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Fr. Al Leaves Scholarship Fund to Heelan

The late Father Alfred E. McCoy, a beloved figure for years at Bishop Heelan High school, Sioux City, will continue to support young people after his death through the new Father Alfred McCoy Scholarship Fund.

As part of his estate plan, McCoy established the endowed scholarship fund to provide tuition assistance to Heelan High School students. His generous gift of $150,000 ensures that several students will receive scholarships. Details of the scholarship criteria will be determined to offer grants beginning with the
2015-16 school year.

Father Al, as he was affectionately known, served as president of Heelan High from 1996 to 1998 and assisted administration for years after that. He celebrated Masses, gave afternoon announcements, interacted regularly with students, painted classrooms with the summer maintenance crew and provided other support. He was known for his Irish charm, his short, but pointed, homilies and his teasing remarks aimed at the bishop about being named a monsignor.

Father Al's gift adds several more awards to the growing list of scholarships awarded to Bishop Heelan High students to make their tuition more affordable. Heelan offers some two dozen awards annually to students who exhibit academic success and involvement in school and in their parish.

“We are honored to be named after Bishop Heelan, an Irishman and a great champion of education,” said Jim Tschann, Heelan system president. “We are grateful for the generosity of another Irish educator, Father Al McCoy.

After serving the Diocese of Sioux City for 58 years, Father Al died at age 83 in September 2012. In addition to serving as parish pastor in over a dozen communities, he had served as mayor of Cherokee while pastor there. In Sioux City he assisted with sacramental ministry to the Carmelite Monastery and served as an auxiliary chaplain to the 185th Iowa Air National Guard which awarded him an Iowa Meritorious Service Medal for his service to guard members.

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