The Times West Virginian

October 17, 2012

The Reverend Father Andrew F. Lukas

Times West Virginian

— The Reverend Father Andrew F. Lukas, 88, of Monongah, died Saturday night (Oct. 13, 2012) at Fairmont General Hospital.

He was born in Ostrovany, Czechoslovakia, on Dec. 1, 1923, the son of the late Joseph S. and Barbara M. Lukas.

Father spent his early childhood in his ancestral home in Slovakia; he attended the village school, transferring to St. Charles seminary to begin his long journey to the priesthood. As a young boy in Slovakia, he was unaware of how long this journey would be.

With WW II on the horizon, the young seminarians were incarcerated by the Nazis for saving Jews from concentration camps and death. Upon the end of WW II, the United States liberated these seminarians, but soon after, the Russians were placed in charge of eastern Europe, which let to their incarceration again.

After years of suffering under Nazism and communism, Father Lukas was freed by the U.S. Embassy.

Father Lukas attended SS Cyril and Methodius Seminary in Orchard Lake, Mich., from 1949 to 1952; Mt. St Mary’s Seminary in Norwood, Ohio, from 1952 to 1956; and Lateran University in Rome from 1956 to 1958. He was ordained for the Diocese of Kosice, Slovakia — his home diocese — by Archbishop Andrew Pancrazio on Sept. 21, 1958, in Rome.

Father Lukas came to the Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston on Nov. 4, 1958, and was incardinated into the diocese April 16, 1962.

Father Lukas served at St. John Parish in Benwood, St. Joseph Preparatory Seminary in Vienna, St. Boniface Parish in Camden, St. Joseph Parish in Fairmont, and Holy Spirit Parish in Monongah. He also taught at Bishop Donahue Memorial High School in McMechen and served as chaplain to the Knights of Columbus, Fourth Degree, and the Catholic Daughters of the Americas. Father Lukas retired from active ministry on June 22, 1994.

Visitation will be on Thursday from 5-9 p.m. at Holy Spirit Catholic Church in Monongah with the Vigil Service being celebrated at 5 p.m. Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Friday, at 11 a.m., at the church with Bishop Michael J. Bransfield as the main celebrant and homilist. Interment will follow at Mt. Carmel Cemetery.

Arrangements are under the direction of Ross Funeral Home, 801 Fairmont Ave., Fairmont.

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