YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (MyValleyTributes) – William Emmett Rock was born on January 5, 1932, in Chicago, Illinois, the son of William Emmett and Helen Josephine (nee D’Arcy) Rock. He was baptized at St. Edmund Church in Oak Park, Illinois on February 7, 1932.

He attended Catholic schools in the Chicago area until 1941 when the family moved to Rocky River, Ohio, where he attended St. Christopher’s school and graduated from St. Ignatius High School in Cleveland, Ohio in 1949. He attended John Carroll University in Cleveland for two years until he was received into the novitiate of the Dominican Province of St. Albert the Great in Winona, Minnesota in 1951.

Father William Rock, O.P. was given the religious name of John and was simply professed on August 31, 1952. He went on to study Philosophy at St. Thomas Aquinas Priory in River Forest, Illinois from 1952-55 and Theology at St. Rose Priory in Dubuque, Iowa from 1955-59. He was solemnly professed on August 31, 1955 and ordained to the Priesthood at St. Rose Priory by the Most Reverend Celestine Daly, OP, Bishop of Des Moines, Iowa, on May 24, 1958.

Fr. Rock served as an Assistant Pastor in Louisiana at St. Dominic’s Church, New Orleans and Mater Dolorosa Church in Independence from 1959-62. He served as chaplain of the Catholic Student Center at the University of Wichita, Kansas from 1962-64 and as Instructor in Philosophy at Loras College in Dubuque, Iowa from 1964-5. He returned to New Orleans to serve as chaplain at St. Mary’s Dominican High School in New Orleans from 1965-1967. After a year teaching at Fenwick High School in Oak Park, Illinois, Fr. Rock obtained permission in 1968 to take time off in order to care for his parents.

In 1970, Fr. Rock applied for transfiliation to the Province of St. Joseph and was assigned for a trial period of three years to St. Dominic’s Priory in Youngstown, Ohio, with ministry in the parish. His request was granted by Fr. Anicetus Fernandez, OP, Master of the Order and he was assigned to Holy Name Rectory in Valhalla, New York for ministry in the parish.

In 1975, Fr. Rock was assigned to serve as a hospital chaplain at St. Catherine of Siena Priory in New York City. In 1979, he was given permission to join the parochial staff of St. Rose of Lima Church in Cleveland, Ohio, in order to be available again to help his parents, who were living nearby. He worked in various parishes in the Diocese of Cleveland, ending as parochial vicar at St. Thomas More Church in Brooklyn, Ohio.

In 1994, Fr. Rock was able to return to the Youngstown Diocese and was assigned to St. Dominic’s Priory for ministry in the parish, where he resided until his death.

His body is to be received into the Parish Church of St. Dominic on Monday, January 17, 2022, all are welcome, followed by the celebration of the Office of the Dead at 5:00 p.m. 

Friends may call from 9:00 – 9:45 a.m. at the church followed by a Mass for Christian Burial is to be celebrated for him at 10:00 a.m., on Tuesday, January 18, 2022. The Rev. Vincent De Lucia, O.P., prior and pastor of St. Dominic’s, is the celebrant and preacher. 

Burial will follow in the Dominican Friars’ plot at Calvary Cemetery in Youngstown, Ohio.

It is requested that all those in attendance observe social distancing and proper health protocols and the wear a face mask.

Arrangements have been entrusted to the Edward J. Fox & Sons Fox Funeral Home, 4700 Market Street, Boardman, OH 44512.

Family and friends of Fr. William Rock May visit to leave condolences for him. 

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Fr. William John Rock, O.P., please visit our floral store.

A television tribute will air Sunday, January 16 at the following approximate times: 8:58 a.m. on WKBN and 7:58 p.m. on FOX.