Father William Joseph Heffron, ss.cc., an ordained member of the Congregation of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary-United States Province, passed away early on Wednesday morning, December 20, 2017 at Our Lady’s Haven Nursing Home in Fairhaven, Massachusetts where he had resided for the past several years.
Father Heffron, who would have celebrated his 84th birthday on December 30, was born to William and Mary (Toomey) Heffron in Malden, Massachusetts in 1933. In addition to his SSCC family, he is survived by his brother Bob, nephews Bill, Brian and Bobby Heffron, niece Andrea Surette, ten grand-nieces and nephews, three great-grand nieces and nephews and many extended family members and friends. He was pre-deceased by his sister Margaret Howard and his sister-in-law Janet Heffron.
At the age of 18, Fr. Bill enlisted in the US Air Force where he served for four years receiving the National Defense Service Medal, Korean Service Medal and United Nations Service Medal for his actions. Following the Korean Conflict, he became a Medical Service Specialist at Fort Sam Houston in Texas, where he remained until his honorable discharge in 1955.
In August of 1961, he entered the novitiate of the Congregation of the Sacred Hearts in Fairhaven and professed his first vows on August 22, 1962. He was ordained to the priesthood on May 30, 1968 at Queen of Peace Seminary in Jaffrey, New Hampshire.
During his first years of ministry, Fr. Bill was assigned to the Province’s Mission in Japan from 1968 to 1973. Following his return to the US, he became part of the Formation Team until 1979, when he was assigned as Pastor at Sts. Peter and Paul Church in Rochester, New York.
He remained in New York until 1983 when he was elected as Provincial Superior of the USA East Province in Fairhaven, a position which he held for six years. In 1988, he was called to Rome to serve on the General Government of the Congregation and continued there as a General Councilor for six years, returning to Fairhaven in 1994, where he stayed active, assisting at St. Joseph’s Parish and as mission coordinator, until his health forced him into retirement. Always ready with a jovial smile, people will best remember Fr. Bill for his kindness and endless good spirit.
The Congregation of the Sacred Hearts and Fr. Bill’s family extends their sincere thanks to the staff at Damien Residence, Our Lady’s Haven Nursing Home, the Fairhaven Community Nurse and Hospice, and Brother Jim Rukavina, ss.cc. for the love and care given to Fr. Bill.
A Funeral Mass will be celebrated at St. Joseph Church in Fairhaven, Massachusetts on Wednesday, December 27, 2017, at 11:00 AM followed by burial in the Sacred Hearts Community Cemetery. Visiting hours will take place at St. Joseph prior to the funeral, beginning at 10:00 AM. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Sacred Hearts Community at Damien Residence in Fairhaven.