The Rev. Richard Lewnau, a Catholic priest who was the pastor of three Thumb Area parishes and had previously served at two Detroit churches, was killed Wednesday in a car accident.
Lewnau, 35, had left a nursing home where he had administered the sacrament of communion to residents when he was killed about 5 p.m. in an accident on Yale Road near Carson Road in Brockway Township in St. Clair County.
State Police reported that Lewnau�s car crossed the center line and crashed nearly head-on into a pickup traveling westbound. The driver of the truck was treated at the scene and was released to seek treatment. Police said Lewnau was dead at the scene.
Lewnau was ordained a Catholic priest in 2004. Since July 1, he�d been serving as pastor of Sacred Heart parish in Yale, Our Lady of Mt. Carmel in Emmett, and administrator of Sacred Heart Mission in Brown City.
From July 2008 to July 2010, he�d been pastor of St. Suzanne/Our Lady Gate of Heaven Parish in Detroit and St. Thomas Aquinas Parish in Detroit.
Detroit Archbishop Allen Vigneron, who leads the six-county Catholic Archdiocese of Detroit, issued the following statement:
�Fr. Lewnau was a young, kind, dedicated pastor. I had the privilege of being his seminary rector and his archbishop, and I know that Father trusted greatly in God's providence and took profound joy in doing God's will,� said Vigneron.
Lewnau also had been associate pastor at St. Isidore parish in Macomb Township from July 2004 to July 2005, and at Immaculate Conception in Lapeer from July 2005 to July 2008.
Rev. Lewnau is survived by his parents, Richard and Carol Lewnau, and brothers, William, Joseph, Steven and Johnny. He was predeceased by brother Jeff in 2003.
Visitation will be from 2-9 p.m. Sunday and Monday at McCabe Funeral Home, 31950 West Twelve Mile Road, Farmington Hills.
Rev. Lewnau will lie in state from 9-11 a.m. Tuesday at Prince of Peace Catholic Church, 4300 Walnut Lake Road, West Bloomfield. The funeral mass will begin at 11 a.m. Tuesday at the church. Burial will take place at Holy Sepulchre Cemetery, Southfield.
It's always sad to hear about a priest being killed or dying of some illness at such a young age. But God called him home and hopefully, like St. Terese said: "will do great things for us in heaven!" May he rest in peace! Fidelium animae, per misericordiam dei, requiescant in pace. Amen.
p.s. I pray every day for all priests and deacons who have died.