Thomas A. McGowan, O.S.A.

1914 – 1998 (July 26)

Thomas Augustine McGowan was born August 11, 1914 in Mechanicville, New York, one of three sons and one daughter of James McGowan and Margaret Feeney. He was baptized August 23, 1914 at St. Paul Catholic Church, Mechanicville. Thomas received his elementary education at Public School 3, Mechanicville and Mechanicville High School, and worked for a time as an electrician. In 1937 he studied Latin as a postgraduate postulant at Augustinian Academy, Staten Island, N.Y. He was received into the novitiate on September 9, 1938, and professed simple vows on September 10, 1939, and solemn vows on September 10, 1942. Villanova College awarded him a B. A. in Philosophy in 1942. He pursued theological studies from 1942 to 1946 at Augustinian College, Washington, D.C., and was ordained to the priesthood on May 22, 1945 in Washington.

Upon completion of his studies at Augustinian College in 1946, Father McGowan was assigned to teach at Saint Rita High School, Chicago. He was appointed associate pastor at Saint Clare of Montefalco Parish, Grosse Pointe Park, Michigan, in 1951. In 1962 he was assigned to teach at Austin Catholic High School, Detroit. During this time he also served as sub-prior of the local Augustinian community. 

Father McGowan was appointed associate pastor of Saint Matthew Parish, Flint, Michigan, in 1963, and served there until 1967. In that year, he was transferred to Augustinian Academy, St. Louis, Missouri, where he was teacher, disciplinarian and Assistant Business Manager of the school. He returned to Saint Rita High School, Chicago, in 1968, serving as teacher until 1971. He was Alumni Director at St. Rita High School from 1971 to 1973. In 1973, Father McGowan moved back to Saint Augustine Parish, Detroit, as associate pastor and prior of the community there from 1982 to 1989.

Father McGowan retired in 1989, residing first at Saint Clare of Montefalco Parish, Grosse Pointe Park, until 1993, and then at Saint Nicholas of Tolentine Monastery, Olympia Fields, Illinois, until his deteriorating health caused him to enter Mercy Health Care and Rehabilitation Center, Chicago Heights, Illinois.

He died July 26, 1998 after suffering a heart attack. He is buried at Saint John Cemetery, Schaghticoke, New York.