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Rev. Joseph P. Henry

Deceased: 2023-03-02


ICTE Fall: 1997

Rev. Joseph P. Henry, 91, Pastor Emeritus of SS. John and Paul Parish, Coventry, died Thursday, March 2, 2023.

Born in Providence, Rhode Island, son of the late Patrick C. and Anna A. (Cloherty) Henry, he attended Saint Paul School in Cranston and La Salle Academy in Providence.

In preparation for the priesthood, he studied at Our Lady of Providence Seminary, Warwick, and Saint John Seminary in Brighton, Massachusetts. He was ordained a priest on February 3, 1958 by Archbishop Richard J. Cushing at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross in Boston.

Father Henry served as assistant pastor in the following parishes: Saint Michael, Georgiaville (1958-59); Sacred Heart, East Providence (1959-67); Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Providence (1967-68) and Saint Timothy, Warwick (1968-77). In 1977 he was appointed pastor of Saint Francis de Sales Parish in North Kingstown.

In 1989 he was transferred to SS. John and Paul Parish in Coventry where he remained until July 2003 when he retired as Pastor Emeritus. In addition to his parochial duties, Father Henry served also as Dean of West Bay Region 9 for two terms (1983-86), and Dean of Pawtuxet Valley Region 5 for three terms (1989, 1992 and 1995).

In 1997, Father completed sabbatical studies at the North American College in Rome.

During retirement, Father Henry resided in Jamestown and assisted for several years at St. Thomas More Parish in Narragansett. He also served faithfully in the Catholic prison ministry at the Adult Correctional Institute (ACI), Cranston during retirement.

Last month, Father Henry celebrated the 65th anniversary of his priestly ordination. At the time of his death, Father was living at St. Clare Home, Newport.

He is survived by his many beloved nieces and nephews and grandnieces and grandnephews. He was the brother of the late Ann Buffum and John Henry.

Calling hours will be at St. Veronica Chapel, 1035 Boston Neck Road, Narragansett, RI 02882 on Sunday, March 5, from 4:00 p.m. until 6:00 p.m., followed by Solemn Sung Vespers.

A Concelebrated Mass of Christian Burial will be offered for the repose of Father’s soul on Monday, March 6, at 11:00 a.m. at St. Thomas More Church, 53 Rockland Street, Narragansett, RI 02882. The Mass will be available on livestream at

Burial will be in St. Ann Cemetery, Cranston, RI. In lieu of flowers, please make donations in memory of Father Henry to the Seminary Education Fund, payable to the Diocese of Providence, at Our Lady of Providence Seminary, 485 Mt. Pleasant Avenue, Providence, RI 02908.