May They Rest in Peace: Fr. Thomas (Martin) Heier, CMM

Fr. Thomas (Martin) Heier, CMM, entered eternal life on May 6, 2023, at the age of 92.

Fr. Heier was born in Aberdeen, South Dakota, on April 17, 1931. He attended St. Bernard Seminary, conducted by the Mariannhill Fathers in Brighton, later in Dearborn Heights, Michigan, for high school and junior college. He pursued philosophical and theological studies at the Benedictine St. Meinrad Seminary in Indiana.

Fr. Thomas (Martin) Heier, CMM
Fr. Thomas (Martin) Heier, CMM

He was ordained a priest in Aberdeen on May 11, 1958. His first assignment was as a teacher of English and religion at St. Bernard Seminary, and earned his master’s degree in English at the University of Detroit. He then served in a parish and as a teacher at Divine Word Seminary, Perrysburg, Ohio. He was elected provincial superior of the U.S./Canada Province of Mariannhill and held that position for seven years. He then was appointed novice master and lived in the mission house in Pennsylvania until it closed, at which time he transferred back to Dearborn Heights and lived ever since.

In addition to his other roles, when Fr. Heier returned to Dearborn Heights in 1990, he was appointed as the Editor-in-Chief of Leaves magazine, a position he held until the day he passed away.

Fr. Heier's exceptional writing skills, keen editorial eye, and deep understanding of the Church's teachings and traditions were reflected in the high quality of Leaves magazine during his tenure as Editor-in-Chief. His dedication to the magazine was unwavering, and he worked tirelessly to ensure that it continued to serve as a source of inspiration and guidance for its readers.

Fr. Heier is predeceased by his parents, a brother, and four sisters. Fr. Heier is survived by his three brothers, Fr. Vergil, Fr. Andrew, and Phillip.

Visitation for Fr. Heier will take place at Stanley Turowski Funeral Home, 25509, W. Warren Street, Dearborn Heights, Michigan 48127 on Wednesday, May 10 from 3 – 7 p.m. with Rosary at 6:30 p.m.

Fr. Heier will lie in state at St. Sabina Church, 25555 Ann Arbor Trail, Dearborn Heights, Michigan 48127 on Thursday, May 11 at 10:30 a.m. until the time of his funeral Mass at 11 a.m.

Condolence may be sent to Mariannhill Mission Society, 23715 Ann Arbor Trail, Dearborn Heights, Michigan 48127.

Obituaries for clergy and religious who have lived or served in the Archdiocese of Detroit may be emailed to [email protected]. Obituaries are printed as they are submitted, but may be edited for grammar and style. Detroit Catholic reserves the right to refuse or edit any submissions.


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