Father Gerald Cooney, longest-ordained priest of the diocese, dies at 89

NTC Staff

May 4, 2014

Fr.-Gerald-Cooney-WEB.jpgFather Gerald Cooney, who had been a priest since 1950, died Saturday, May 3. 

A Vigil with Rosary and the Litany of the Sacred Heart was held Wednesday, May 7 at Thompson's Harveson & Cole Funeral Home. The Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated Thursday, May 8 at St. Patrick Cathedral. 

Fr. Cooney was born July 12, 1924, in Tyler, where he attended public schools. He attended St. John’s Seminary in Little Rock, Arkansas, and was ordained to priesthood June 3, 1950, at Immaculate Conception Parish (now Cathedral) in Tyler by Bishop Augustine Danglmayr, then auxiliary bishop of the Diocese of Dallas (which at the time encompassed what is now the Dioceses of Fort Worth, Dallas, and Tyler).

After ordination, he served as an associate pastor at Sacred Heart Parish in Dallas, 1950-53; St. Patrick Co-Cathedral, 1953; Immaculate Conception Parish in Corsicana, 1953-54; Immaculate Conception Parish in Tyler, 1954-55; Sacred Heart Parish in Texarkana, 1955-56; Sacred Heart Parish in Wichita Falls, 1956-58; Immaculate Conception Parish in Grand Prairie, 1958-61; and St. Rita Parish in Fort Worth, 1961-64. In 1964, he received his first assignment as pastor at Holy Family Parish in Vernon from 1964 to 1969.

In 1969, he was named the founding pastor of St. Bartholomew Parish in Southwest Fort Worth, where he oversaw planning and construction of most of the buildings of the new parish.

He then served at St. Paul Parish in Fort Worth, 1979-84, and then St. John Parish in Valley View, 1985-89. He retired from active ministry in 1989.

In a 2010 interview during the Jubilee Year for Priests, Fr. Cooney reflected on his ministry.

“Always at the heart of the priesthood is service of people … caring for people from life to death,” he said. “Of course, throughout our whole training and the teaching of the Church, the Eucharist is the heart and soul of the Church, and our main office as priests is offering the Eucharist at the altar as Jesus gave it to us at the Last Supper and offering the sacrifice of Jesus for his people.”

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Father Gerald Cooney, founding pastor of St. Bartholomew, dies at 89

Young-Fr.-Cooney-BUTTON.jpgFather Gerald Cooney died Saturday, May 3. Fr. Cooney had been a priest since 1950 and was the longest-ordained priest of the Diocese of Fort Worth. He was also the founding pastor of St. Bartholomew Parish in Southwest Fort Worth. “He was a really solid Catholic priest. He went exactly by what the Church teaches,” said Julia Vecera, who had known and been friends with Fr. Cooney since he helped establish St. Bartholomew in 1969.

Fr.-Gerald-Cooney-BUTTON.jpgFather Gerald Cooney, who had been a priest since 1950, died Saturday, May 3. Fr. Cooney was born July 12, 1924, in Tyler, where he attended public schools. He attended St. John’s Seminary in Little Rock, Arkansas, and was ordained to priesthood June 3, 1950, at Immaculate Conception Parish (now Cathedral) in Tyler by Bishop Augustine Danglmayr, then auxiliary bishop of the Diocese of Dallas (which at the time encompassed what is now the Dioceses of Fort Worth, Dallas, and Tyler).

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