There was a search for Fr. Stephen Rooney after a boat capsized in Detroit River; however, sadly, his lifeless body was found in Lake Erie on Thursday, August 20, 2020. The Roman Catholic Priest Fr. Stephen Rooney, was pastor of St. Joseph Catholic Church in Trenton.
Fr. Rooney was an Irish immigrant who served several parishes in the Archdiocese of Detroit for three decades. He had been missing since Sunday, August 16, 2020.
Since then, divers from various agencies searched the water, and U.S. Coast Guard helicopters flew overhead, looking for Fr. Rooney.
The body of Robert Chiles, 52, of Grosse Ile, the driver of the 39-foot boat, was found Tuesday evening by a tow boat operator not far from the capsized vessel.
Robert T. Chiles, President, of the Construction Equipment Group died at age 52. He was driving the 39-foot Nor-Tech Center Console on the Detroit River when it capsized with 14 people aboard.
Archbishop of Detroit Allen Vigneron said:
"Father was a beloved pastor and my deepest condolences go out to the parish community in this time of grief. I offer my condolences, as well, to the Chiles family," the archbishop said. "We are ardently praying for the eternal repose of this priest and his parishioner. We turn to our merciful Savior in prayer for those who mourn them, with great confidence in his promise to bring us to his Kingdom.
Source: https://www.stjosephtrenton.com/ and Detroit Free Press
FULL TEXT Announcement from ST. JOSEPH CATHOLIC CHURCH
Dear St. Joseph Families,
It is with great sadness that we share that Father Stephen Rooney, pastor of St. Joseph Parish in Trenton is missing along with long- time parishioner Robert Chiles after a boat capsized yesterday evening in the Detroit River, off Stoney Island. Several others were rescued from the water by a Good Samaritan nearby.
Let us unite in prayer for the missing, for the rescued, and for first responders searching the waters today. Bishop Battersby will have a Vigil Service for Father Rooney and Rob at 7 pm tonight, August 17, outdoors in the City and Parish parking lots.
At this, we ask for privacy for the families of those involved. We will share more information here as it becomes available.
At my lowest: GOD IS MY HOPE. At my weakest: GOD IS MY STRENGTH. At my saddest: GOD IS MY COMFORTER.