SCOTCH PLAINS, NJ -- Rev. Michael Ward, Rev. Valentine Ugwuanya, Deacon Jack Lynch, Director of Music Ministry Katie Mantineo Wills, and members of Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish on Saturday celebrated a Mass of Christian Burial for Rev. Monsignor Sean Cunneen, who served as IHM's pastor from 2007 until 2012.
Father Sean was born on February 14, 1941, in Orange, NJ, and graduated from St. Benedict’s Prep in Newark. He earned a BA in Philosophy from St. John’s University in Collegeville, MN, and later graduated from St. Mary’s Abbey School of Theology in Morristown. He also earned an MA in French from Assumption College in Worcester, MA.
On April 1, 1967, Father Sean was ordained to the priesthood in Newark, NJ. He served in many capacities in assignments at St. Benedict’s Prep in Newark, Delbarton School in Morristown, and Essex County College in Newark. Later, he was parochial vicar at St. Teresa of Avila Church in Summit from 1979-85 and later served as pastor at Holy Rosary/St. Michael Parish in Elizabeth, at Blessed Sacrament in Elizabeth, and at Our Lady of Peace in New Providence before coming to IHM. Father Sean also served on the Presbyteral Council for the Archdiocese of Newark from 1985-88, as Regional Vicar of Union County, and Consultor for the Archdiocese of Newark from 2002-07.
Father Sean is survived by his sister, Sr. Seton Cunneen of Washington, DC, his cousin, Richard McLaughlin of Highland Park, NJ, and many loving relatives and friends. He was pre-deceased by his parents, Raymond and Eileen (nee McLaughlin) Cunneen, and his brother, Thomas.
In lieu of flowers please make donations in his memory to the Priest Care & Retirement Endowment Fund, Office of Ministry to Retired Priests, 171 Clifton Ave., PO Box 9500, Newark, NJ 07104-0500.