Bishop Cooney Biography

Bishop Patrick R. Cooney is the oldest of four children born to Michael and Elizabeth (Dowdall) Cooney, both now deceased. His brother, Michael, is a priest of the Archdiocese of Detroit. One sister, Sister Leontia Cooney, O.P., is a member of the Adrian Dominicans and is currently assigned at her Communities' Mother House in Adrian, Michigan. His other sister, Mary A. Cooney, retired from the Detroit Public School System in 2001.

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 Detroit.

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 serves or has 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, and as Co-Chair of the Roman Catholic Reformed Church Dialog Committee. 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. He presently serves as a member of the Catholic Relief Services Board.

Bishop Cooney was installed as the Third Bishop of the Diocese of Gaylord on January 28, 1990.

The Bishop describes one of his abiding interests as a deep love for the liturgy of the Catholic Church. Opportunities for relaxation are used for reading and walking.