Belknap (Louisville, Ky.)

= Audio Available Online
Tony Heitzman tells of his childhood and youth in the Belknap neighborhood of the Highlands area of Louisville, Kentucky in the 1930s and 1940s, where his father operated a bakery at the Douglass Loop. He vividly recalls the Roman Catholic ethos of his devout, socially conscious parents as well as student life at St. Francis of Assisi Elementary School. Heitzman tells an interesting anecdote about Kentucky Fried Chicken founder and bakery customer Harland Sanders and explains his lifelong interest in the Von Trapp family singers, refugees from Nazi occupied Austria. He describes his life as a teenager and young adult preparing for the priesthood at St. Meinrad Seminary in the 1940s; as a mathematics teacher and priest at the new Trinity High School; as a coordinator of an anti-poverty program in west Louisville in the 1960s; his decade as a priest at Immaculate Heart of Mary, an all-Black Catholic church in the Little Africa (Parkland) neighborhood; and finally as a priest in the 1980s at St. Barnabas Parish where he left the ministry to marry Judy Cooper, a former church member. He speaks of the impact of Vatican II on his vision of ministry and his earnest struggle to be faithful to his vow of celibacy. Finally, Heitzman describes his later role as a lay Hosparus counselor, he and his wife’s participation in the liberal St. William Parish, and his several retirement interests.