Rev. Joseph A. Senke, O.S.A. (1912 - 1992)
Rev. Joseph A. Senke, O.S.A. entered eternal life on November 13, 1992.
Joseph Aloysius Senke was born on September 21, 1912 in Chicago, Illinois to John and Mary (Mockkitis) Senke. He was baptized on October 13, 1912 at Holy Cross Catholic Church, Chicago.
After beginning his secondary education at Fox Valley Catholic High School, Aurora, Illinois, Joseph transferred to Augustinian Academy, the preparatory seminary in Staten Island, New York. He received his diploma there in 1931.
On September 12, 1931, Joseph was received into the Augustinian Novitiate. He professed simple (temporary) vows in the Order of St. Augustine on September 13, 1932 and solemn (permanent) vows on September 13, 1935. Following profession of vows, Joseph undertook collegiate studies at Villanova College, Villanova, Pennsylvania, earning a B.A. in Philosophy in 1936. He then pursued theological studies at the Gregorian University, Rome, earning an S.T.L. in 1940. He was ordained a priest on July 9, 1939 in Rome.
Father Senke's first assignment was in 1940 to Holy Rosary Parish, Lawrence, Massachusetts. In the summer of 1942, he was affiliated to the new Province of Our Mother of Good Counsel (Augustinians of the Midwest) and was assigned to teach at St. Rita High School, Chicago.
In 1945, Father Senke became Assistant Pastor at Ss. Peter and Paul Catholic Church, Rockford, Illinois. He returned to St. Rita High School, Chicago, in 1947. From September 1958 to July 1959, he was assigned to St. Monica Novitiate, Oconomowoc, Wisconsin. Meanwhile, he served as Socius Provincial and Secretary of the Province from 1952 to 1959.
Father Senke was transferred in 1959 to St. Rita Parish, Chicago, as Assistant Pastor. From 1968 to 1971, he was Assistant Pastor at St. Anthony Parish, Baton Rouge, Louisiana. He was also Prior (local superior) of the Augustinian community there.
Because of ill health, Father Senke was transferred in 1971 to St. Augustine Parish, Detroit, Michigan. He served as Chaplain at St. Joseph Mercy Hospital, Detroit, for five months during 1972. Later that year, he was named Assistant Pastor of St. Patrick Church, Dallas, Texas. He then ministered for a short time in 1976 at St. Theresa Church, Collinsville, Oklahoma, and at St. Luke Church, Irving, Texas.
In 1977, Father Senke began his retirement years at Austin Catholic High School Friary, Detroit. During the next year, he moved to St. Joseph Parish, Pekin, Illinois. He was then assigned to St. Rita Monastery, Chicago, in 1981. His last days were spent at Chateau Village Nursing Home, Willowbrook, Illinois.
For many years, Father Senke suffered from diabetes and its complications, which led to an amputation of a leg and finally to kidney failure. He died on November 13, 1992 at the age of 80. He had a great love for the Augustinian Order and all things Augustinian. He had a quiet way of being present and giving himself to the community.
Father Senke is buried in the Augustinian plot at Holy Sepulchre Cemetery, Alsip, Illinois.