PORTLAND – A Catholic priest who died on Mount Hood Tuesday, was described as "compassionate and passionate" about his mission in life, by the Archdiocese of Newark.
Robert J. Cormier, 57, a priest from Jersey City, N.J. fell to his death on Tuesday morning after summiting Mount Hood. Witnesses said he fell about 1,000 feet on the Eliot Glacier headwall, most likely after snowy ledge gave way.
Before he left, Cormier posted to Facebook that he thought his trip to Mount Hood might be his last big mountain hike.
"Monday I am leaving on what will likely be my last attempt to climb a big mountain. In this case it is Mount Hood in Oregon. We have been at this kind of thing for 40 years and are very much hoping to finish with a victory," Cormier wrote.
His body was discovered at about 10,500 feet above sea level, according to the sheriff's office.
Rescuers have not yet recovered Cormier due to avalanche threats in the area.
Cormier had been an ordained Catholic priest since 1982.
"His entire life as a priest was dedicated to urban, multicultural and largely Hispanic ministry," said Jim Goodness, spokesman for the Archdiocese of Newark.
Cormier became an administrator at Jersey City's St. Patrick of Assumption in 2012, but most of his career was spent as a simple priest. Goodness said while Cormier worked in the concrete jungles of the East Coast, he was an outdoor enthusiast.
"He was in extremely good physical condition," Goodness said. "He was very much involved in outdoor activities whenever possible."
Goodness said that working in the city and experience the great outdoors was part of his dual nature.
"Whether it be among the bricks and the concrete or out in the open space, God was everywhere [for him]," Goodness said.