Reverend Monsignor William Hynes

Reverend Monsignor William Hynes - 1925-2018

On May 21, 2018 Monsignor Hynes, a retired priest of the Diocese of Santa Rosa, died peacefully after a short illness, at Nazareth House, San Rafael, where he resided since November 2017.

Msgr. Hynes was born in Clashmore, County Waterford, Ireland on April 19,1925. He received his early education at the National School in Clashmore and his Secondary education from the Cistercians/Trappists at Mount Mellary, Cappoquin, County Waterford from 1938 to 1942. He entered Saint John’s Seminary in Waterford City to study for the priesthood. Upon completion of his studies in Philosophy and Theology he was ordained to the Priesthood on June 16, 1949 for ministry in the Diocese of Waterford and Lismore, Ireland.

At that time there was a surplus of priests in the Diocese of Waterford and Lismore and the Bishop was able to send priests on loan to Dioceses in English speaking countries. As a consequence Msgr. Hynes was assigned to minister in the Diocese of Sacramento for a period of five years. He arrived in Sacramento in October of 1949 and was assigned as the Parochial Vicar to St. Joseph’s parish, Marysville where he served for thirteen years. During that time he received permission to continue ministering in the Diocese of Sacramento from the Bishop of Waterford and Lismore and on December 20, 1957 he became an incardinated priest of the Diocese of Sacramento.

In January 1962 Msgr. Hynes was assigned as Pastor of St. Joseph’s parish, Crescent City where he served until August 1970. During his time there two significant events occurred. The first was the Holy See established the Diocese of Santa Rosa on February 21, 1962 taking Del Norte and Humboldt counties from the Diocese of Sacramento and the counties of Mendocino, Lake, Napa and Sonoma from the Archdiocese of San Francisco to form the new Diocese. Msgr. Hynes automatically became an incardinated priest of the newly formed Diocese of Santa Rosa. The second event was that he survived the tsunami of 1964 that caused great destruction as a result of flooding in Del Norte and Humboldt counties. In 1970/71 he served as Parochial Administrator of Our Lady Queen of Peace, Clearlake and from 1971 to 1974 he served as Pastor of St. Peter’s parish, Cloverdale. In the summer of 1974 he was assigned as Pastor of St. John the Baptist parish, Napa where he served for eleven years. In 1985 he was appointed Pastor of St. John the Baptist parish, Healdsburg ministering there for four years. In 1989 he was appointed Pastor of St. Sebastian’s, Sebastopol where he ministered for twenty one years before he retired from active priestly ministry in 2010. However, he continued to serve as a “supply” priest at St. Sebastian’s and at other parishes in the Diocese up until the Fall of 2017.

During his sixty nine years of priestly ministry Msgr. Hynes was a dedicated and faithful priest. There is no doubt that he was a firm believer in God and in the teachings of the Catholic Church and taught and encouraged others to be the same. In the parishes where he ministered he was an excellent administrator and  was always forthright and sincere. He could be feisty at times but endeared himself to many people that was evidenced by their solicitousness of his wellbeing during his lifetime. May his good works accompany him and may the Lord grant him eternal rest.

He is preceded in death by his parents and two brothers. He is survived by his sister, Sister Ann, a Religious of the Daughters of St. Vincent De Paul, Donworth House, Brentwood, Essex, United Kingdom, a nephew and  four nieces and a number of grandnephews and grandnieces.

Messages of condolences may be sent to the Chancery in care of Lynne Peter, PO Box 1297, Santa Rosa, CA 95402. They will be forwarded to the family in Ireland.       

The Vigil/Rosary will be on Thursday, May 24, at 7.30 pm at St. Sebastian Church, Sebastopol.

The Funeral Mass will be celebrated on Friday, May 25, at 11.00 am at St. Sebastian's.

Following the Funeral Mass there will be a reception in the parish hall.

Burial will be at Calvary Catholic Cemetery in Santa Rosa.