A monk of Saint Vincent Archabbey
Born: 31 October 1941
Professed: 10 July 1984
Ordained: 28 May 1988
Died: 29 December 2019
Father Luke Eugene Policicchio, O.S.B., a monk of Saint Vincent Archabbey, died Sunday, December 29, 2019. He was born in Vandergrift, Pennsylvania on October 13, 1941, a son of the late Carmine Policicchio and Mary (Gallo) Policicchio. He is survived by two younger brothers, Frank (Christina) Policicchio of Monaca and James (Kathy) Policicchio of Vandergrift.
He attended Saint Gertrude Elementary School and is a 1959 graduate of Vandergrift High School. It is not a surprise that before he entered the monastery at Saint Vincent he was drawn to jobs and activities which included personal relationships with others. Luke was a hair stylist, a dancer, liked to travel and loved to cook for the enjoyment of his friends. He operated his own hair styling business for more than 20 years prior to entering the monastery. He received a bachelor of arts degree in liberal arts from Saint Vincent College in 1983 and a master of divinity degree from Saint Vincent Seminary in 1987.
Father Luke made his simple profession of monastic vows July 10, 1983 and his solemn profession of vows on July 11, 1987 at Saint Vincent Archabbey. He was ordained a deacon on July 25, 1987, and priest on May 28, 1988 at Saint Vincent by Bishop Anthony G. Bosco of Greensburg.
Following his ordination, Father Luke served as parochial vicar at Saint Gregory the Great Parish, Virginia Beach, Virginia. He then was assigned to serve as pastor of Saint Bartholomew Parish Crabtree. He returned to Saint Gregory the Great as a parochial vicar in 2003, serving there until 2010. When he returned to the Archabbey, he served as assistant to the director of the Archabbey Tailor Shop (2010-2013). From 2013-2015, he served as assistant manager of the Gristmill General Store. After a debilitating stroke in 2015, he experienced a period of depression which he struggled with on and off for the past four years. The last chapter of his life following the stroke was not an easy one. Yet, he never lost hope. He counted on the love of his family, his monastic community, and also the support of the infirmary and dining room staff. His private devotion to the Blessed Mother and daily recitation of the Rosary enabled him to get through the depressing dark periods.
He also found great consolation in his devotion to Our Lady of Knots as he dealt with the knot of physical limitations resulting from his stroke. Father Luke always had the prayer card of Our Lady of Knots nearby. The image of a tangled knot to describe problems or difficulties in our lives that are beyond our power to comprehend and to resolve caught his attention. Even a child who goes to his mother with a tangled up shoelace with undo-able knots can grasp the image. Of course, Father Luke, like all of us, had some tangled knots during his life, including his last years of illness in the infirmary.
Situations get tangled up in our brains and immobilize our power to live in a free, happy and loving way. We at times say that we have a knot in our stomach. The toughest knots to undo are emotional, and are hard to undo by ourselves. We need each others help. Our Blessed Mother, Undoer of Knots, gave Father Luke strength in his pain and sorrow. We pray to Our Lady, Undoer of Knots, to intercede for Father Luke that the Lord in his mercy grant him eternal rest and happiness.
The body of Father Luke was received on Tuesday, December 31, at the Elizabeth J. Roderick Center at Saint Vincent. A vigil service was held in the Archabbey Basilica on January 1, 2020. Archabbot Douglas Nowicki was the celebrant and homilist for the Mass of Christian Burial on Thursday, January 2. The rite of committal followed in the Mary, Mother of Mercy Chapel at Saint Vincent Cemetery immediately following the Mass.
We ask for your charity and customary suffrages. It is consoling to know that every monk of our monastery offers three Masses for the repose of Father Luke’s soul, and that he will be included among those confreres for whom all professed monks of our Congregation offer Mass monthly.
MAY FLIGHTS OF ANGELS SING THEE TO THY REST
+Douglas R. Nowicki, O.S.B. Archabbot
Saint Vincent Archabbey Latrobe, Pennsylvania