Beloved Metro Detroit priest dies suddenly days after contracting COVID

Father Michael Cooney honored, remembered by those who knew him

An icon of Detroit’s catholic church scene passed away suddenly Thursday night.
An icon of Detroit’s catholic church scene passed away suddenly Thursday night.

MOUNT CLEMENS, Mich. – An icon of Detroit’s catholic church scene passed away suddenly Thursday night.

Father Michael Cooney had been having health problems and recently contracted coronavirus.

Cooney had been a priest in Metro Detroit since 1975 and served at churches in Detroit, Sterling Heights, Eastpointe, Royal Oak and Mount Clemens.

He served at Saint Peter’s Parish in Mount Clemens for 30 years.

Cooney wasn’t just a priest though. Those that knew him said he was a friend who had no problem meeting for a beer at an Irish Pub.

Hundreds, if not thousands, are mourning the loss of Cooney. Hundreds of photos and stories have been shared on social media celebrating and honoring the 72-year-old Priest.

In 1990, he joined Saint Peter Catholic Church and Saint Mary Catholic School.

“Anytime that anyone needed something, he wanted to be the person so he could help them in any way that he could,” said St. Mary principal Maureen Miscavish.

He will be remembered as someone who would always be available to listen or talk to someone.

Cooney was a big supporter of first responders, holding a first responders Mass every September.

He also served as a Chaplain in Macomb County and in Detroit for the Narcotics Unit.

He passed away in his sleep Thursday night at his home.

The Archdiocese wrote, “While Father Cooney’s cause of death is not yet known, he had been in fragile health for some time and recently was diagnosed with COVID-19.”

Funeral arrangements are still being made. More information can be found on St. Peter Catholic Church’s official website or Facebook page.


About the Authors:

Nick joined the Local 4 team in February of 2015. Prior to that he spent 6 years in Sacramento covering a long list of big stories including wildfires and earthquakes. Raised in Sterling Heights, he is no stranger to the deep history and pride Detroit has to offer.

Dane is a producer and media enthusiast. He previously worked freelance video production and writing jobs in Michigan, Georgia and Massachusetts. Dane graduated from the Specs Howard School of Media Arts.