Jane Heenan RIP

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The Rev. Jane Heenan, 62, a longtime Alexandria resident who became the first woman to head an Episcopal church in Nebraska, died March 14 of congestive heart failure at her daughter's home in Galveston, Tex.

Before moving to Lincoln, Neb., in 1995, Rev. Heenan served as seminarian at St. Alban's Episcopal Church in Annandale and was ordained a priest at St. Michael's Episcopal Church in Arlington County, where she served as assistant rector and interim rector.

From 1995 to her retirement on disability in 2007, Rev. Heenan was the rector at Holy Trinity Episcopal Church in Lincoln. She also hosted numerous spiritual retreats for parishioners in Rehoboth Beach, Del., because she saw the ocean as the perfect background for spirituality, said her daughter, Sarah Gandy.

Rev. Heenan's last formal duty as a priest was officiating at her daughter's marriage in a serene wooded Texas grove last May.

One of the great heroines of the faith, and far too little known. She will be greatly missed--read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryDeath / Burial / Funerals

Posted March 29, 2008 at 9:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

1. Chris Hathaway wrote:

Kendall, there was nothing in the articles about her faith. But since it was The Washington Post that seems normal.

Did you know her personally?

March 29, 11:33 am | [comment link]
2. oldnarnian wrote:

Yes, please tell us more.  I don’t believe she is thought of this way by many here in Nebraska, and if she is “one of the great heroines of the faith,” I would want to honor her memory.

March 29, 2:11 pm | [comment link]
3. BabyBlue wrote:

She was very clear about where she stood on the faith.  Following the consecration of Gene Robinson as bishop of New Hampshire, she told a Nebraska newspaper, “This is probably the darkest hour the church as seen in many decades.  That man was consecrated against the faith.”


March 29, 2:21 pm | [comment link]
4. RalphM wrote:

I knew +Heenan during part of her time At St Michaels in Arlington, VA.  My wife knew her before she entered seminary and she officiated at our wedding in 1995. 

We had great respect for +Jane, and her preaching to be inspiring and faithful to scripture.  My exposure to her as a priest was too limited to comment on KSH’s description of her faith.  I will just say that we were deeply saddened to learn of her death.  His Church on earth is poorer for this loss.


March 29, 2:23 pm | [comment link]
5. sld wrote:

Jane Heenan was my priest for 12 years. i can testify that her faith was built solidly on Scripture and did not waiver even under extreme pressure to give in to save her position. She stood true and faithful. She was truly called of God to the priesthood long before she recognized the call. No, the Post wouldn’t comment on her faith, but those who knew her during her ministry could not doubt it’s validity.

March 29, 9:18 pm | [comment link]
6. The_Archer_of_the_Forest wrote:

Mother Jane was rector of the church that sponsored me to go to seminary. Her memorial service here in Lincoln will be Saturday, April 5th at 11 AM.

March 29, 10:22 pm | [comment link]
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