Philip Sweeney, OFM
1910 – 1982
Fr. Philip Sweeney was born May 20, 1910 in Binghamton, N.Y. After a year of studies at St. Bonaventure College, Allegany, N.Y., he entered St. Joseph’s Seraphic Seminary in Callicoon, N.Y. In 1931, he entered the novitiate at St. Bonaventure Friary, Paterson, N.J., following in the footsteps of his older brother, Fr. Justus Sweeney, OFM. Fr. Philip professed temporary vows in 1932, made his solemn profession in 1935 and was ordained in 1938.
His entire priestly life was spent ministering in parishes: Paterson, East Rutherford and Garfield, N.J., and the Bronx, N.Y. He served as assistant pastor at St. Joseph Parish, Winsted, Conn., from 1945 to 1955, when he was appointed pastor at St. Mary’s Parish in Obernburg, N.Y. He again served at St. Joseph’s and at St. Stephen of Hungary Parish in New York City. A kind and easy-going friar, he was characterized by a peer as “the most charitable friar in Holy Name Province.”
He died on March 2, 1982 at the Provincial infirmary at St. Bonaventure University. Fr. Philip was 71 years old, a professed friar for 49 years and a priest for 43 years.