Wednesday afternoon, Oct. 20, the Archdiocese of Detroit received word of the death of Fr. Richard Lewnau (pronounced Lew-now), an archdiocesan priest since 2004. Fr. Lewnau, 35, died in an auto accident on Yale Road near Carson Road in Brockway Township, according to the Michigan State Police.
Since July 1 of this year, Fr. Lewnau had been serving as pastor of Sacred Heart Parish in Yale and Our Lady of Mount Carmel Parish in Emmett, and as administrator of Sacred Heart Mission in Brown City.
Detroit Archbishop Allen H. Vigneron has issued the following comment:
"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. Now, given the tragic circumstances of his death, we are called to entrust his soul to Our Lord with great trust in God's Providence and mercy. We also pray for Fr. Lewnau's family, that Jesus, the Prince of Peace, may give them peace of mind and heart at this most difficult time."
Fr. Lewnau was ordained on May 29, 2004 at Blessed Sacrament Cathedral in Detroit after having attended Sacred Heart Major Seminary in Detroit. He had been associate pastor at St. Isidore Parish in Macomb Township (July 2004 to July 2005); associate pastor at Immaculate Conception Parish in Lapeer (July 2005 to July 2008); and pastor of St. Suzanne/Our Lady Gate of Heaven Parish in Detroit and St. Thomas Aquinas Parish in Detroit (July 2008 to July 2010). Prior to becoming a priest, Fr. Lewnau had been a member of Prince of Peace Parish, West Bloomfield.
Fr. Lewnau is one of five sons of Richard and Carol Lewnau of West Bloomfield, who survive him. He was predeceased by a brother, Jeff.
Fr. Lewnau will be waked at McCabe Funeral Home, 31950 West Twelve Mile Road, Farmington Hills (248-553-0120). Visitation will be on Sunday, October 24 from 2 to 9 p.m., with a Scripture service at 4 p.m.; and on Monday, October 25 from 2 to 9 p.m., with a Scripture service at 7 p.m.
He will lie in state on Tuesday, October 26 at Prince of Peace Parish, West Bloomfield, from 9 a.m. until the celebration of his Funeral Mass at 11 a.m. Burial will take place at Holy Sepulchre Cemetery.