YORK — The Rev. Patrick J. “Paddy” Rooney will serve as Grand Marshal of the 37th Annual York Saint Patrick’s Day Parade, which will step off from Market and Penn streets at 1 p.m. on Saturday, March 14, event organizers announced at a press conference Wednesday.
A native of London — though he traces his ancestry to the Emerald Isle — Rooney served as senior pastor at Christ Lutheran Church in York until his retirement in 2012. Prior to that, he served for 11 years in Dillsburg.
Rooney has worked extensively in the human services field, including time as a special assistant in the Dept. of Welfare and as president and CEO of a large non-profit entity serving the mentally ill and developmentally disabled. Rooney 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.”
In his “retirement,” Rooney is an active member of the Rotary Club of York.
Rooney also worked with several youth programs in England in the early 1970s, and made several visits to his ancestral home during 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.
Rooney 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 parade draws an estimated 10,000 people to York each year.