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Ken was a quiet man, but he was filled with a fierce passion to serve God's little people.
In Memoriam: Fr. Kenneth J. Herian, SJ

August 12, 2020 — Let us pray in thanksgiving for the life of Fr. Kenneth J, Herian, SJ, who died on August 9, 2020, at St. Camillus Jesuit Community in Wauwatosa, Wisconsin. He was 96 years old. May he rest in peace.

Ken was born in Ashland, Wisconsin, on February 20, 1924, and he attended grade school and high school in Ashland before entering the Society at Florissant, Missouri on September 1, 1942. He completed the usual Jesuit course of studies at St. Stanislaus Seminary, St. Louis University, and St. Mary's College. Ken was ordained at Gesu Church, Milwaukee on June 16, 1955. After completing tertianship in Decatur, Illinois, he pronounced his final vows in Milwaukee on August 15, 1958.

Ken's long years of pastoral ministry were centered around the parishioners of Gesu Church in downtown Milwaukee. He spent his regency (1949-1952) at Creighton Prep in Omaha, Nebraska. He spent some years as minister to two Jesuit communities (1957-1962 to the Marquette University Jesuit Community and 1965-1968 to the Fusz Memorial Jesuit Community in St. Louis). And he served as acting pastor of St. John's Church in Omaha for one year (1964-1965). But beginning in 1962 and almost until his death he served as an associate pastor at Gesu for a total of 45 years. These 45 years included many, many hours in the pulpit and the confessional, but above all, countless home and hospital visits to the poor and elderly of the parish. Gesu Church would be far too small to hold all the people at whose funerals Ken presided if they were all to show up for Ken's own funeral. In recognition of his dedication, care and priestly ministry to countless people, the church hall at Gesu was named Father Herian Hall.

Ken was beloved by the parishioners of Gesu and seemingly everywhere. He enjoyed having coffee on a regular basis with parishioners and friends. He was the "go to" person for a lot of the people in the parish.

Ken was a quiet man, but he was filled with a fierce passion to serve God's little people. He worked very hard. He was a practical man, a kind man, and a wise man. He lived through all sorts of changes in his Church and in his country, but his dedication to the people of Gesu remained constant over all the long years. He will surely be welcomed into his Father's house by the multitude of Christ's brothers and sisters he served so well for so long.





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The Demontreville Jesuit Retreat House is located on the shores of Lake De Montreville in Lake Elmo, Minn.