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Community gathers as crews search for Trenton priest, Grosse Ile man missing when boat capsizes

Authorities Monday released the names of two people who disappeared after a boat with at least nine aboard capsized Sunday off Stoney Island in the Detroit River.

Officials said the two missing boaters are the Rev. Stephen Rooney,66, pastor of the St. Joseph Catholic Church in Trenton, andRobert Chiles, 52, of Grosse Ileand the boat’s owner. 

Divers and deputies with the Wayne County Sheriff’s Office as well as Grosse Ile police resumed the search Monday for the two people.

As the search continued, nearly 200 people gathered in the evening at Rooney’s church for a vigil in the parking lot.

Worshipers, some in tears, hugged and bowed their heads in prayer and listened to praise songs as the sun set.

“It’s to support the community,” said Jeannie Denson, a Trenton resident. “It’s extremely important in times of sorrow and peril.”

Those who gathered described Rooney and Chiles as neighbors who welcomed others.

Tricia Mohr, who was active in the parish for about 15 years, recalled Rooney’s presence.

“He always made you laugh,” she said. “He served God with such joy. He was a great guy.” 

The loss is difficult to grasp, Mohr said. “It’s surreal.”

Read more at Detroit News

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