Justus Sweeney, OFM
1903 – 1971
Fr. Justus Sweeney, OFM, was born in Binghamton, N.Y., on July 10, 1903. He graduated from St. Bonaventure College, Allegany, N.Y., and was received into the Province’s novitiate at St. Bonaventure Friary in Paterson, N.J., April 26, 1927.
He professed temporary vows June 7, 1928, and made his profession of solemn vows June 7, 1931. Fr. Justus was ordained a priest in Washington, D.C., June 9, 1931.
For 40 years, Fr. Justus served on the Mission Band of Holy Name Province. In 1950, he became its director. The great Franciscan apostolate of preaching was Fr. Justus’ life work and his life’s love. He never lost his enthusiasm for preaching the Word of God.
He resided in various friaries of the Province: St. Francis in New York City, St. Joseph’s in East Rutherford, N.J., St. Anthony in Butler, N.J., and Holy Cross in Clason Point, N.Y. Fr. Justus enjoyed his community life when not on the road preaching.
In 1965, the General Minister awarded Fr. Justus a special commendation in recognition of his many years of dedication to the ministry of preaching parish missions. His brother and fellow Holy Name friar, Fr. Philip Sweeney, OFM, died March 2, 1982. His nephew, Fr. Callistus Sweeney, OFM, serves Holy Name Province as a dedicated friar.
Fr. Justus died in St. Clare’s Hospital in New York City on July 13, 1971. He was 68 years old, a professed friar for 43 years, and a priest for 40 years.