Former Pastor of St. Anthony of Padua, Rockford Dies at age 80, Funeral set for Jan. 20 in Chicago
A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Jan. 20, at St. Michael the Archangel Church here for Father Luke Poczworowski, OFM Conv., a former pastor of parishes in Peoria, Wenona, Lostant, Minonk, Rutland, Toluca as well as in Rockford.
Father Luke, who served as provincial of the St. Bonaventure Province of the Conventual Franciscans from 1987 to 1994, died in Chicago on Thursday, Jan. 10, 2018. He was 80.
His body will be received on Friday, Jan. 19, at St. Ita Church, 5500 N. Broadway in Chicago, with visitation from 4 to 8 p.m. A wake service is planned at 8 p.m.
St. Michael the Archangel Church is located at 8237 S. South Shore Drive. Interment will follow the funeral Mass at Holy Cross Cemetery in Calumet City.
Born in Chicago on Dec. 16, 1937, to Stanley and Mary Poczworowski, he was raised in St. Michael the Archangel Parish. After graduating from Mount Carmel High School, he entered the novitiate of the Conventual Franciscans in Lake Forest.
He continued his education at the University of Dayton and then studied theology at Assumption Seminary in Chaska, Minnesota. He was ordained at the Cathedral of St. Paul in St. Paul, Minnesota, on Feb. 22, 1964.
Father Luke’s assignments in the Diocese of Peoria included serving as pastor of Holy Family Parish, Peoria, from 1981 to 1988. He returned to the diocese in 2005 as pastor of St. Mary, Wenona, St. John, Lostant, and St. Patrick, Minonk, adding duties as pastor of St. Ann, Toluca, and Sacred Heart, Rutland, in 2012. He served the cluster of parishes until 2014, when he moved to Milwaukee and lived in residence at the Basilica of Saint Josaphat.
Father Luke also served as parochial vicar of St. Anthony of Padua Parish in Rockford and St. Mary of the Assumption in Fort Madison, Iowa; province vocation director, formation director, and treasurer; chaplain for the Felician Sisters at their motherhouse in Chicago; religion teacher at Good Counsel High School; and pastor of St. Anthony of Padua Parish in Rockford.
In a 2014 interview with The Catholic Post on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of his ordination to the priesthood, Father Luke said he enjoyed being a priest and being a Franciscan.
“Community is very important to me,” he said. Father Luke counted celebrating Mass, baptisms and even funerals as graced moments in his ministry because those are occasions he could enliven the faithful “with the Holy Spirit and give them what they need to stay close to the Lord.”