Born October 12, 1916 in Superior, Wisconsin, Father Rookey entered the Servite Seminary in Hillside, Illinois in 1930. He studied theology, philosophy and music at Loyola and DePaul Universities in Chicago. In 1941 he was ordained at Our Lady of Sorrows Basilica in Chicago.
In 1948 he helped the famous Fr. James Mary Keane, O.S.M. to make the first Irish foundation of the Servites; Our Lady of Benburb College, County Tyrone, Northern Ireland. News spread rapidly of the tremendous blessings, healings, and gifts received by the people there; the College has since become a world-renowned center for healing. Farther Rookey directed Benburb College for three years.
In 1953, Father Rookey was elected to the office of Assistant General of the Servite Order, which placed him in Rome. This office allowed him to do extensive traveling in Belgium, Ireland, Lapland, Africa, and the Middle East. He speaks seven languages.
From 1959 to 1961 Father Rookey directed the International College at the University of Louvain in Belgium (founded in the 13th century where Father Damien the Leper is buried).
In 1968 Father Rookey came back to the United States. For 16 years he was assigned to four mission churches in the Missouri Ozarks. He then finally returned to his place of ordination, the Basilica of Our Lady of Sorrows where he served from 1985 to 1989.
Currently his International Compassion Ministry is headquartered in Olympia Fields, Illinois. He ministers far and near over the telephone and through letters. His healing and compassion ministry has brought him many invitations to personally visit churches throughout the United States and abroad. Father has conducted pilgrimages to Medjugorje and the Holy Land, and has held healing services there as well as in England, Ireland, Scotland, Mexico and New Zealand.
He has been on the cover of "Extension" magazine and featured in many newspaper articles witnessing to God's power through prayer. He is the author of "The Shepherd of Souls," the life of Saint Anthony Pucci. His Holiness the Pope has honored Father Rookey by designating him a Knight of the Holy Sepulcher.