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University community mourns alumna, trustee

Mary Heinen, CSJ '58
Mary Heinen, CSJ '58
Photo courtesy of the CSJs

Mary F. Heinen, CSJ, a 1958 alumna and longtime member of St. Catherine University’s Board of Trustees, died Wednesday, Jan. 1.

Born in 1933 in New Ulm, Minn., Heinen earned a Bachelor of Science degree in nursing from St. Kate’s, a Master of Science degree in nursing from The Catholic University, Washington, D.C., and a Master of Arts and a Doctorate in education from the University of Minnesota.

Heinen had been a member of the St. Catherine board since 2005 (and had served previously from 1988-2000); she also was a member of the St. Catherine Henrietta Schmoll School of Health Advisory Council.

A nationally recognized leader focusing on healthcare for the under- and uninsured, Heinen was Director of Advocacy for the Carondelet LifeCare Ministries/St. Mary’s Clinics of the St. Paul Province of the Sisters of St. Joseph. She also served in leadership positions for the St. Paul Province and the Province’s Health Care Corporation.

Heinen was the first director of the nursing program at St. Mary's Junior College, Minneapolis (which would merge with St. Catherine in the mid-1980s) and was also director and associate professor of the Department of Nursing at North Dakota State University, Fargo, following several years in nursing service at both St. Joseph’s Hospital, St. Paul, and St. John’s Hospital, Fargo.

Heinen served as president of the Minnesota Board of Nursing (1979-81) and the Catholic Health Association’s Board of Directors (2005-07).

Generous with her time and expertise, Heinen served on the Archdiocesan Bioethics Commission and Pastoral Health Care Commission for the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis. She also served on the boards of Carondelet Health System, St. Louis; Catholic Charities, Minneapolis-St. Paul; St. Therese Southwest, Hopkins, Minn.; and, in St. Paul, on the boards of St. Paul Seminary School of Divinity, University of St. Thomas; CommonBond Communities; HealthEast Care System; St. Joseph’s Hospital; and St. Mary’s Rehabilitation Center.

Honored as a member of St. Catherine’s Centennial 100 in 2006, Heinen was awarded an honorary doctorate from St. Kate’s in 1991 and the Outstanding Achievement Award from the U of M Board of Regents College of Education and Human Development in 2004. She was a member of the nursing honor society, Sigma Theta Tau, and the education honor society, Pi Lambda Theta.

“Mary Heinen was one of St. Catherine's most enthusiastic cheerleaders, a stellar alumna and a highly effective, enthusiastic Trustee. We could always count on her -- as could others,” says St. Catherine University President Andrea Lee, IHM.  “She was a force in healthcare across the entire state and nation, working on behalf of the underserved. All of us privileged to work with Mary will miss her, and we deeply mourn her death."

 The visitation will be Monday, Jan. 6, from 12:30 to 2 p.m. with Mass of Christian Burial at 2 p.m., at the Sisters of St. Joseph Provincial House Chapel in St. Paul. A reception and burial will follow.

Jan. 2, 2014 by Julie Michener

See also: Alumnae/i, Students