Traverse City Record-Eagle


October 18, 2012

Editorial: Northern Michigan Catholics mourn Bishop Cooney's death

Roman Catholics across northern Michigan are mourning the death of Bishop Patrick R. Cooney, who died Oct. 15 in the Detroit area, where he had moved after retiring in 2009 to be near family.

The 78-year-old Cooney, who was remembered as a man of deep faith with a down-to-earth style, headed the 21-county region that is the Diocese of Gaylord for nearly two decades.

He died at Beaumont Hospice in Royal Oak.

Bishop Bernard A. Hebda, who succeeded Cooney, said Cooney had a strong link to the people of the diocese.

"He had a wonderful Irish wit and was so willing to talk to people and really listen to people," Hebda said. "I'm always amazed as I go throughout the diocese at the people who say, 'Please say hi to Bishop Patrick, he'll know who we are for sure.' And he always did, whether it be a waitress in a restaurant or a security guard in a hospital. He took time for everyone."

Failing health prevented him from being in Gaylord Oct. 6 when the Diocesan Conference Center was rededicated and renamed the "Cooney Conference Center" in his honor. Cooney relocated the chancery offices adjacent to St. Mary Cathedral so they could stand together as the center of the diocese. The center was built in 2000 under his direction.

A new chapel at Traverse City's St. Francis High School was dedicated in Cooney's honor.

Visitation at St. Mary Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Cathedral in Gaylord will continue at 9 a.m. Monday until the funeral Mass at noon. A luncheon will follow.

Text Only

Opinion Poll
AP Video
Captain of Sunken SKorean Ferry Arrested Raw: Fire Destroys 3 N.J. Beachfront Homes Raw: Pope Presides Over Good Friday Mass Raw: Space X Launches to Space Station Superheroes Descend on Capitol Mall Man Charged in Kansas City Highway Shootings Obama Awards Navy Football Trophy Anti-semitic Leaflets Posted in Eastern Ukraine Raw: Magnitude-7.2 Earthquake Shakes Mexico City Ceremony at MIT Remembers One of Boston's Finest Raw: Students Hurt in Colo. School Bus Crash Raw: Church Tries for Record With Chalk Jesus Raw: Faithful Celebrate Good Friday Worldwide Deadly Avalanche Sweeps Slopes of Mount Everest Police Arrest Suspect in Highway Shootings Drought Concerns May Hurt Lake Tourism Vermont Goat Meat Gives Refugees Taste of Home Calif. Investigators Re-construct Fatal Bus Cras Mayor Rob Ford Launches Re-election Campaign Appellate Court Hears Okla. Gay Marriage Case