Presented in memory of Father Mychal Judge, O.F.M. The Franciscan priest and chaplain of the New York City Fire Department was a source of spiritual inspiration to New York’s Bravest. He gave his life ministering to others on Sept. 11, 2001.
Father William F. Sweeney, a priest of the Brooklyn Diocese for 35 years, is receiving the Father Mychal Judge, O.F.M., Memorial Award.
The second son of William F. and Mary Frances Regan, he was born in Astoria on Sept. 27, 1955 – seven days before the Brooklyn Dodgers beat the New York Yankees in the World Series. That is an important milestone because his father was a huge Dodger fan, and had one of his first dates with Mary at Ebbets Field.
Father Sweeney attended St. Joseph’s School in Astoria, Cathedral Prep in Elmhurst and Cathedral College in Douglaston, where he majored in history. He entered the Immaculate Conception Seminary and was ordained a priest by Bishop Francis J. Mugavero on May 1, 1981 at Holy Family parish in Flushing.
Father Sweeney served at Holy Family, Flushing, 1981-88; St. Camillus, Rockaway Beach, 1988-97; St. Francis Prep H.S., Fresh Meadows, 1997-2016. He was named pastor of St. Catherine of Sienna in St. Albans by Bishop Thomas V. Daily in June, 2002, served there until June, 2008.
In addition to parish work, he worked at St. Agnes Academic H.S., College Point, and Stella Maris H.S., Rockaway.
He received his master’s degree in pastoral counseling from Iona College, New Rochelle, N.Y., in May, 1987, and has been involved with the alumni association of Cathedral Prep, where he served as president and has been inducted into the Hall of Fame.
Proud of his Irish heritage, Father Sweeney’s mother came to the U.S. from Co. Galway in August of 1947, and met his father in Sunnyside.
Father Sweeney’s paternal grandmother was Bessie Sweeney, a legendary Irish musician with roots in Drumlish, Co. Longford.
Father Sweeney maintains close ties with his family. He has an older brother Kevin, who lives in Kings Park, L.I., with his wife Cindy and son Steven. His younger brother Tom and his wife Debbie, have four children: Kristen, Ryan, Bill and Noelle. And his younger sister Catherine and her husband Michael Morgese have two children, Jaclyn and Michael.
He is presently assigned to St. Francis de Sales parish in Belle Harbor.