On the morning of September 7, 2023, in St. Francis Hospice, Raheny, Dublin, Br. Eustace McSweeney (Province of Ireland), former Definitor General of the Order, passed away after being hospitalized for a few days.
The General Minister, Br. Roberto Genuin, and the friars of the General Curia join the brothers of the Province of Ireland in expressing gratitude to God for giving us this confrere and for the services he rendered for the entire Order. Together we raise to the Father of Mercies a hymn of thanksgiving for the life and work of our brother and express our deepest condolences for this loss to our Order.
With our fraternal prayers and sincere gratitude, we accompany dear Brother Eustace to his encounter with the Lord of Life, invoking for him the reward promised to the faithful servants of the Gospel.
Br. Eustace was born on February 13, 1932, in Millstreet, Cork. He entered the Capuchin Novitiate in 1950, where he made temporary profession a year later; he was ordained a priest in Letterkenny Cathedral on May 15, 1958. In 1960 he was assigned to the Mission of the Capuchin Friars of Ireland in New Zealand where he remained until 1979 when he was elected provincial vicar, thus ending his nineteen-year mission in New Zealand. At the 1982 provincial chapter he was elected provincial minister and again confirmed in 1985. In 1988 he attended the General Chapter of the Order where he was elected Definitor General for the English-speaking jurisdictions around the world. Upon his return to Ireland in 1994, Br. Eustace was assigned to work on a new province initiative in Northern Ireland. For the next seven years, first in Downpatrick and then in Lagmore, Belfast, he served the people in a place then deeply wounded and devastated by war. In the following years he served as guardian, chaplain, confessor. In addition to his work in the hospice, Brother Eustace was especially dedicated to the confessional, ministering to all who attended the convent chapel until his death. Thank you, dear Brother Eustace.