Death – Obituary : Missing Father Stephen Rooney and Robert Chiles Presumed Dead.
It is with great sadness that we share that Father Stephen Rooney, pastor of St. Joseph Parish in Trenton is missing along with longtime parishioner Robert Chiles after a boat capsized yesterday evening in the Detroit River, off Stoney Island.
Authorities searched for a priest and another man who were presumed dead after a boat capsized in the Detroit River, police said Monday.
The incident occurred Sunday near Grosse Ile, a suburban island between Michigan and Ontario, Canada. Many people were aboard the boat.
It’s “very unusual” for a 39-foot boat to capsize, Grosse Ile police Lt. Kenneth Pelland said. The Associated Press Reported.
HAPPENING NOW: Parishoners are gathering at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church in Temperence to honor Father Stephen Rooney, who served at the parish for five years and is still missing after a boat he was on capsized in the Detroit River last night. Full Story tonight on @13abc pic.twitter.com/P7hL6bqzSW
— Rachel Schneider (@Rachel13abc) August 17, 2020
Nearly 200 people gathered this evening at St. Joseph Parish in Trenton, MI to pray for Fr. Stephen Rooney and Robert Chiles, who have been missing since their boat capsized on the Detroit River on Sunday. https://t.co/dh8W9WZSRW
— Al Kresta (@KrestaAfternoon) August 18, 2020
Stephen Rooney, a 66-year-old priest from Trenton (pictured below) and 52-year-old Robert Chiles from Grosse Ile are…
The following are some tributes posted on social media to honor the life and the legacy of the two missing persons.
Marilyn Elaine wrote
OH MY!! This is all SO very sad! Sending many prayers for Fr Rooney and Robert! May they rest in peace in the arms of Jesus and peace to their families!.
Doris Robinson wrote
May all the people lost on the boat Rest In Peace . Also pray for survivors
Janice Russell wrote
Prayers for their recovery. This is so tragic and a great loss the parish and community.
Betty Kubinski Weber wrote
Father Rooney there will never be another priest like you .You were devoted to our Blessed Mother I know she was there with Jesus to receive you into their arms and a job well done come now into your heavenly home.You were a wonderful priest always smiling and always had good words to say . I’ll forever miss you Father Rooney I’m shedding a lot of tears writing this. RIP with Jesus and Mary.
Reba Scarffe wrote
God bless and comfort the family and friends of this good man and his friend Robert who remain missing. Please bring closure to our communities and their families.
Carl Krushinski wrote
Great priest and great individual-will be greatly missed. I feel like I lost a family member.
Carrie Wlotkowski Cox wrote
There are no words for this tragedy. Devastating. Just completely devastating. My heart breaks for everyone involved. Prayers for the families
Dawn Marie wrote
I loved him! He was the priest at St. Michaels school when my kids were going there! The kids loved him! So sad.
Brittany McLean wrote
For all of those people with their rude comments. How insensitive can you be? Two people are missing and there were children involved. That is so disgusting to even comment something negative at this time.
Kelly Ann wrote
Father Rooney was my own personal hero. He help guide me on my journey through RCIA. I sat for my first confession with this wonderful human being. I was crushed when they moved him out of our parish.
Therese Anne wrote
This is so sad. Fr Rooney was the associate pastor at St Alphonsus high school when I attended. 1991 to 1995. Such a nice man. Such a great priest. One of the really good guys
Jane Dean wrote
A priest is the last person we can afford to lose in these horrible times. WOW shocking news. Very sad.
Rob Kulawczyk wrote
I will miss Father Rooney. I love how he knew every child’s name when they gathered around the alter. Father Rooney had a great sense of humor.
Alexandra Pelty wrote
Let’s all remember before posting negative comments that all 3 of their children and the family of the priest all can see what everyone is posting. No matter what your opinion or if you knew or didn’t know the parties involved is irrelevant.
Brenda Brannon Topolewski wrote
You were there for me, when nobody else in our family could be w/my husbands’s uncle (he was 90 yrs. old and never married ! Vince was a hard worker, a loving brother and Uncle.
He and his brother Al owned a Mfg. Business. Vince chose not too hv a Priest come in, even as he knew his time on earth was coming to an end , he always thought he was bothering someone , which I was so sad about that, but it was his wish and his brother’s job too carry out his wishes and the same w/his 2 nephews! Thank you God, Vince had a special Social Worker who was there w/me when he was fighting for his life and those who hv ever watched a loved one pass on, it’s not easy at all, the sounds they make and how helpless we are, it’s hard.
The Social Worker was special , she could clearly see how upsetting this was and I wasn’t happy he was not given his Last Rights and blessings . That beautiful Social worker said she new the perfect person too call and I remember telling her no, this is what he wanted. She said this is for you! Within 10mins.
Here comes this man running through the door in a t-shirt and Gym Shorts and some grass on himself . He introduced himself , Hi, I’m Father Rooney, he took care of my husbands Uncle Spiritually and took the time to talk too me. He was one Priest, I knew I never would forget!! Uncle Vince was Polish ,100%.
(He was at Arius Rehabilitation )I think if Uncle Vince could hear or see him the Father, I think he was happy that a Priest did come and it was Father Rooney. Father Rooney, I think you were taken too soon. I’m sure you had so much more work to do especially in this chaotic world today.
RIP Father Rooney and Mr. Chile’s as well. Condolences to both families and also condolences to his Flock!
Pattie Brooks Klein wrote
When I worked Mercy Memorial ICU in Monroe, Father Rooney would respond to a call to visit a patient from his parish-as he was. Playing tennis, racquet ball, whatever. He didn’t bother going home to change into vestments. Loved by those he served. With God, now.
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