For the 18 years that he was pastor at Sacred Heart Parish in Cutchogue, the Rev. John P. Henry met many people and gave many sermons.
"He gave the appearance of being hard, but anyone who went to him came away feeling refreshed. He was a wonderful counselor," recalled one of his parishioners, Marian Bopp of Mattituck.
Another parishioner, Paul Murphy, recalled the minister had a boat and liked to fish, and that his parents lived in Cutchogue and attended his church. Alan Dickerson remembered Henry was active in Catholic Charities before coming to Sacred Heart, and always seemed organized. "He ran a good ship," he said.
Henry, 84, who died on Aug. 7 in Maryland, will be buried in his former church cemetery after Bishop Peter Libasci celebrates the Liturgy of Christian Burial at 11 a.m. Friday in Our Lady of Good Counsel Roman Catholic Church in Mattituck.
The son of Margaret and John F. Henry, he was born on Oct. 21, 1925, in New York City and earned his bachelor's degree at St. Francis College in Brooklyn and his master's at Fordham University. He studied for the priesthood at the Seminary of the Immaculate Conception in Lloyd Harbor and was ordained on June 1, 1952.
His first assignment was at St. John the Evangelist Roman Catholic Church in Riverhead in 1952, then he went on to Holy Family Roman Catholic Church in Hicksville. He then became diocesan director of youth activities for nine years, and then went to St. Edward's Roman Catholic Church in Syosset for two years and served at Sacred Heart and Our Lady of Good Counsel churches for 18 years.
After retiring to Florida, he assisted in several parishes, including St. Ignatius of Antioch in Tarpon Springs.
Henry also wrote authored two books: "Those Forty Days: Guided Lentin Meditations and Exercises" and "To See The Face of God: It's the Sole Purpose of Existence."
He is survived by two sisters, Anne M. O'Sullivan of Fairfield, Conn., and Mary A. Gallagher of Lindenhurst, and a brother, Thomas J. Henry of Arnold, Md.
There will be a visitation Thursday from 2 to 4 p.m. at the DeFriest-Grattan Funeral Home on State Route 25 in Mattituck. The Mass of Transferral will be celebrated at 8 p.m. Thursday at Our Lady of Good Counsel Roman Catholic Church in Mattituck.
He will be buried at Sacred Heart Roman Catholic Cemetery in Cutchogue.