Clogher remembers Bishop Heavener

Bishop Hannon, Dean Thompson, Mrs Margaret Wolman, Archbishop Eames, Bishops Jackson and Poyntz in Clogher Cathedral.

On the afternoon of Sunday, 22 January 2006, a Memorial Service for the late Bishop Heavener was held in St Macartan’s Cathedral, Clogher. The service was conducted by Dean Thompson and Bishop Jackson. Mr Glenn Moore was organist. It was attended by Bishop Heavener’s daughter, Margaret, and her husband Dr Bill Wolman along with members of the Heavener family from Bishop Heavener’s native County Wicklow. Friends and clergy from across Clogher Diocese, from Jordanstown to which Bishop Heavener retired and from farther afield came to the Diocesan Cathedral as did Bishop Hannon and Bishop Poyntz to give thanks for the life and service of Bishop Heavener.

In preaching, Archbishop Eames recalled the first words which Bishop Heavener said to him when the now Archbishop became Bishop of Derry and Raphoe in 1975: ‘Welcome to a privilege God will help you to enjoy.’ The Archbishop also spoke of Bishop Heavener’s ability to see God in every level of society and to see every level of society open to the presence of God. He went on to refer to Bishop Heavener’s strong and assured pastoral touch in hospital situations and in the years of The Troubles which coincided with his episcopal ministry in Clogher and which taught him the need to understand human reactions in situations of intense suffering and sensitivity.

The Archbishop concluded with a reminiscence from a letter which Bishop Heavener wrote to him. In so many ways it captures the spirit of the man: hopeful, positive, faithful and looking to the future: ‘Whatever the outcome, let us remember that the last word lies with God.’

It is worthy of note that all fifty-one years of Bishop Heavener’s ministry as deacon, priest and bishop were spent in the one diocese, Clogher. His down-to-earth qualities and his deep-rooted faith in Jesus Christ endeared him to countless people as the excellent attendance at the Memorial Service attested.

22nd January 2006