25 November 2013

Fr. Luke Turon, OP, RIP

Fr. Luke Turon, OP
Fr. Luke Turon, 1963,  Pakistan
My first assignment as a priest was to the parish of St. Thomas Aquinas in Zanesville, OH.  It was a great experience for me, and in no small part because of the mentor I had in Fr. Luke Turon, OP.  Fr. Luke was retired in Zanesville, having spent almost 50 years as a Missionary in Pakistan.  Before he became a Dominican, he wanted to enter WWII as a fighter pilot, but his sight was too poor.  So, the Army paid for him to go to Medical School instead, at Western University (before it became Case-Western) in Ohio.  He served as an army doctor in Japan at the end of the War.  His experiences pushed him to dedicate his life to God, and when he came home, he joined the Dominican Order.  The Order gave him the name "Luke" in honor of St. Luke, who was reputed to be a physician.  Much of the first half of his time in Pakistan was spent ministering to the people both as a priest and a physician.  He helped to build dispensaries and oversaw the donation of literally tons of medical supplies and equipment to Pakistan.  He finally retired from missionary work when he was 80.  He spent the next 10 years in Zanesville, as one of the hardest working priests I'd ever seen, especially for one near 90.

Here is a story from the local paper on his 90th borthday:

And here's a documentary from the 1960s on the Dominican Mission in Pakistan:

Fr. Luke died on the Feast of Christ the King, November 24, 2013.  Requiscat in Pace.

Fr. Luke Turon, OP