OBITUARY

Fr. Michael Rock O. DE M

May 21, 1959October 5, 2021

Fr. Michael R. Rock O. de M. The Order of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Mercy mourns the loss of our own Father Michael Russell Rock, O. de M., who entered into eternal life unexpectedly on Tues., Oct. 5, 2021 in Cleveland, OH. Father Michael, the son of Mr. and Mrs. Russell and Grace Rock, was born in Cleveland, OH 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 a 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 a 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, OH. 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. While serving in LeRoy, NY, 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, PA, a position he would hold until his death. In 2015 he was made the Vicar Provincial for the Vicariate of the USA 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 eleven. 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 will be a welcoming of the body on Sunday, Oct. 17th at 4pm. Followed by Vespers from the Office of the Dead said in the church, and – following the tradition of Philadelphia – a special Mass (though not a Funeral Mass) will be said at 8pm. Following the Mass, Compline will be said. On Mon., Oct. 18, 2021 at 8am, there will be Lauds from the Office of the Dead followed by a Funeral Mass that will be celebrated by Archbishop Perez at Our Lady of Lourdes Parish in Philadelphia at 10:30am. Visitation also Wed., Oct. 20, 2021, from 10am until 12 noon, when a Funeral Mass will be said by Bishop Malesic at Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Church 6928 Detroit Ave. Cleveland, OH.. Burial Holy Cross Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests that contributions in Fr. Michael’s memory be made to the Fathers of Our Lady of Mercy Student Account, 6398 Drexel Rd. Philadelphia Pa.19151, to support the education of Mercedarian Brothers and Seminarians. Fond memories and expressions of sympathy may be shared at www.craciunberryfuneral.com for the Rock O. de M. family.

Services

  • Visitation

    Wednesday, October 20, 2021

  • Funeral Mass

    Wednesday, October 20, 2021

Memories

Fr. Michael Rock O. DE M

have a memory or condolence to add?

ADD A MEMORY
Anonymous A

October 21, 2021

Fr. Michael I remember the 2 times I needed to talk to you about something troubling me. Busy as you were with all of the commitments you had as pastor, you made time, LISTENED to me and I had your UNDIVIDED attention. No mention that you had to get going. I kept it within a reasonable time limit, got to the point. And I felt better after hearing your words of compassion and understanding. You truly got the right calling. Thank God you answered it. You had a wonderful way with children & young people, too!
BTW I also thank God that we still have you on social media- past episode of Live with Mother Angelica, A homily from late September 2021 @ vocations, a wedding at which you officiated for a former parishioner out of state this past July. Opening/ closing procession at Fr. James Mayer's Installation as pastor here at OLL in August 2004. There is a Mercedarian Friars USA youtube channel which is worth checking out.
Thank you, Fr. Michael. Thank you God. Thank you Blessed Mother for calling Fr. Michael to the priesthood.

Michael and Renee Capuiso

October 20, 2021

We were so shocked to hear the news of Michael's passing. I have such found memories growing up with the Rock family sharing the holidays and all the celebrations for Michael as he entered the priesthood.

My father, his Godfather and our family were always so proud of him. He would visit us in Florida and we had so much fun listening to his stories and reminiscing of old times. We looked forward to his visits and his sense of humor and his smile! We are grateful that he made time to see us.

He baptized my Goddaughter and both of my children and married my sister and brother-en-law. I will never forget when he had my parents renew their wedding vows for their 50th Anniversary during his homily. We also cherish him for the Celebration of Life Mass for my sister Cindy this past June 2021.

We now have 2 angels watching over our family . We will remember him not with tears but with his joy of life.

Prayers and love for Sue & Danny and Patti & Joe and your families as we will miss him terribly

Rest in Peace Father Michael Rock until we meet again.

Love the Messina/Capuiso Family

Bernie Rose

October 19, 2021

Sue, Danny and family
There are so many things that I could say about Father Michael and what he meant to me. We had many laughs together.
One thing that comes to mind when I think of Father is when he was going to Disneyland. My great-granddaughter Heather was just a little girl and was absolutely in love with Mickey Mouse. When he got back he had a stuffed Mickey Mouse for her. She loved "Gicky Mouse" so much and carried him everywhere she went. It got to be so dirty and beat up it was embarrassing at times. She kept Mickey with her practically until she started going to school. That is just one example of the kind of person Father Michael was he was always thinking of other people. He was special and I will miss him, his smile and his big booming voice.

Holly Judge

October 19, 2021

Condolences to Fr. Micael’s family. I can’t imagine the depth of your loss. He was such an inspiration. We spent many an evening talking about family, life and religion. I’m grateful for my memories, the strength of our friendship and the knowledge we will see each other again. Until then, may God cradle you in his love. Much loved but never forgotten.

Bruno/Elizabeth DeFazio

October 17, 2021

Our deepest sympathy goes out to all of Fr. Michael’s family. He made everyone feel welcomed to his parish and really got to know all of his parishioners. We were fortunate to have Fr. Michael marry both of our daughters. We will keep you in our thoughts and prayers.

Bruno amd Lee DeFazio
Our Lady of Mercy, LeRoy, NY

Keith Douglass

October 14, 2021

Although I never met Fr. Michael, I recognize the outstanding service he provided to his "flocks" and to the Order of Malta over his adult life.

Loretta Graham

October 14, 2021

Father Michael was our generous respected and well loved Pastor. Friend and Father of our community and church family. Father allowed us to always be in the Eucharistic Presence of Our Lord through daily Adoration ,in addition to the Sacrament of Penence and our weekly Flame of Love Rosary Devotion and Reparation Hourly Prayers to the Sacred Heart of Jesus.
He was a gift and reached out to every Faith in our diverse community, participating in prayer vigils for victims of gun violence, suicide and other neighborhood perils. I still can't believe he is no longer with us but I am confident that he is smiling wide and gloriously in heaven.
Sincere condolences to his dear family and friends.
Donald and Loretta Graham

Family Pawlowski

October 13, 2021

Fr. Michael thank you for the wonderful confessions and advice. You are in our thoughts and prayers. We are having mass you tonight in our home.

Pawlowski Family
Harrisburg PA.

Anonymous A

October 13, 2021

Fr. Michael you are missed at Our Lady of Lourdes! You touched countless lives by being yourself! Navigated merger of 2 parishes with OLL / dealt with covid 19. Lent 2020/21 other area churches closed or limited adoration hours. You kept upper church open when lower adoration chapel had to be closed. Bags of Easter treats for kids on a socially distanced table outside the Friary when covid 19 cancelled the Easter Egg hunt. OLL School closed after @ 100 years. Homilies always with a history lesson, got right to the point, adults and children could hear and understand together. Wisdom, sense of humor, compassion. In Heaven you're now accessible to all of us 24/7! Please pray for us, Fr. Michael. We'll see you again someday in Heaven. Thank you

Msgr Terence Hogan

October 13, 2021

On behalf of the Patrons of the Arts of the Vatican Museums we express our most sincere condolences to Fr Michael’s family and confreres. We have wonderful memories of his wit and wisdom as well as his dedication to art, culture, spirituality and to everyone he came in contact.

Please know of our personal sorrow and that he is remembered at Holy Mass

Monsignor Terence Hogan

FROM THE FAMILY