Born October 12, 1916 in Superior, Wisconsin, Father Rookey entered the Servite Seminary in Hillside, Illinois in 1930. He studied theology, philosophy and music at Loyola and DePaul Universities in Chicago. In 1941 he was ordained at Our Lady of Sorrows Basilica in Chicago.
In 1948 he helped the famous Fr. James Mary Keane, O.S.M. to make the first Irish foundation of the Servites; Our Lady of Benburb College, County Tyrone, Northern Ireland. News spread rapidly of the tremendous blessings, healings, and gifts received by the people there; the College has since become a world-renowned center for healing. Father Rookey directed Benburb College for three years.
In 1953, Father Rookey was elected to the office of Assistant General of the Servite Order, which placed him in Rome. This office allowed him to do extensive traveling in Belgium, Ireland, Lapland, Africa, and the Middle East. He spoke seven languages.
From 1959 to 1961 Father Rookey directed the International College at the University of Louvain in Belgium (founded in the 13th century where Father Damien the Leper is buried).
In 1968 Father Rookey came back to the United States. For 16 years he was assigned to four mission churches in the Missouri Ozarks. He then finally returned to his place of ordination, the Basilica of Our Lady of Sorrows where he served from 1985 to 1989.
His International Compassion Ministry was headquartered in Olympia Fields, Illinois. He ministered far and near, both over the telephone and through letters. His healing and compassion ministry brought him many invitations to personally visit churches throughout the United States and abroad. Father Rookey conducted pilgrimages to Medjugorje and the Holy Land, and has held healing services there as well as in England, Ireland, Scotland, Mexico and New Zealand.
He has been on the cover of "Extension" magazine and featured in many newspaper articles and T.V. interviews, witnessing to God's power through prayer. He was the author of "The Shepherd of Souls," the life of Saint Anthony Pucci. Which had a second printing made. Saint John Paul The Great (then His Holiness Pope John Paul II) honored Father Rookey by designating him a "Knight of the Holy Sepulcher". Father Rookey was often seen in a jacket with the Knights of the Holy Sepulcher - Jerusalem Cross. The same cross was later used to cover his casket.
Father Rookey reached his 70th anniversary as a Priest in 2011, a commemorative medal made in his honor was given out to those who attended. The 70th anniversary medal came in a pouch attached to a small set of prayer beads, the pouches were black or red.
Father Rookey celebrated 73 years as a Priest on May 17th 2014.
On September 10th 2014 Father Rookey passed away in his sleep at Our Lady of Sorrows Monastery, Chicago, Illinois.
He was buried September 15th 2014 which was The feast day of Our Lady of Sorrows (Sancta Mater Dolorosa).
It is expected by many that he will be made a Saint, he touched the lives of many and had many jokes to tell, he will be missed but not forgotten.
There is no doubt he is still praying for us all and will intersede for us sinners in this broken world.
There is a lot more information about Father Rookey please see here.