Fr Brian Rooney, Pastor Emeritus of St Monica’s Parish, North Parramatta, died this morning aged 87. Funeral details will be announced once available.
Born on 19 September 1930 and ordained to the priesthood on 20 July 1963, Fr Brian was a priest for over 50 years.
Fr Brian was born in Ballina, a town that is in the Northern Rivers region of NSW, near the Queensland border.
One of six children, Fr Brian was the son of Charles Joseph Rooney and Margaret Mary (formerly Russell).
He was educated in Earlwood NSW after his family moved to Sydney. His early primary school education was with the Sisters of Mercy and he then went on to complete primary and secondary school with the Christian Brothers at Lewisham.
Leaving school in 1945, Fr Brian began work in the clerical section of the Public Works Department of NSW.
A vocation to the priesthood was calling however and after 10 years of public service, he entered St Columba’s junior seminary at Springwood. From there, he continued his studies at St Patrick’s College, Manly.
Fr Brian was ordained to the priesthood in St Mary’s Cathedral, Sydney on 20 July 1963.
Soon after, Fr Brian completed appointments as assistant priest at Dulwich Hill, Lidcombe, Richmond, Revesby and was priest-in-charge at Tom Price/Paraburdoo, Western Australia.
Returning to Sydney, Fr Brian then had stints as assistant priest in Toongabbie, St Marys and Lalor Park; Administrator at Katoomba, Toukley and Baulkham Hills South.
After this, he was founding pastor of Holy Spirit, St Clair on 1 October 1981. Mass was celebrated for the first time in the new parish on 25 November 1981 in the auditorium of St Clair Primary School. Fr Brian moved into a rented house around the same time and it was here that daily Mass became a reality under Fr Brian.
He held this position for 13 years between 1981 and 1994. In 1995, he was appointed to Mt Kurrajong Retreat House (House of Prayer) as Director for two years. He was then assistant priest at Mary Immaculate Catholic Church, Quakers Hill until he was appointed as parish priest of Sacred Heart, Westmead in 1998.
With the arrival of the hospital chaplains of the Order of St Camillus de Lellis in 2003 to Westmead, who took over the hospitals at Westmead as well as the administration of Westmead parish, Fr Brian was appointed parish priest of St Monica’s, North Parramatta.
In 2008, after 45 years of full-time ministry, Fr Brian retired from fulltime duties. However, he continued his work by occasionally ministering to Our Lady of the Nativity Parish, Lawson as well as occasionally supplying.
Fr Brian remained at Baulkham Hills, where he attended the 10am Mass at St Michael’s, Baulkham Hills.
In your charity, please pray for the Repose of the Soul of Fr Brian Rooney and remember his family in your prayers.