The Knights of Columbus Rochester Council No. 178 and Patchen Briggs Veterans of Foreign Wars Post No. 307 paid tribute Dec. 8 to Father Elmer W. Heindl, the oldest priest of the Diocese of Rochester.
Tony Liccione, the council’s Grand Knight, presented Father Heindl, the council’s oldest member, with a plaque honoring the priest for his 68 years of dedication and service to the Knights, as well as for his service to the VFW and the Rochester community. The ceremony and dinner were attended by 100 people, including representatives of the Knights at the New York state level.
Father Heindl, 95, is one of the most decorated Army chaplains of World War II, and one of only 19 such clerics to receive a Distinguished Service Cross. Prior to the war, Father Heindl served parishes in Dansville, Auburn, Gates and Rochester. After the conflict’s end, he returned to serve parishes in Rochester, Webster, Scipio Center, Genoa, Fleming, Gates, Cato, Red Creek, Weedsport and Greece.
Robert McClarrie, Grand Knight of Greece Council No. 3892, gave the keynote speech, referring to Father Heindl’s wartime service, as well as his work on behalf of the Knights.
“Father Heindl has been a Knight almost as long as he’s been a priest, and his commitment to the order has been to the very highest standard,” McClarrie said in his address.