Irene Sweeney 2008

Cultivation is Eternal

When Irene C. Sweeney moved to Utah in the late 1950's, it was inevitable that her strong Catholic faith and commitment would yield this extraordinary leader in the Catholic Church of Utah. Irene's faith coupled with an uncanny presence and "take hold" style has been a monumental influence to The Catholic Foundation of Utah. Perhaps there are no greater testaments to the Sweeney zeal than her role in the restoration and preservation of the beloved Cathedral of the Madeleine and her endless promotion of health care for the poor.

Irene Sweeney has served as a trustee of The Catholic Foundation of Utah since 1986, serving as the Foundation's President from 1998 through 2001. Whether serving as Chairman, President, Trustee or Board Member of the many charitable organizations she champions, Irene is an unyielding force who leads by example and passion.

In these later years, Irene also finds considerable satisfaction by sharing her experience, knowledge and resources with the next generation of stewards to her many causes. "Cultivation is Eternal", Irene frequently explains as to why she maintains the exhausting pace while showing others the way.

Irene lives a humble life enabling her continued generous giving; always without pretense or fanfare. Irene gives to all of Utah with particular regard to the very needy and society's most vulnerable. Irene says simply, "God's been good to me. I don't need money and I like to share it. I can give it away now and choose whom it benefits."

Irene has established numerous endowments within The Catholic Foundation of Utah over the years providing the seeds of prosperity to many of our most important causes; never seeking accolades or ceremony, often times simply contributing anonymously. The following represent Foundation endowments attributable to Irene:

~ Irene C. Sweeney Term Endowment for Rural Church Development & Missionary Outreach
~ Cathedral Preservation Restoration Endowment
~ Diocesan Religious Education Endowment
~ Charlie Fratto Memorial Endowment
~ Monsignor M. Francis Mannion Cathedral Preservation Endowment

Irene Sweeney is a living legend who has touched innumerable lives and her influence will continue for generations to come. Irene's time, talent, and giving have been an honored treasure for Utah Catholics. The Catholic Foundation of Utah, along with so many others, has been blessed abundantly by Irene Sweeney. For 93 years, Irene has lived a life embodied in the spirit of Christ's light...

Thank you Irene and May God bless you.