David Sweeney, OFM
1922 – 1993
Fr. David Sweeney, OFM, was born Jan. 2, 1922 in Glendale, N.Y. He graduated from St. Joseph’s Seraphic Seminary, Callicoon, N.Y., and was received into the novitiate at St. Bonaventure Friary, Paterson, N.J., in 1942. Fr. David professed temporary vows one year later, made his solemn profession in 1946 and was ordained in 1948.
After ordination, Fr. David continued his studies at The Catholic University of America, receiving his doctorate in history in 1949. In 1963, he received a doctorate in Church history. His doctoral dissertation was published in book form by Herder and Herer in 1965, under the title of The Life of John Lancaster Spalding. While pursuing his doctoral studies at Catholic University, he served as a reference librarian at Holy Name College.
He then went to teach at St. Francis College, Rye Beach, N.H. In 1963, Fr. David was assigned to Christ the King Seminary, Allegany, N.Y., and joined the faculty of St. Bonaventure University. He also served a six-year term as guardian of the friary at the seminary. When Christ the King moved to East Aurora, N.Y., Fr. David taught there from 1974 to 1979, when he took a two-year sabbatical at the University of Munich. He returned to St. Bonaventure University and taught in the theology department until 1992, when ill health forced him to retire.
Fr. David spent most of his Franciscan life in the service of young people. To them, he was a friend, a counselor and a trusted confidante. Fr. David was a dedicated teacher and his ministry in education was a credit to himself and his community.
He died on March 20, 1993 at Olean, N.Y., General Hospital. Fr. David was 71 years old, a professed friar for 49 years and a priest for 44 years.