Funeral arrangements set for priest who died when boat capsized

Funeral arrangements for the Rev. Stephen Rooney, 66, pastor of St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Trenton, are set for Wednesday at St. Frances Cabrini Catholic Church in Allen Park.

A visitation will precede the funeral mass, 12-4:30 p.m. Wednesday at the church, 9000 Laurence Avenue. A Mass of the Resurrection will begin at 4:30 p.m. and will be live-streamed:
Rooney was a passenger in a boat that capsized Aug. 16 in the Detroit River. His body was found Aug. 20 in Lake Erie.

Born Feb. 10, 1954 in Belfast, Northern Ireland, to John and Catherine (nee Higgins) Rooney, he took his vows as a brother in the Redemptorist Order in St Joseph’s Dundalk in 1975. Three years later, he entered the monastery at Bolton Abbey, County Kildare, and became a monk.
Rooney was ordained a priest for the Order of Cistercians on June 15, 1985. His first assignment in the Archdiocese of Detroit was as associate pastor of St. Martin de Porres Parish in Warren in 1987, the archdiocese confirmed.

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He also served as associate pastor of St. Alphonsus Parish in Dearborn from 1989-90; associate pastor of St. Patrick Parish in White Lake from 1994-95; pastor of St. Michael Parish in Monroe from 1995-2008; pastor of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Parish in Temperance from 2008-13; pastor of Our Lady on the River Parish in Marine City from 2013-18, followed by his most recent assignment in Trenton.

He is survived by 12 brothers and sisters – Jim, Betty, Marie, Eddie, Gerald, Dolores, Patrick, Aodh, Pilib, Brendan, Bernadette, and Paula and 47 nieces and nephews. His parents and two siblings, John and Billy, preceded him in death.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions are suggested to Gabby’s Ladder, 2262 N. Monroe St., Monroe 48162 or the St. Vincent DePaul Society.
A private funeral service for the boat’s driver, Robert Chiles, 52, of Grosse Ile, who also died when the boat capsized, took place Monday at St. Joseph’s Parish, according to the Archdiocese of Detroit.
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