Thursday, April 10, 2008

Father James Swenson R.I.P.

From the Diocese of Las Vegas:

Father James Swenson,
Pastor of St. Bridget’s Catholic Church passed away peacefully Wednesday, April 2, 2008.

Father Swenson was born July 26, 1928. He was ordained a priest for the Diocese of Reno-Las Vegas on January 4, 1974. When the Diocese of Las Vegas as erected in 1992 Father Swenson chose the Diocese of Las Vegas to be his diocese.

Father Swenson has been serving the parish of St. Bridget’s as Administrator and later as Pastor since July 2, 1984. At the time of normal retirement age for priests of the diocese, Father Swenson would hear nothing of it, he loved serving God’s people and continued in his ministry until his illness prevented him from going to the parish. Father’s favorite message was “I work for the Lord”. He gave great inspiration to many, many people.

Through the years, he has been instrumental in building this parish to over 500 families. He was responsible for the first 24 hour Eucharist Adoration in the diocese, which allowed all parishioners of the diocese to spend quiet prayer time any time of the day or night.

Recently, Father Swenson took on the huge challenge of building a new Church, which was dedicated by the Most Reverend Joseph A. Pepe on February 3, 2008. Unfortunately, Father Swenson was too ill to attend, but this Dedication Mass was overflowing with parishioners.

I will never forget a mass Father Swenson concelebrated with a Dominican priest who was visiting St Bridget's. During the Prayer of the Faithful, a short prayer was recited for more priestly vocations for the Las Vegas diocese. At the end of that prayer Father Swenson added, "And let us pray for good men for the priesthood. We have too many nuts already." I wanted to hide under the pew.

The man was a firecracker. His funeral mass was on April 8th.

Please keep Father Swenson in your prayers tonight.


ukok said...

Eternal rest grant unto him O Lord...

Cathy_of_Alex said...

I will remember him in my prayers. We need more men with fire in the belly like he showed. God bless him.

Jaimie said...

God bless him. He has gone on to his reward in Heaven!