Funeral Mass held Thursday for beloved local priest - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Funeral Mass held Thursday for beloved local priest

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SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) - Hundreds gathered to pray at a funeral Mass for Father Henry Rodriguez at the St. Jude Shrine of the West church in Southcrest Thursday. 

The beloved 61-year-old suddenly died of pneumonia last week. His casket was accompanied by retired Bishop Gilbert Chavez and other priests. Police Chief Shelley Zimmerman spoke at the beginning of the mass.     

Known as "Father Henry" around the region for his decades-long community service. He was an advocate for social justice with an outreach to the Latino and LGBT communities and those with HIV and AIDS. He was also a chaplain for San Diego Hospice and Scripps Mercy Hospital.  
    
Father Henry was the Catholic chaplain for the San Diego Police Department and the Fire and Rescue Department for more than 25 years. 
   
Before his own death he stayed up comforting the family of fallen officer Jonathan De Guzman who was murdered in Southcrest. 
    
Police Chief Shelley Zimmerman shared how selfless Father Henry was, she knew him personally for many years. 

"What people may not know is when JD was murdered a couple weeks ago when I went out to tell the family at the hospital, I called Father Henry and asked him to meet me at JD's house so we could break the news to the family and he got out of bed early in the morning and met me at the house," Chief Zimmerman said.

San Diego mourned the loss of Officer De Guzman as he was buried last week. 

RELATED: San Diego honors fallen SDPD officer 

Father Henry's family allowed CBS New 8's cameras into the church during the service. He will be laid to rest at Holy Cross Cemetery immediately following the funeral Mass. 

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