Edward J. Sweeney, O.S.A.

1911 – 1984 (September 7)

Edward John Sweeney was born January 28, 1911 in Chicago, Illinois, to Charles Sweeney and Mary Murray. He was baptized February 5, 1911 at Visitation Church, was confirmed November 7, 1922 at St. Rita Church, Chicago. He received his elementary education at St. Rita School, and graduated in 1929 from Augustinian Academy, Staten Island, New York.
Edward was received into the novitiate on September 10, 1929. He professed simple vows on September 11, 1930 and solemn vows on September 11, 1933. He earned a B.A. in Philosophy from Villanova College, Pennsylvania, in 1934, and then pursued theological studies from 1934 to 1938 at Gregorian University, Rome, while a member of the Santa Monica College community. He was ordained to the priesthood on July 25, 1937, and received an S.T.L degree in 1938.

Father Sweeney’s entire ministerial life was spent in the parochial apostolate. His first assignment was in 1938 as assistant pastor of St. Rita Parish, Chicago. In 1941 he was named assistant pastor of St. Clare of Montefalco Parish, Grosse Pointe Park, Michigan. He became assistant pastor of St. Mary Parish, Rockford, Illinois, in 1953. He returned to Saint Clare of Montefalco Parish, Grosse Pointe Park, in 1959, again serving as assistant pastor. In 1972 he was named prior of the Augustinian community at St. Clare.

Father Sweeney developed Parkinson’s disease, and retired from full-time ministry in 1979. He continued to reside at St. Clare of Montefalco until 1982, when he was assigned to St. Nicholas of Tolentine Monastery, Olympia Fields, Illinois. Declining health made necessary his admission to a skilled nursing care facility, where he died September 7, 1984 of pneumonia.

Father Sweeney was noted for his gentle ways and his devoted attachment to the Order. One could set one’s watch on his arrival at community exercises. Most of all, Father Sweeney was devoted to the young. In recognition of his ministry to the youth of the parish, when St. Clare of Montefalco School, Grosse Pointe Park, expanded its parish school, the newly constructed section was named in honor of Father Sweeney.

He is buried in the Augustinian plot at Holy Sepulchre Cemetery, Alsip, Illinois.