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Former Fordham Preparatory School Teacher Passes Away at 91


Thomas C. Hennessy, S.J., who spent 20 years as a teacher at Fordham Preparatory School, died on Thursday, Dec. 13 at Murray-Weigel Hall. He was 91.

Father Hennessy taught at Fordham Prep from 1941 to 1961, and also served as a professor at Fordham University’s Undergraduate School of Education (UGE) from 1961 to 1981.

“Father Hennessy served as Student Counsellor and coach of Speech and Debate for 20 years at Fordham Prep,” said Kenneth Boller, S.J., president of Fordham Preparatory School. “He was the spiritual guide for the school and introduced modern professional guidance techniques to professionalize the department.”

Father Hennessey, who entered the Society of Jesus at the Jesuit Novitiate in Poughkeepsie, N.Y., on July 30, 1934, was considered to be a historian on Fordham’s history. He was the author of Fordham: The Early Years (Fordham University Press, 1998) and How the Jesuits Settled in New York: A Documentary Account (Fordham University Press, 2003).

In 2001, Father Hennessey compiled a list of facts on the Fordham cemetery in order to refute a widespread myth that the burial ground was a “phantom” one, containing no remains under the tombstones. Entitled, “The Chronology of the Cemetery,” the information is available in the library’s Archives and Special Collections.

A wake will be held for Father Hennessey on Tuesday, Dec. 18 from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. at:

Murray-Weigel Hall
515 East Fordham Road
Bronx, New York 10458

The Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Wednesday, Dec. 19 at 11 a.m. at:

Loyola Hall Chapel
Fordham University
Rose Hill campus
Bronx, New York 10458

Father Hennessey will be buried at the Jesuit Cemetery in Auriesville, N.Y.

Notes of condolence may be sent to Father Hennessy’s sister:

Ms. Eileen Weber
66 Bridge St.
Winsted, CT 06098



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