Hetherington, Arthur Joseph

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Hetherington, Arthur Joseph

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  • Monsignor Arthur Hetherington

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Dates of existence

1879-1963

History

Born in London on August 9, 1879, he was the first secular priest in the Diocese after its formation. He was Vicar General in the Diocese of Calgary for 50 years under 4 bishops. He was pastor at Sacred Heart Church, Calgary for 48 years. He received his Baccalaureate of Arts from the University of London in 1899 and studied Theology and Philosophy at Oscott College, Birmingham. He was ordained on July 22, 1906 in Westminster Cathedral by Cardinal Francis Bourne. He was appointed Master of Ceremonies at the new Cathedral and he supervised the consecration ceremonies in 1910. Because of his duties at the Cathedral for the next 7 years Hetherington became an expert in liturgical matters. He also wrote and compiled liturgical guides, for example, the Ritus Servandi and Ordo Administrandi a well as ‘Notes on the New Rubrics’ [in the Library’s Special Collection] and contributed to the Catholic Encyclopedia, the Encyclopedia Britannica, and Fortescue’s Ceremonial.
He had considered transferring abroad to improve his health, and when Bishop McNally visited Westminster he was able to persuade Hetherington to come to Calgary. He arrived in Calgary on June 30, 1913, and arranged McNally’s installation ceremonies. Hetherington continued to work closely with McNally as secretary, Chancellor, Vicar General, and Diocesan Consultor. Hetherington was Vicar Capitular in 1924-1925, 1931-1932, and 1935-1936 (elected on the death or departure of a bishop by the Diocesan Consultors. In 1924 McNally requested that he be appointed Domestic Prelate and in 1937 he was appointed Protonotary Apostolic. His was a hidden but crucial role in the development of the diocese. For many years Hetherington was the only English priest in the diocese. He declined to be considered as a potential bishop for Victoria, possibly for reasons of health. He was a dedicated pastor, with time for his parishioners, and was a good manager. He was military chaplain in 1914 and again in 1941 when he became Senior Military Chaplain in Military District no. 13 until the end of the war. Throughout the war he was the Diocesan Director of War Work. He was a driving force behind the establishment of a Catholic Soldiers’ Club, the ’first of its kind in the Dominion, and the finest in Western Canada.’ [The Western Catholic, ‘Official Organ of the Diocese of Calgary, vol. XVII, no. 13 ‘History of Popular Spot Recalled as K. of C. Army Hut Closed Here.’ He was urbane and pious. After a year or more of failing health, Monsignor Hetherington died in Calgary on May 30, 1963 and was buried in St. Mary’s Cathedral cemetery.

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CA RCDCA AR H2

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RCDCA

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Revised 2021-04-01

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