Born James Sweeney, he was the son of Owen Sweeney and Catherine Dolphin. He was born on September 17, 1898 in Bayonne, New Jersey. As a youth he grew up in Sag Harbor, New York and learned of the Passionists from those living on Shelter Island. In 1913 he entered the Passionist Preparatory Seminary at St. Joseph’s Monastery, Baltimore, Maryland. On September 17, 1918 he took his vows and received the name Hubert. Studies took place at St. Ann’s, Scranton, Pennsylvania and St. Michael’s, West Hoboken, New Jersey. He was ordained by Bishop Paul Nussbaum, C.P. on June 14, 1924.
In 1925 Father Sweeney was assigned as Director of Students at the new Mother of Sorrows Monastery, West Springfield, Massachusetts. A short time later he was made Director of Students, Union City, New Jersey. Subsequently, he was made Director of Retreats at West Springfield. After five years Father Sweeney was transferred to St. Ann’s Monastery, Scranton, Pennsylvania as a parish missionary.
Beginning in 1949 Father Sweeney suffered from hypertension. In 1951 his lung collapsed and he almost died. Thus he moved to Florida where he ministered in the Dioceses of St. Augustine and Miami. Just before his death he was active at St. Martha’s Church, Sarasota, Florida.