Obituaries, Week of Oct. 16, 2021

Msgr. Was ‘Witty, Wise Scholar-Priest’

Rev. Msgr. Michael J. Curran, S.T.D.  died on Oct. 10 at 66 years old. Msgr. Curran was a priest of the Diocese of Brooklyn and a professor of Moral Theology since 2012.

Rev. Msgr. Michael J. Curran, S.T.D.

Raised in Brooklyn and a graduate of Cathedral College in Douglaston, New York, Msgr. Curran attended the Pontifical North American College (PNAC) in Rome as a seminarian. He was ordained a priest on June 27, 1981 by the late Bishop Francis J. Mugavero.

After three years of pastoral service, Msgr. Curran returned to Rome for studies at the Alfonsiana Academy where he earned a doctorate in 1988. He went on to teach Moral Theology at the Seminary of the Immaculate Conception (1988-1997) before becoming the Director of Studies and Admissions at his alma mater, the PNAC (1997-2002).

Msgr. Curran returned to the Diocese of Brooklyn to assume pastorates at St. Catharine of Alexandria, Brooklyn (2002-2005) and St. Thomas More-St. Edmund, Rockaway Point, NY (2005-2008). The latter two communities merged to become Blessed Trinity Parish, and Msgr. Curran became its founding pastor (2008-2013). In 2013, he joined the faculty of St. Joseph’s Seminary and College, Yonkers, New York, where he remained until his death.

An advisor to bishops and boards of Catholic healthcare facilities, Msgr. Curran wrote and appeared in the media addressing contemporary ethical issues facing the Catholic Church today.

“The faithful of the Rockaways, like the seminarians of Dunwoodie, will miss this witty and wise scholar-priest,” said Bishop James Massa. “We commend his humble soul to Jesus the Good Shepherd, whom he served so well in a wide variety of settings.”

A wake and vigil Mass were held on Oct. 13 at St. Joseph’s Seminary, Yonkers, and a wake was held on Oct. 14 at St. Thomas More Church, Breezy Point. A funeral Mass was scheduled for Friday, Oct. 15 at St. Thomas More Church, Breezy Point, followed by burial at St. John’s Cemetery, Queens.

Sister Sharon King, RSM, a member of the Sisters of Mercy, Mid-Atlantic Community for 69 years, died on Sept. 15, at age 93 at Maria Regina Residence in Brentwood, New York. Born in Queens, she attended Our Lady of Perpetual Help, Queens Elementary School, and St. Agnes Academic High School in College Point. She entered the Sisters of Mercy Novitiate in Syosset in September 1952 and professed her final vows in March 1958. She received a BS in History from St. Francis College.

Sister Sharon King, RSM

She was a teacher in St. Patrick, Bay Shore (1955); St. Therese of Lisieux (1955-1960, 1963-1967); St. Gregory, Crown Heights (1960-1963); and Catherine McAuley High School (1976-1991). From 1993 to 2003, she was a nurse’s aide at Lakeside Childrens’ Services. A funeral Mass was celebrated in the Sisters of Mercy Convent, Whitestone. Burial was held at Holy Cross Cemetery, Brooklyn.




Sister Valerie Heinonen, OSU, an Ursuline Sister of Tildonk, died on Sept. 18 at Maria Regina Residence in Brentwood, New York, at 80 years old.

Sister Valerie was born in Bayport, New York, to Gunnar (Abraham) and Rose and entered the congregation of the Ursuline Sisters of Tildonk at the age of 17. Sister Valerie’s teaching career spanned 13 years at Nativity BVM (Ozone Park), Our Lady of Victory (West Haven), Holy Family High School (Huntington), St. Gregory the Great (Bellerose) and St. Gregory (Brooklyn).

In 1976, Sister Valerie began her career in shareholder activism and began her ministry at the Interfaith Center for Corporate Responsibility. Sister Valerie was recognized in 1997 as one of 25 “Women of Justice” by Network, a national social justice lobby, and received the 2007 St. Angela Merici Ministry Award.

In accordance with her wishes, Sister Valerie will be cremated and a Mass in celebration of her life will be planned later.

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