Francis D. Ronan, O.S.A.

1896 – 1948 (May 3)

Francis Daniel Ronan was born in Andover, Massachusetts, on May 19, 1896, the son of John Ronan and Elizabeth Williamson. Following his early education, he entered the novitiate at Villanova, Pennsylvania, on June 24, 1917, and made his simple profession of vows on July 23, 1918. Solemn profession occurred on the same day in 1921. Francis was ordained to the priesthood in the Cathedral of Philadelphia by Archbishop Denis Dougherty on September 24, 1922. 

Father Ronan was assigned in 1923 to serve as an assistant at Saint Augustine’s in Havana, Cuba. The following year he was sent to Saint Laurence O’Toole Parish in Lawrence, MA, and in 1926 to Saint Matthew’s in Flint, MI. He was appointed a member of the Mission Band in 1931 and served this ministry for 12 years, after which he became associate pastor of Saint Nicholas of Tolentine in Atlantic City, N.J. In February, 1943, Father Ronan was appointed prior and pastor of Saint Patrick’s in Cambridge, NY.

On Monday, May 3, 1948, a fire broke out in Father Ronan’s room at Saint Patrick’s, causing him severe burns. He was taken to Mary McClellan Hospital where he of sever shock soon after. He was 52 years old and had been pastor only three months. A Requiem Mass was celebrated in Saint Patrick’s Church with Prior Provincial, Father Mortimer Sullivan presiding and Father George Walker as preacher. A second Mass was celebrated at Saint Augustine Parish, Andover, after which Father Ronan was buried in Saint Mary’s Cemetery in Lawrence, MA.