Father Bernard Heffernan (1934-2016)

There’s an old Celtic saying; the greatest sin is the unlived life. This individual’s life is a true mosaic of experiences, events, relationships and dedications to his belief. It could never be said Father Bernard Heffernan is guilty of an unlived life.

An ordained priest since the early ‘60’s, this son-of-Douro worked as labourer, plumber, truck driver and RCAF flight lieutenant. His parishes existed in quintessential small-town Ontario, but often his congregation was the world.

Father Heffernan was an innovator in the use of mass media to spread his message of faith. He penned, and produced the widely-distributed TV series ‘The Church’ as well as numerous radio programs and series.  Among the shows he hosted and produced was ‘Gospel Gold,’ airing Sunday evenings at 6pm on CKQM ‘Country 105’ radio in 1987. A similar program aired on 910 CKLY Radio in Lindsay. He crafted an influential, and well-received book called ‘The Future Vision of the Christian Mass Media Mission.’

Whether interviewing celebrities such as Garth Brooks, spending time listening to prisoners in local jails, or seniors in nursing homes, he always held fast to the belief that each person is valued in God’s eyes. Regardless of his many accomplishments in mass media, for Father Bernard Heffernan, faith is passed on one soul at a time. As well, it can be said, one note at a time. Ahead of most of the major Peterborough Petes or Lakers Lacrosse games, ‘Father Hef’ would often be seen outside the entrance of The Peterborough Memorial Center, playing his fiddle and spreading the Good Word.

And especially, on St. Patrick’s Day.

Father Heffernan went to be with the Lord in 2016, at age 81.


Scroll to Top