Jesuit Father Herbert K. Conner dies at age 77

SIMPSONVILLE — Jesuit Father Herbert K. Conner, pastor of St. Mary Magdalene Church, died Aug. 30. He was 77.

The Mass of Christian Burial was held Sept. 4 at St. Mary Magdalene Church. The burial will be in Louisiana.

Father Conner was born Oct. 30, 1930, in Augusta, Ga., and was the only child of Herbert and Jennie Kuhlkie Conner.

He was a graduate of Boys Catholic High School and entered the Society of Jesus on July 30, 1948. He graduated from Spring Hill College in Mobile, Ala., in 1955 with a degree in Latin and Spanish.

Father Conner was ordained at Spring Hill on June 14, 1961. He performed his regency from 1955-57 at Jesuit High School in Tampa, Fla., and at the Colegio San Ignacio in Puerto Rico.

He spent many years in the educational field, first as assistant principal at Jesuit High School in New Orleans from 1962-63; minister at St. Charles College from 1964-66; and a teacher at Jesuit High School in Tampa from 1966-71.

Father Conner then turned to parish ministry, an apostolate in which he has served since 1971.

His first parish assignment was at St. Ignatius Church in Mobile from 1971-76; followed by St. Joseph Church in Columbia from 1976-77; Christ our King Church in Mount Pleasant from 1977-89; Our Lady of Peace Church in North Augusta from 1989-90; and Holy Spirit Church on Johns Island from 1990-91.

He has been pastor of St. Mary Magdalene Church since 1991. He was a former chairman of the Diocesan Liturgical Commission and served on the Diocesan Finance Council. He was also a fourth degree Knight of Columbus.

Father Conner recently celebrated his 60th anniversary as a Jesuit priest. He was one of the last Jesuits serving in South Carolina.

Father Conner said it was his family’s close association with the Jesuits that put him on the road to the priesthood.

“From the first day I entered elementary school, the attraction in my life was the priesthood,” he said in a recent interview with The Miscellany.

He was honored for his years of ministry on July 27 by the Jesuits of the New Orleans Province at a jubilee celebration in the Jesuit Church of the Immaculate Conception in New Orleans.

“I enjoyed teaching high school in Tampa, Fla., and Puerto Rico, but I am especially grateful for the time I have spent in parish work,” Father Conner said in a press release from the order. “I thank God and all the people who have worked with me over the years.”

He is survived by his cousins, Barbara Mulherin of Augusta, Ga., and Tom and Peggy Alewine of Lawrenceville, Ga., and the members of his Jesuit community.

Condolences may be made by visiting

In lieu of flowers memorials may be made to
Jesuit Seminary and Mission Fund
710 Baronne St., Suite B
New Orleans, LA 70113