The Gaylord Diocese has notified us of the death of our brother and fellow priest, Most Reverend Patrick R. Cooney. He entered eternal life on October 15, 2012 at the age of 78.
Bishop Cooney was born in Detroit on March 10, 1934. He was educated at Saint Edward Elementary School and then attended Sacred Heart Seminary High School, graduating in 1952. He entered Sacred Heart Seminary College and was awarded his baccalaureate (B.A.) in 1956 with a major in philosophy. He next attended the Gregorian University in Rome and received an S.T.B. Degree (baccalaureate in sacred theology) in 1958 and an S.T.L. Degree (licentiate in theology) in 1960.
Bishop Cooney was ordained to the priesthood on December 20, 1959, by Bishop Martin J. O'Connor, then rector of the North American College in Rome.
Following his ordination and completion of theological studies in Rome, Bishop Cooney returned to Detroit and was the Assistant Pastor at Saint Catherine Parish from 1960 until 1962, when he was appointed Assistant Chancellor of the Archdiocese of Detroit. He remained Assistant Chancellor until 1969, when he was appointed director of the Department of Worship. He continued as director until shortly after his ordination as a bishop. From 1977 to 1983 he was concurrently the rector of the Cathedral of the Most Blessed Sacrament.
In December, 1982, His Holiness Pope John Paul II named him to the episcopacy and he was ordained Titular Bishop of Hodelm and Auxiliary Bishop of Detroit on January 27, 1983, at the Cathedral of the Most Blessed Sacrament.
While serving as assistant chancellor and director of worship, he was also chaplain at Mercy College, Detroit, from 1967 to 1972. While Director of Worship, he pursued graduate work at the University of Notre Dame and received a Master of Arts Degree in liturgical research in May 1973.
Bishop Cooney served as liaison to the Catholic Chaplains of Region VI (Michigan and Ohio) from 1987 to 1991. He was Chairman of the “Church in the City” Task Force in the Archdiocese of Detroit when it was established in December 1983. As a member of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Bishop Cooney served on a number of committees: Bishops' Committee on Liturgy, Subcommittee on the Use of Exclusive Language in Liturgy, Subcommittee of Bishops and Scholars, Chair of the Subcommittee on the Book of Blessings, Chair of the Subcommittee on Cremation and Other Funeral Questions, Committee on Laity, National Advisory Council, Co-Chair of the Roman Catholic Reformed Church Dialog Committee and member of the Board of Directors of Catholic Relief Services. He served terms on the Board of Directors of Notre Dame Liturgical Center, the Board of Governors of North American College and on the Board of Sacred Heart Seminary in Detroit.
Bishop Cooney was predeceased by his parents Michael and Elizabeth. He is survived by siblings Reverend Michael Cooney, Sister Leontia Cooney, O.P., and Mary Cooney. Condolences may be sent to Reverend Michael Cooney, St. Peter Parish, 110 New Street, Mount Clemens, MI 48043.
Bishop Cooney will lie in repose on Thursday, October 18, from 3:30 - 9 p.m. at St. Peter Parish Church, 110 New Street, Mt. Clemens with a vigil service at 7 p.m. Visitation will continue on Friday from 9 a.m. until the celebration of Mass at 11 a.m.
Transfer of the body will take place on Sunday, October 21 to St. Mary’s Cathedral, 606 North Ohio Avenue, Gaylord. Bishop Cooney will lie in repose from 2:30 – 9 p.m. with a Rosary at 4 p.m., Vigil at 6 p.m. and night prayer at 9 p.m.
Bishop Cooney will lie in repose on Monday, October 22 at St. Mary’s Cathedral from 9 a.m. until the celebration of his funeral Mass at noon.
Burial will take place Tuesday, October 23 at Holy Sepulchre Cemetery, Southfield.