Rev. Luke J. Sweeney, O.S.A. (1907 - 1974)
Rev. Luke J. Sweeney, O.S.A. entered eternal life on July 2, 1974.
Luke Joseph Sweeney was born on August 2, 1907 in Plains, Pennsylvania to James and Isabel (Gallagher) Sweeney. He was baptized on August 11, 1907 at Sacred Heart Catholic Church, Plains. He received the Sacrament of Confirmation on July 10, 1921 in the same church.
After completing his high school education at Augustinian Academy, Staten Island, New York, Luke was received into the Augustinian Novitiate on August 15, 1926. He professed simple (temporary) vows in the Order of St. Augustine on August 16, 1927 and solemn (permanent) vows on August 16, 1930. He earned a B.A. in Philosophy from Villanova College, Villanova, Pennsylvania, in 1930. He then pursued theological studies at Augustinian College, Washington, D.C. On June 13, 1933, Luke was ordained a priest. He was awarded an M.A. in Education in 1934 by Catholic University of America, Washington.
In 1934, Father Sweeney was assigned to St. Thomas of Villanova High School, Ojai, California. He was transferred to St. Rita High School, Chicago, Illinois, in 1938.
When the new Augustinian Province of Our Mother of Good Counsel (Augustinians of the Midwest) was formed in 1941, Father Sweeney bacame affiliated to that Province. That same year, he was assigned to St. Clare of Montefalco Parish, Grosse Pointe Park, Michigan, where he was Assistant Pastor. He was transferred in 1944 to St. Rita Parish, Chicago, and served as Assistant Pastor there. In 1965, he was assigned to St. Joseph Mission House, Fort Wayne, Indiana, where he worked on compiling the history of the Augustinians of the Midwest.
Returning to pastoral ministry in 1966, Father Sweeney was named the first Augustinian Pastor of St. Anthony Parish, Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Two years later, in 1968, he became Pastor of St. Augustine Parish, Detroit, Michigan. Because of ill health, he retired in 1972 and lived at Austin Friary, Detroit, where he was residing at the time of his death on July 2, 1974.
Father Sweeney is remembered as a people-orientated person and a good listener who enjoyed the trust of others. His favorite passage from the Bible, the parable of the Prodigal Son, was reflected in his attutude of openness to everyone. He was particularly concerned with ministry to children of all ages and for the needs of the elderly.
Father Sweeney is buried in the Augustinian plot at Holy Sepulchre Cemetery, Alsip, Illinois.