Posted by Melissa Kopp on Jan 30, 2020
The 37th Annual York Saint Patrick’s Day Parade will step off at 1 p.m. on Saturday, March 14, 2020, from Market and Penn Streets. Live streaming of the parade will be on WRCTV sponsored by the Penn Mar Irish Festival. Media Sponsor CBS 21 and Master of Ceremonies Mike Gorsegner will be announcing parade entries at the Kinsley Grandstand on Continental Square.

Leading the festive 2020 Celtic celebration will be Grand Marshal Patrick J. “Paddy” Rooney.

Paddy Rooney is a native of England, born and raised in London, but he cannot deny his Irish heritage. Indeed, with a name like Patrick Joseph John Rooney that would be hard to do! His paternal grandparents moved from Dublin to England between the wars to help build the city and his mother, while raised in an English institution still had something of the brogue. While working with youth programs in England in the early 70’s, Paddy visited Northern Ireland at the height of “the Troubles” to help develop similar youth programs there. Over the past few years he has hiked much of Western Ireland, climbed Croagh Patrick and visited Skellig Michael and other sacred places there. Paddy completed his undergraduate studies at St. Mary’s College, London; studied philosophy at Catholic University of America; has a master’s degree in Counseling from Shippensburg University and completed his Lutheran studies at Gettysburg Seminary. He has been married to Sally for 40 years and they have two grown children and two grandchildren.

The Reverend Patrick J. Rooney STS retired in February of 2012 having served as the Senior Pastor of historic Christ Lutheran Church (1733) in York. Prior to going to York, he had served in Dillsburg for 11 years and before becoming a Lutheran he was a member of a Roman Catholic Religious Order for 10 years. He has worked extensively in the human services field including serving as Special Assistant in the Department of Welfare and as President and CEO of a large non-profit entity serving the mentally ill and the developmentally disabled. For almost five years, he also served as the interim Executive Director for two local ecumenical agencies.

He has served as a member and chair of the City of York General Authority. He is currently Chair of the York County History Center and on the Board of the Farm and Natural Lands Trust. He has previously served on the board of the York County Literacy Council and as President of the York County Council of Churches. He has also served on the Candidacy Committee for the Lower Susquehanna Synod as well as the Ecumenical Affairs committee and the Worship Committee. He is the author of several published sermons for three different groups including 10 published by CSS under the title “The Perfect Sacrifice.”

Pastor Rooney is a founding member of the Society of the Holy Trinity (STS), a Lutheran Order and Ministerium, which now numbers almost 300 pastors in the United States and Canada. He served as Dean of the local chapter for 12 years, as General Secretary for 3 and in September of 2015 was elected Senior (General Superior) of the Society. He has taught widely across the US and Canada at all 23 of the Society chapters. Pastor Rooney has also taught in the OLLI program at Penn State York and at several retreats throughout the United States and Canada.

In his “retirement,” Pastor Rooney is an active member of the Rotary Club of York - the 22nd largest club in the world. He served as President of the club in 2016-17. In Rotary District 7390 he served as Team Leader for the Group Vocational Study Exchange team to Argentina in 2013. He has served on various District committees. He completed all three levels of Rotary Leadership Institute and now serves as RLI faculty and as faculty at Mid-Atlantic President elects training. He was awarded the RLI Faculty of the year award in 2019. Paddy is a Major Donor to the Rotary Foundation and a member of the Paul Harris Society. He has received the York Club’s President’s Certificate of Appreciation for Service Above Self and the Avenues of Service Citation. He serves as District Governor for District 7390 in 2019-20 and recently returned from a two-week trip to India where he attended and spoke in Delhi at a Rotary District Conference as well as in Kolkata for the Rotary club’s 100 anniversary celebration. Prior to his departure, he humorously noted, “So an Englishman, with an Irish name who is serving an American Rotary District as Governor is heading to India for what promise to be a trip of real experience. Rotary truly connects the world!”