Fr. Robert Regis Heuschkel, O.P. (1923-2017)

August 21, 2017

Father Robert Regis Heuschkel, O.P., died in the evening of July 19, 2017, at St. Elizabeth Hospital in Boardman, OH, at the age of 94. For over sixty-five years, he faithfully serve in teaching and parochial ministry including over twenty-eight years of ministry at St. Dominic Priory in Youngstown, OH. Besides his parents, Fr. Heuschkel was predeceased by a brother, Richard Heuschkel, and a sister, Solange Van Heusen.

Father Heuschkel was born on July 17, 1923, in Hoboken, NJ, to Paul John and Claire I (née Moisson) Heuschkel, and named Robert Paul. He attended Public Schools 38 in Rosedale, NY, Public School 156 in Laurelton, NY, and St. Boniface Grammar School in Elmont, NY, and then St. Patrick High School in Ottawa, Ontario, and Brooklyn Prep in Brooklyn, NY.  From 1940-43, he attended Fordham University in the Bronx, NY, majoring in economics.

He entered the Dominican Novitiate on May 31, 1943, at St. Rose Priory in Springfield, KY, and received the religious name Regis. He made his first profession at St. Rose Priory on June 16, 1944, and his solemn profession at St. Joseph Priory, Somerset, OH, on June 16, 1947. He studied philosophy at St. Joseph Priory and theology at the Pontifical Faculty of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, DC. On June 10, 1950 he was ordained a priest at St. Dominic’s Church in Washington, DC, by Most Reverend Edward Celestine Daly, O.P., Bishop of Des Moines, IA.

In 1951, Fr.  Heuschkel was assigned to St. Thomas Aquinas House in Columbus, OH, and began teaching at Aquinas High School. He taught religion and mathematics. During the summers, he assisted at a number of different parishes, as well as the chaplaincies at St. Mary’s Hospital and the Ohio State Penitentiary.  In 1961, he was assigned to St. Mary Priory in New Haven, CT, where he served in the parish and was procurator of the community. In 1965, he was named Director of the Shrine of Infant of Prague.

On June 1, 1977, Fr. Heuschkel was named pastor of Holy Trinity Parish in Somerset, OH, and appointed superior of Holy Trinity Rectory.  After serving for two terms, on August 1, 1983, he was assigned to St. Patrick Rectory in Columbus, OH, where he served as a parochial vicar.  On February 15, 1984, he was appointed superior and then named pastor of the parish.  On October 1, 1987, he was appointed to St. Louis Bertrand Priory in Louisville, KY, where he served as a parochial vicar.  On January 5, 1989, he was assigned to St. Dominic Priory in Youngstown, OH, where he would diligently serve for the next twenty-eight years.  He served the priory as procurator for several terms.  Even in his final years in Youngstown, Fr. Heuschkel regularly celebrated daily Masses and spent countless hours in the confessional.

Fr. Heuschkel’s body was received at St. Dominic Church in Youngstown, OH, during the afternoon of July 23, 2017. The Office of the Dead was celebrated that evening at 6:00 pm. Very Rev. Vincent DeLucia, O.P., Prior of St. Dominic Priory, was the principal celebrant and preacher at the Mass of Christian Burial celebrated at 10:00 am the next day at St. Dominic Church. Most Rev. George V. Murry, S.J., Bishop of Youngstown attended in choir. Interment followed at Calvary Cemetery, Youngstown, OH.

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