Fr. Raymond Lukoskie, 82, dies; longtime pastor in Warsaw, Hamilton

HAMILTON — A Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated at St. Mary Church here on Aug. 17 for Father Raymond M. Lukoskie, a senior priest of the Diocese of Peoria who served as pastor of Sacred Heart, Warsaw, and the Hamilton parish for 22 years.

Father Lukoskie died on Tuesday, Aug. 11, at his home in Warsaw. He was 82.
Msgr. Gregory Ketcham was principal celebrant and homilist at the funeral liturgy. Burial was in Sacred Heart Cemetery in Warsaw.

Born Nov. 6, 1932, in Bloomington to Victor and Cecilia Murphy Lukoskie, he attended Holy Trinity School and High School in Bloomington and then went on to Nazareth Hall Minor Seminary in St. Paul, Minnesota, for two years. He studied philosophy at St. Meinrad Seminary in Indiana and completed his preparation for the priesthood at Assumption Seminary in San Antonio, Texas.

Father Lukoskie was ordained a priest on June 1, 1958, at St. Mary’s Cathedral in Peoria.

His first assignment was as parochial vicar for two years at Holy Trinity Parish in Moline. He also assisted at Visitation, Kewanee, from 1960 to 1967, and at St. Ambrose, Milan, for five years.

In 1972, Father Lukoskie was named pastor of St. Joseph Parish in Colfax and St. Rose, Strawn. He began his long tenure as pastor of the Warsaw and Hamilton faith communities in 1980, with added duties as administrator of Immaculate Conception, Carthage, and St. Mary, West Point, from 1985 to 1990.

Father Lukoskie was granted senior status in 2002 and resided near Warsaw until his death — making him a part of the community for 35 years.

In his homily at the funeral Mass, Msgr. Ketcham — a native of Hamilton — said he learned many things from Father Lukoskie but that two lessons top the list.

“The first lesson Father Lukoskie taught me was to keep it simple,” said Msgr. Ketcham. “The second lesson he taught me was a great devotion to Jesus in the sacraments — especially reconciliation and the Eucharist. He was a man of deep compassion and empathy in the confessional.”

Father Lukoskie also had a “great love for the God of Creation,” said Msgr. Ketcham, pointing to his passion for the outdoors, hunting, fishing, gardening, boating, and the care of animals.

Reflecting in 2008 on the 50th anniversary of his ordination, Father Lukoskie told The Catholic Post that among the greatest joys of his priesthood were working with people wishing to be received into the Catholic Church and visiting the sick and homebound.

He is survived by several nieces, nephews and cousins, including a special cousin, Marie Johnson.

Memorials may be made to Sacred Heart Church in Warsaw or St. Mary Church, Hamilton.

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