Thomas A. Rowan, O.S.A.

1893 – 1956 (November 8)

Thomas Anthony Rowan was born in Brookville, Pennsylvania on December 17, 1893 to Michael Rowan and Julia O’Loughlin. He entered the novitiate at Villanova, Pa., on June 19, 1913, and made his simple profession on June 19, 1914. He was solemnly professed on June 23, 1917, and was ordained to the priesthood by Archbishop Dougherty in the Philadelphia Cathedral on May 29, 1920.

In 1921, Father Rowan was assigned as a professor at Villanova Preparatory School at Villanova, Pa. In 1924, he was transferred to Cascia Hall, Tulsa, Oklahoma. He began parochial ministry in 1929 with an assignment to Saint Paul Parish, Mechanicville and then in 1932, to Saint Mary Parish, Wateford, both in New York. In 1941, Father Rowan became pastor and prior at Saint Patrick Church, San Diego, CA. He resigned from these offices in December, 1942, and in January, 1943, was sent to Saint Thomas Parish, Ojai. He became pastor there the following year. 

From 1950 to 1956, he was prior and pastor of Our Mother of Good Counsel in Bryn Mawr, Pa. At the Chapter of 1956, he was named prior of Saint Patrick’s in Cambridge, N.Y.

On a visit to the Bryn Mawr parish, Father Rowan died in the early morning of November 8, 1956, at 63 years of age, when fire engulfed his room as the apparent the result of a smoldering cigarette. The Funeral Mass was celebrated at Villanova on November 12, after which Father Rowan was buried at Villanova in the Community Cemetery. He was a cousin to Fathers Joseph and Albert Shannon of our Province.