The funeral service for Father Morrow was celebrated privately due to the current COVID-19 pandemic and protocols in place. We are grateful to have been able to partner with WOOD TV 8 to provide the livestream of Father Morrow’s funeral, the rites and civil honors on the Piazza Secchia, and the procession.
Funeral liturgy, rites and honors, procession (WOOD TV Facebook page)
Father Dennis W. Morrow, pastor of Ss. Peter & Paul Parish in Grand Rapids, entered eternal life on Saturday, May 16, 2020, following a courageous battle with cancer.
Father Morrow was born in Grand Rapids on May 3, 1948 to Bud Morrow and Marian Rose Turksy. He attended Turner and St. Francis Xavier elementary schools, St. Joseph Seminary, Aquinas College; St. Mary’s Seminary, Baltimore, Maryland, The Pontifical North American College in Rome; St. John’s Provincial Seminary in Plymouth, Michigan, and Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C.
Father Morrow is preceded in death by his brother Gerald Richard (1951); his dad, Bud (2009); and his mom, Marian (2015). He is survived by his sister, Diane Marie Morrow; a nephew and niece, his great-nieces, and his aunt, Charlotte Tursky.
Ordained a priest on Aug. 24, 1975 by Bishop Joseph M. Breitenbeck at the Cathedral of Saint Andrew, Father Morrow was delighted to serve the Church, the body of Christ, in parishes in Muskegon, Grand Rapids, and Ludington; as pastor of St. Edward Parish in Lake Odessa from 1984 to 1986, and at Our Lady of Sorrows Parish in Grand Rapids from 1988 to 1993. He had been pastor of Ss. Peter & Paul Parish in Grand Rapids since 1993.
He was appointed archivist of the Diocese of Grand Rapids in 1975 and was a diocesan canon lawyer working in the office of the Tribunal since 1981. In 1976, he was appointed by the Grand Rapids city manager as chaplain of both the Grand Rapids Fire and Police Departments. He was greatly honored to serve his first-responder brothers and sisters, and through them, the general public, for more than 40 years.
Visitation and Funeral details:
Visitation – Open to the public
Wednesday, May 20, 2-8 p.m.
Ss. Peter and Paul Catholic Church
520 Myrtle St. NW
Grand Rapids 49504
Please use the Quarry St. entrance and follow current COVID-19 protocols.
Funeral service – Private celebration, broadcast live (see details above)
Thursday, May 21, 11 a.m.
Cathedral of Saint Andrew, Grand Rapids
Funeral procession following the service:
At the conclusion of the funeral service, Father Morrow’s body will be escorted outside to the Piazza Secchia where priests of the Diocese of Grand Rapids will sing the hymn Ecce Quam Bonum and police and fire department personnel will conduct their civil honors. Father Morrow’s casket will then be transported by horse-drawn caisson to his final resting place at St. Andrew’s Cemetery, 900 Madison Ave. SE. Every street and block the funeral procession traverses will be one where Father Den delivered mail during his “glory days” of hittin’ the bricks for the U.S. Post Office. Mourners are welcome to line the streets to bid their final farewell. Please keep a safe social distance while gathering.
Bishop Walkowiak’s statement:
The Office of Communications releases the following statement from Most Reverend David J. Walkowiak, bishop of Grand Rapids, regarding the death of Reverend Dennis Morrow:
“It is with great sadness that I share the news of the passing of Father Dennis Morrow, pastor of Ss. Peter & Paul Parish in Grand Rapids. His death is a tremendous loss for the Diocese of Grand Rapids.
He was a beloved mentor and confidant who always gave advice with a side of humor to both his parishioners and the firefighters and police officers of the City of Grand Rapids. Since 1976, Father Morrow has brought the comfort of Christ to the scenes of tragedy through his service as chaplain to the Fire and Police Departments of the City. In addition to his responsibilities as pastor and service as chaplain, Father Morrow also served as archivist for the Diocese of Grand Rapids, impressing everyone with his photographic memory and quick recollection of historical events. His life embodied a call to service on behalf of Christ and his people.
Father Morrow had a strong devotion to Bishop Baraga and he prayed unceasingly to Bishop Baraga as he faced his battle with cancer. Please join me in this prayer of Bishop Baraga as we remember Father Morrow and entrust him to eternal peace:
Prayer of Bishop Baraga
Lord God, I thank you for the grace and mercy shown to me, your unworthy servant.
I thank you for having brought me to this place to preach the Gospel to your needy children.
May your servant give glory to you and bring salvation to them. In the precious name of Jesus, Amen.
Eternal rest grant to Father Morrow, O Lord; and let light perpetual shine upon him. May his soul, and the souls of all the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Please remember Father Morrow in your prayers.”
Learn more about Father Den’s life and ministry:
May issue of FAITH Grand Rapids magazine
Video tribute from the Grand Rapids Police Department (Facebook)
GR police and fire Departments honor longtime chaplain (WOOD TV 8, May 3, 2020)
The Father Morrow Collection on History Grand Rapids