New York Priest Serving in Rome Named Monsignor

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Father Luke Sweeney, a priest of the archdiocese who is serving at the Vatican Congregation for Bishops in Rome, has been named a monsignor.

The appointment became effective Sept. 21, and was announced in the office Oct. 25 by Cardinal Marc Ouellet, prefect of the Congregation for Bishops. Msgr. Sweeney was one of 10 priests named monsignors serving on the support staff to Cardinal Ouellet and the other officials at the congregation.

Msgr. Sweeney has served in the English language section of the Congregation for Bishops since October 2015.

He also serves as adjunct spiritual director at Pontifical North American College, working with seminarians, deacons and new priests. He acts as a tour guide several times each month for the Scavi (excavations) underneath St. Peter’s Basilica, leading pilgrimages to the tomb of St. Peter.

On Sundays, he celebrates the 10 a.m. Mass in English at the Church of Santo Spirito (Holy Spirit) in Sassia of Rome. Only one block away from St. Peter’s Square, St. John Paul II made the historic church the Divine Mercy Sanctuary of Rome in the 1990s. Msgr. Sweeney also celebrates Mass weekly at one of the Missionaries of Charity houses in Rome.

Msgr. Sweeney, in an email interview with CNY, expressed his appreciation for “two inspirational bishops: Cardinal Dolan for allowing this opportunity to serve the universal Church and for his support over the years. As well, I would like to thank Cardinal Ouellet for his trust…as he helps the Holy Father fulfill his Petrine Ministry and as he assists so many bishops around the world in his role as prefect.”

Msgr. Sweeney said his service at the Vatican, through his work and the many friendships he has made in Rome, “makes ever more palpable being a pilgrim on the journey of life with Jesus and the saints.”

“I hope that I have faithfully brought to Rome the perspective and experience of being a priest of the Archdiocese of New York, and one day, when my term is complete, to bring the graces I discovered here in Rome to be shared with the good New York faithful whom I will be sent to serve,” he said.

Msgr. Sweeney served as vice rector of Cathedral Seminary Residence of the Immaculate Conception in Douglaston, Queens, 2012-2015, and was vocation director for the archdiocese, 2006-2012. He was formation advisor and on the faculty of St. John Neumann Residence at St. Joseph’s Seminary, Dunwoodie, 2006. He served as parochial vicar of Sacred Heart parish, Newburgh, 2002-2006, and St. Theresa of the Infant Jesus, the Bronx, 2001-2002.

He was ordained in 2001 by Cardinal Edward Egan at St. Patrick’s Cathedral after studying for the priesthood at Pontifical North American College in Rome, earning a theology degree at Pontifical Gregorian University.—John Woods

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