Francis X. Coan, O.S.A.

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1900 – 1957 (December 18)

Francis Xavier Coan was born in Lawrence, Massachusetts, on December 3, 1900, to Patrick Coan and Elizabeth Keaney, and was baptized in that city six days later at Saint Laurence O’Toole Church. He attended Saint Mary and Saint Laurence Parochial Schools, both in Lawrence. He attended Lawrence High School for four months and then transferred in September, 1915 to Saint Rita Hall, Villanova. Francis entered the novitiate at Villanova, in 1919, and made his profession of vows on June 29, 1920. He professed solemn vows on the same day in 1923, and obtained his BA degree the same year. He was ordained to the priesthood at Villanova by Denis Cardinal Dougherty on August 29, 1926. He then pursued graduate studies at the Catholic University of America from 1926 to 1927.

Father Coan taught biology at Villanova College until 1938, when he was transferred to Saint Rita High School, Chicago, Illinois. In 1940, he was assigned to Our Lady of Good Counsel Parish on Staten Island, New York, and five years later, he entered the U.S. Army as a chaplain.

In 1950, Father Coan was appointed prior at Holy Rosary Parish, Lawrence, Mass. Three years later, he was named prior and pastor of Saint John in Schaghticoke, N.Y.

Father Coan later returned to Villanova because of ill health. He died at Haverford Hall, a convalescnet home, on December 18, 1957 at the age of 57. He is buried in the community cemetery at Villanova.