washington Catholic High School before transferring to Gonzaga College High School where he met the Jesuits. After a year of studies at the University of Notre Dame, he entered the Novitiate of St. Isaac Jogues in Wernersville, Pa., in 1949. He went on to receive his undergraduate degree from Bellarmine College in Plattsburgh, NY, as well as a master’s from Loyola Seminary in Shrub Oak, NY, a Bachelor of Sacred Theology from Woodstock College in Woodstock, MD, and a degree in Economics from Boston University. He was ordained a priest on June 17, 1962, at Woodstock College.
Following ordination and his tertianship, Fr. Heffernan taught economics for two years at Wheeling University before traveling to Jamshedpur, India in 1970 where he also taught economics at the Xavier School of Management. He returned to the States in 1975 where he began a 22-year tenure as a social worker at Gonzaga College High School in Washington, D.C. While there, he also helped fundraise for the World Missions. In 1997, he became hospital chaplain at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, MD, where he served for 16 years.
In 2014, Fr. Heffernan was assigned to St. Elizabeth’s Hospital in Washington, D.C., where he served in pastoral ministry for seven years. He moved to the Manresa Hall Jesuit Community in Philadelphia in 2021, praying for the Church and the Society of Jesus. He died peacefully on January 3, 2022, at the age of 91.