Remembering Fr. George Heyman

Apr 20, 2021

Stephen Loughlin, Ph.D.

It is with deep sorrow that we have learned of the passing of Fr. George Heyman, past president of St. Bernard's School of Theology and Ministry. Fr. George taught with us at St. Bernard's from 2007 until 2015, when he became President of the School, a position he held until 2018. Subsequently, he was appointed as the Pastor of the Church of the Assumption and the Church of the Resurrection in Fairport, NY.

As stated in The Catholic Courier (the newspaper for the Diocese of Rochester), Fr. George was a native of Rochester and a graduate of St. Bernard's Seminary. He was ordained by Bishop Matthew H. Clark on April 24, 1981. He was highly educated, receiving not only his MA and MDiv degrees from St. Bernard's Seminary, but also his BA from St. John Fisher, an MA in Theology from Harvard Divinity School, and his Doctorate in Religion from Syracuse University.

For those who had the pleasure of working with Fr. Heyman, the news of his sudden passing was devastating. We remember his leadership not only in supporting the Diocese during "The Year of the Eucharist" with a series of programs, but also in guiding St. Bernard's in its continued and faithful service to the laity and ordained ministers of the Diocese of Rochester.

I first met Fr. George through the eyes of his students, all of whom marveled at his learning and his abilities in the classroom. He is most fondly remembered for his passion in the classroom, particularly when he taught "From the Lord's Supper to the Holy Mass," "St. Paul," "Catholics, Muslims and Jesus: An Interfaith Perspective," and "The Early Church." His parishioners were struck by the power of his sermons, which combined effortlessly the rhetorical flair of a master with a deep understanding of the Gospel message. On the few occasions that I met Fr. George, I was most impressed by his charity, his willingness to serve the Diocese and its people, his love of God and his desire to give as he could to those in need.

We at St. Bernard's will miss Fr. George greatly, and we extend to his family, the people that he served, and his fellow priests in Rochester, our prayers during this time. Details on his funeral arrangements can be found here.

May his soul through the mercy of God rest in peace.