Father Bernard's Story

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Father Bernard Head, 89, of St. Mary-of-the-Woods, passed away peacefully at 2:20 a.m. Wednesday, May 10, 2017, at Providence Healthcare at St. Mary-of-the-Woods. He was born on Sept. 2, 1927, in Indianapolis, to Bernard Head Sr. and Evelyn Bridgins Head.
His education began at Cathedral Grade School in Indianapolis and with the family's move to Seymour, continued at St. Ambrose School and Seymour High School. He entered St. Meinrad Seminary to prepare for the priesthood and after his second year of college, was awarded a Basselin scholarship to the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. There he earned graduate degrees in philosophy and theology.
He was ordained to the priesthood at St. Ambrose Church in Seymour and assigned to Holy Trinity Parish in Indianapolis. After just one year there, Father Head began a long career in education, beginning at Ladywood School in Indianapolis and continuing at the Latin School of Indianapolis. During his years at the Latin School, he received master's degrees in educational administration at Butler University and in English at the University Of Notre Dame. (Go Irish!)
After 10 years of high school teaching, he moved on to Marian College in Indianapolis as associate professor of theology and philosophy and later chairperson of the department. He also served three terms as chairperson of the College Council. For several of his 15 years at Marian College, Father Head combined his work there with serving as pastor at St. Thomas More Parish in Mooresville and later as chaplain for Our Lady of Grace Monastery in Beech Grove. He was elected first president of the Priests' Senate, now the Council of Priests, and re-elected for two more terms.
In 1982 Father Head resumed full-time parish work at St. Luke's in Indianapolis and later became chaplain at the Motherhouse of the Sisters of Providence at St. Mary-of-the-Woods, where he remained until his retirement 16 years later. During 10 of those years, he also served as contract chaplain at the United States Penitentiary in Terre Haute, and for several years as administrator of St. Mary's Village Church in St. Mary-of-the-Woods. Following his retirement, he became sacramental minister and priest moderator at St. Mary's Village Church and St. Leonard's Church in West Terre Haute. He also was privileged to attend the beatification and canonization of St. Mother Theodore Guerin in Rome.
Mass of Christian burial will be 11 a.m. Monday, May 15, 2017, in the Church of the Immaculate Conception, St. Mary-of-the-Woods, with Monsignor William Stumpf presiding. Burial will be in the Sisters of Providence Cemetery. Visitation will be 4 to 8 p.m. today in the church, with wakes service at 7:30 p.m. led by Father Stephen Giannini. There also will be visitation beginning at 9 a.m. Monday in the church. Care and arrangements have been entrusted to Fitzpatrick Funeral Home, West Terre Haute.
Published on May 13, 2017
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