High School Volunteer Drowns in Creek

Posted: 7/19/2011

Finoy Thomman Lukose, 17, a student volunteer from St. Ignatius College Prep High School in Chicago, Ill., drowned while swimming in Kiniconnick Creek in Vanceburg, Ky., on July 19, 2011. Lukose was spending a week of volunteer service at the Glenmary Farm in Vanceburg, Ky., the site of the Glenmary Group Volunteer Program, when the drowning occurred. The volunteer program is designed to give high school and college-aged Catholic students first-hand missionary experience in a retreat-like setting.

According to Joe Grosek, Glenmary's volunteer director, chaperones from St. Ignatius were accompanying the group of students taking part in an afternoon swim when Lukose went underwater and did not resurface. Emergency services were called as fellow swimmers tried to rescue Lukose after he didn't resurface. Lukose's body was recovered several hours later.

"This is a horrible tragedy," said Father Chet Artysiewicz, president of Glenmary Home Missioners. The group volunteer program in Eastern Kentucky is a ministry of Glenmary Home Missioners. "Words cannot adequately express our shock and grief at the loss of this young man. Our prayers and deepest condolences go to Finoy's family, friends and classmates."

An autopsy was performed at St. Elizabeth Hospital in Ft. Thomas, Ky., on July 20.

Tens of thousands of high school and college students have passed safely through the volunteer program over the past 40 years. "We strive to ensure the safety of all volunteers in the work and recreation settings at the Glenmary Farm," Father Artysiewicz said. "It has always been and continues to be our highest priority."

Funeral arrangements for Lukose in Chicago are pending.