Fr. Michael R. Rock 0. de M. 1959-2021

Vogliamo mandare le nostre condoglianze a Padre Michael R. Rock, morto il 5 ottobre 2021. Originario di Cleveland, Ohio, era il prete della chiesa St. Peter Parish a LeRoy, NY per molti anni. È stato anche sacerdote della chiesa Our Lady of Lourdes a Philadelphia, PA.  Era un uomo molto generoso e molto amato. Aveva 62 anni. Ha lasciato tanti fratelli di fede in diverse chiese. Ha lasciato anche le sue due sorelle, otto nipoti, e undici bisnipoti.

The Order of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Mercy and all who knew him mourn the loss of Father Michael Russell Rock, 0. de M., who entered into eternal life unexpectedly on Tues., Oct. 5, 2021 in Cleveland. Father Michael, the son of Mr. and Mrs. Russell and Grace Rock, was born in Cleveland on May 21, 1959. A graduate of the Mercedarian parish school of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel, and then St. Edward High School, he entered Religious Life as a Postulant of the Order of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Mercy (the Mercedarians) in August 1977. Following his First Profession of Vows on Aug. 15, 1980, he went to St. Charles Borromeo Seminary for his priesthood formation where he received a B.A. in Philosophy in 1982 and later an M.A. in Theology in 1986. 

Though Fr. Michael was ordained a Priest on May 24, 1986 at his home parish of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel in Cleveland, he later finished an M.A. in History at Villanova University in 1991. Following his ordination to the priesthood in 1986, he served as the Associate Pastor at Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Parish in Cleveland. In 1989, he became the Director of Vocations and Director of Mission Development for the Mercedarian Community, as well as a Chaplain to the Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart in Philadelphia. He continued to work in the initial formation of the Mercedarian students in Philadelphia until he was asked to go to India in 1997 to help establish a new mission and formation program there. 

After two years of service in India, Fr. Michael was appointed the Pastor of St. Peter Parish in LeRoy, NY (now known as Our Lady of Mercy Parish/St. Brigid Parish) where he served until 2012. In LeRoy, Fr. Michael served as President of the Board at Notre Dame High School in Batavia, NY. He was then appointed the Pastor of Our Lady of Lourdes Parish in Philadelphia, a position he would hold until his death. In 2015 he was made the Vicar Provincial for the Vicariate of the U.S. for the Mercedarian Order. Aside from his pastoral responsibilities, Fr. Michael was active in several social and philanthropic organizations including his service as a Magistral Chaplain for the Knights of Malta, a member of the Priest Council for the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, Chairperson of the Philadelphia Chapter of the Patron of the Arts in the Vatican Museum, a member of the National Catholic Historical Society, as well as a member of the Friends of the Metropolitan Opera Association. 

Fr. Michael Rock is survived by his brothers in the Order of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Mercy, his sister, Patti Settles Baca (Joe), and his sister, Susan Ricci (Daniel); cherished uncle of Charles, Jennifer and Kevin Settles, Karen Eshbaugh (Keith), Daniel Ricci, Russell Ricci (Elena), Nina Hurst (Anthony), and Nicholas Ricci; great uncle to 11. 

Fr. Michael has left a lasting impression on all who knew him through his service and generosity. He will always be remembered for his love and devotion to Christ, wisdom, powerful homilies, storytelling, and sense of humor. Following the tradition of Philadelphia, there was a welcoming of the body and a special Mass (though not a Funeral Mass) on Oct. 17. Fond memories and expressions of sympathy may be shared at for the Rock 0. de M. family.

Local Fr. Rock1