William Hederman, class '38
THE Vincentian Community suffered a very heavy loss by the death of Rev. William Hederman, CM, on the 19th February, 1959. He was a student in Castleknock from 1933 to 1938, and in his final year head-prefect. After his ordination in 1946 he was appointed to the staff of St. Patrick's College, Armagh.
One was immediately struck by his deep, virile spirituality, by his original, independent mind, and by his determined search for truth and justice. He had very high ideals and was completely detached in his pursuit of them.
For many years, he taught Religion in the College, and the strong influence he had on the students was manifested by the sorrow of past and present pupils, when his death occurred. Each of them felt a great personal sense of loss. His charm of manner, his gentleness, his ready wit had endeared him to each of them. But it was in the class room they saw he was a man of strong faith, burning zeal and Christ-like charity. He was a great teacher of religion, his class was not just another academic exercise : in every lesson he helped his students to draw a practical, personal lesson, and he prepared them for their daily life in the college, and for their life later as priests and lay-men. The future lay-men in his class were his special concern, anil to prepare them for the lay-apostolate he was spiritual director to a Praesidium of the Legion of Mary and a group of Patricians. When he died, they all felt convinced that they could now pray to him for his assistance from heaven.
Fr. Hederman had little contact with the people of the parish, but his occasional sermon in the Cathedral had made a lasting impression, and great sorrow was felt at the early death of such a zealous priest. One frequently heard the comment that Father Hederman never visited a house but to bring comfort and relief. A dignitary of the diocese said "In my fifty years of close contact with St.Patrick's, I never knew any priest there like Fr. Hederman." This is no exaggeration: he had a fine brain, he had a most apostolic zeal, he was completely detached, and he lived every day 'per ipsum, cum ipso et in ipso'.
To his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Hederman, Naas, his brother Anthony Hederman, B.L., Dartry, and his sister Miriam, we offer our sincere sympathy.