03 May Brother’s Backstory – Br. Dave Cooney
Marist Brother 1963-Present
Br. Dave Cooney was born in Queens, NY, and after attending Archbishop Molloy High School briefly, began his journey with the Marist Brothers at the juniorate in Esopus in 1958. He took his first vows in 1963.
Br. Dave spent time as a teacher in Canada and in Marist High School Bayonne, before answering a call to special education in 1972. He worked with the Brooklyn Dioceses special education vocational training program.
He was a part of the team that led to the creation of the Mid-Hudson Valley Camp, specifically the special needs camp program. The MHVC now serves hundreds each year. Br. Dave then worked at the Sacred Heart Elementary School in the South Bronx.
After that, he spent 8 years in Liberia, Africa, which is in the process of joining the newly created Marist Brothers West Africa Province. He also spent time in Wheeling, West Virginia, working with the Marist Sisters helping to run a day shelter.
Afterwards, he helped to turn Champagnat Hall in the Bronx into a house of care for the older brothers in the province. Br. Dave felt blessed to return to Liberia for 3 years, seeing the growth of the community there, and witnessing the children he taught grow into Marist Brothers and leaders in the community.
Br. Dave currently lives in the formation house in the Bronx. He enjoys working in his vegetable garden, and is known for turning what comes out of it into delicious soups.