BLOOMFIELD – Father Henry R. Dery, 92, of Bloomfield, passed away peacefully on April 7, 2012.
He was born May 7, 1919, in Dudley, Mass., son of the late Adelard and Anne (Lachance) Dery. He graduated from St. Joseph Seminary in Cleveland, Ohio, and was ordained to the priesthood on May 22, 1948, in Cleveland by Archbishop Edward F. Hoban of Cleveland.
In 1948, Father Dery began his studies in Rome at the Angelicum University, from which he received his licentiate in theology in 1950. He returned to Cleveland in 1950 and taught at the major seminary there until 1953. Father Dery then spent five years as the spiritual director at Eymard Seminary in Hyde Park, N.Y., where he subsequently became a vocational recruiter and, later, the rector until 1968.
In 1968, Father Dery was appointed to his first pastorate at St. Charles Borromeo Parish in Albuquerque, N.M. In 1980, he became the pastor and superior at Sacred Heart Parish in Salt Lake City, Utah.
In 1984, Father Dery began serving the Archdiocese of Hartford, at St. Joseph Church in Bristol and then at St. Jerome Church in New Britain. In 1988, he became the pastor at the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem, where he served until his retirement to his hometown area, Webster-Dudley, Mass., in 1994.
Father Dery celebrated his golden jubilee on May 22, 1998, and later that year, he moved to St. Thomas Seminary in Bloomfield, where he continued to help out in many parishes.
Father Dery is survived by many nieces, nephews and grandnieces and grandnephews. He was predeceased by nine brothers; four sisters; and two uncles, Father Ludger Lachance and Father Henri Lachance, both members of the Congregation of the Blessed Sacrament.
Archbishop Henry J. Mansell celebrated a Mass of Christian Burial on April 11 in the chapel at St. Thomas Seminary. Msgr. Gerard G. Schmitz, vicar for priests for the Archdiocese of Hartford and president/rector of St. Thomas Seminary, preached the homily.
A Mass of Christian Burial also was celebrated on April 12 at Father Dery’s home parish, Sacred Heart of Jesus, in Webster.
Burial followed in Sacred Heart of Jesus Cemetery. Donations in Father Dery’s memory may be made to St. Thomas Seminary, 467 Bloomfield Ave., Bloomfield, CT 06002.