Skip to content
Father Michael J. Himesa retired priest from the Diocese of Brooklyn who was released from his diocesan assignment and who had been a professor of theology at Boston College, died June 10.
Father Himes was born on May 12, 1947 and was ordained a priest by Bishop Francis J. Mugavero at Saint James Cathedral on May 27, 1972.
He studied at Cathedral Prep Seminary and Cathedral College of the Immaculate Conception, Brooklyn, and completed his priestly formation at the Seminary of the Immaculate Conception, Huntington.
After his ordination, Father Himes served as vicar parochial at St. Jerome, Flatbush, and St. Luke, Whitestone. After studying at the University of Chicago in the history of Christianity, Father Himes obtained his doctorate. and began a long and illustrative career in academia.
During his lifetime, Father Himes received honorary doctorates from St. Joseph’s College in New York; Sacred Heart University, Connecticut; Molloy College, New York; and Felician College, New Jersey.
In addition, he was twice the recipient of the Catholic Press Association Book Award for Theology, in 1992 and 1997. In the years 1991 and 1993, the graduating classes at the University of Notre Dame elected Father Himes as “the ‘most influential teacher’. ”
Assigned to teach at Immaculate Conception Seminary, Huntington, Father Himes also served as Academic Dean of the Seminary.
In 1987 he began serving as a professor of theology at the University of Notre Dame in South Bend, Indiana, and eventually became a full professor of theology at Boston College, Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts.
Father Himes was an immensely popular teacher and lecturer, and was a renowned author of several books: “Fullness of Faith: The Public Significance of Theology,” with Kenneth Himes, OFM (his brother); “Johann Sebastian Drey: A Brief Introduction to the Study of Theology” (translation and introduction); “Doing the Truth in Love: Conversations about God, Relationships and Service” (Paulist Press, 1995); “Incarnation in progress: Johann Adam Möhler and the beginnings of modern ecclesiology”, New York: Crossroad Herder, 1997; “The Mystery of Faith: An Introduction to Catholicism” (which was also a video series used by many of the RICA classes in this diocese and beyond); and was associate editor of The Harper Encyclopedia of Catholicism.
A funeral mass was celebrated on Tuesday, June 14 at St. Ignatius of Loyola Church, Chestnut Hill, Mass.
The main celebrant was his brother, Father Kenneth Himes, a Franciscan priest and professor of moral theology at Boston College. The homilist was Mgr. John Gilmartin, pastor of Our Lady Queen of Martyrs Parish in Centerport, NY Funeral services were private.
A Memorial Mass was scheduled for Tuesday, June 21 at 11 a.m. at the Immaculate Conception Center, Douglaston, NY
Bishop Robert Brennan of the Diocese of Brooklyn was to be the principal celebrant, with Father Kenneth Himes as special concelebrant and Father John Strynkowski as homilist.
“He will surely be missed,” said Father Strynkowski, a retired priest who has known Father Himes since teaching theology at Immaculate Conception Seminary in the late 1970s.
“For his enthusiasm for the priesthood, for the teaching of theology, and for the growth of the Church, especially among the young.”