Meet the 2016 Augustinian Gala Co-Chairs: Edward and Catharine Hennessy

Catharine and Edward Hennessy, 2016 Augustinian Gala Co-Chairs, with Bishop Robert Prevost, O.S.A.

The Augustinians are happy to announce that Edward and Catharine Hennessy will be the Co-Chairs for the 2016 Augustinian Gala!  The gala will be held on April 22, 2016 at the Drake Hotel in Chicago.  This fourth gala will honor Fr. Mike Slattery, O.S.A., Ernie Mrozek, and the late Fr. Ted Tack, O.S.A.  The Hennessys share a rich history with the Augustinians and we are honored to have such a skilled couple volunteer for us!

About Edward Hennessy...

Edward Hennessy is a native Chicagoan.   He was born to Helen and Leo Hennessy in April of 1967 as their sixth of seven children.  He grew up with his 4 brothers and two sisters in the Beverly neighborhood and attended Sutherland grade school.  When Ed was in 6th grade, his parents moved to 116th place in Morgan Park and he finished grade school at St. Walter's.   Ed is a graduate of Quigley South High school and Northern Illinois University.  After college, Ed began a Masters in Business at DePaul and then decided to go to Law School.  He graduated from Cooley Law School in Michigan in 1993 and immediately began to practice law with his brother Tom and law partner, Jim Roach at Hennessy & Roach Law Firm.

Family History with the Augustinians Since 1920!

The path of the Hennessy family has intersected the Augustinians many times and in countless ways.  Ed’s grandfather (Leo’s father) was Bernard Hennessy.  In 1920 Bernard was compelled to leave Kildare, Ireland for America – a move he had not planned.  Upon arrival in America, he found sanctuary and work with the Augustinians on the Villanova College farm.  That early assistance allowed him to eventually make his way to Chicago where he married and raised 10 children.

Friendship with Bishop John McNabb, O.S.A.

During Ed’s childhood, he remembers Bishop John McNabb, O.S.A., as a close family friend that his father Leo first met at Mendel High School when the Bishop was the Principal of the school and Leo was a teacher and basketball coach.  Bishop McNabb became a close friend and mentor to Leo.  When Helen agreed to marry Leo, the couple took that good news to the Bishop before anyone else.   In 1956, Bishop John McNabb was the celebrant at their wedding.  In the early sixties, when the Bishop was assigned to the Augustinian Missions in Chulucanas, Peru, he immediately called upon Helen and Leo and other loyal friends (many of them school teachers) to help him assemble a support group for the Chulucanas Missions.  Over a period of 40 years, Ed remembers his parents and their magnificent friends throwing Chulucanas Mission Club fundraisers to support Bishop John McNabb.  He and his brothers and sisters were on hand at every fundraiser and assisted in all jobs.  Eventually, Ed and his brothers and sisters began to throw a second party every year that they called the Bishop’s Bash fundraiser consisting of the children of the adults who began the Chulucanas Mission Club. 

About Catharine Hennessy...

In 1994, Ed met his wife Catharine Mullen who was Bill and Marie Mullen’s second of seven children.  Catharine is originally from the Philadelphia area where she was born and spent a majority of her grade school years.  Catharine’s Aunt and Uncle are both graduates of Villanova University.  Her mother’s first cousin Frank Anastasi was a priest and teacher at Villanova until he left to care for his elderly mother.  Catharine first came to Illinois when her father received a job transfer to Chicago in 1982. She was a freshman in college at Old Dominion University in Virginia at the time.  Her family moved to Wheaton, Illinois and Catharine transferred to Illinois State University to be close to her family.  When Ed met Catharine, she was a graduate of Illinois State University and Chicago Kent Law School who was practicing law as a Labor and Employment attorney for the City of Chicago. Catharine currently is an Assistant Commissioner with the City of Chicago’s Department of Streets and Sanitation. While Ed and Catharine were dating, she became involved in the Chulucanas Mission Club Fundraisers with the rest of the Hennessy family.  In 1995, Bishop John McNabb said the wedding mass for Ed and Catharine Hennessy, just as he had with Ed’s parents 39 years before.  After they were married, Ed and Catharine remained committed and involved in the planning and running of the Chulucanas Mission Club Fundraiser.  Catharine organized and ran the silent auction for the fundraiser for five of the last years it was held.  In 1997, Ed and Catharine had their first child, Edward Hennessy, who Bishop John McNabb baptized at Christ the King Church.  In 1999 and 2004 Ed and Catharine had a second son, Leo Hennessy and their daughter Mary Helen Hennessy.  Both boys currently attend St. Rita High School as a senior and sophomore respectively where they are active in the Knights of Augustine, National Honor Society, Golf and the Rugby Club.  Mary Helen Hennessy is currently an eighth grader at Christ the King School on the Southside of Chicago.      


Patrick Murphy

Patrick Murphy has been working with the Augustinians in fundraising and communications since 2010. He began working with the Augustinian Vocations office in 2015. He also holds a Master of Science in Nonprofit Management.