Funeral service have been set for a priest credited for pioneering the Evansville Catholic Diocese’s ministry to the Latino community. Father Eugene Heerdink has died at age 92.
Visitation will be held on April 16th from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. EST at St. Joseph Church in Jasper. Vigil service will be held at 7 p.m. EST the same day at St. Joseph Parish.
Visitation will continue on April 17th from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. Central at St. Benedict Cathedral in Evansville. Interment will follow in the Priests’ Circle at St. Joseph Cemetery.
Fr. Heerdink was born on January 23, 1926 in Evansville. He attended St. Meinrad Seminary in St. Meinrad.
On May 19, 1951, Bishop Henry Grimmelsman ordained him a priest of the Diocese of Evansville.
Heerdink’s priestly assisgnments included Assistant, St Joseph Parish, Evansville, 1951; Assistant St. John the Baptist Parish, Vincennes, 1952; assistant, St. Anthony of Padua Parish, Evansville, 1957; administrator, then assistant, Holy Redeemer Parish, 1958; administrator, St. Martin Parish, Whitfield, 1959; pastor, Holy Name Parish, Bloomfield, 1959; Pastor, St. John the Evangelist Parish, Loogootee, 1964; and Pastor, St. Matthew Parish, Mount Vernon, 1969.
In 1979, Fr. Heerdink took a five-year leave from the diocese for mission service in South America. He retired from active ministry in June 2008.
Father Heerdink pioneered diocesan ministry to the Latino community. He served as coordinator of the Diocesan Apostolate to Spanish Speaking beginning in 1992, and as director of the Diocesan Ministry to Spanish Speaking beginning in 1999. He also played a significant role in bringing Catholic radio station WTJW 93.1 FM to Jasper in 2014.
Heerdink is survived by his brother, William, of Evansville, and his sister, Mary, of Washington.