Services for Msgr. John Rowan, 88, longtime Sayville pastor


Funeral services for Monsignor John J. Rowan, a priest on Long Island for 63 years and the founding principal of the former Holy Family Diocesan High School, are scheduled for later this week in Sayville.

Rowan died on April 1. He was 88 years old.

Rowan served as pastor at St. Lawrence the Martyr R.C. Church in Sayville and coordinated the Sunday Masses at Fire Island Pines for more than 25 years. Friends and family will gather for a Mass of Resurrection in his honor at St. Lawrence, located at 240 W. Main St., at 11 a.m. on Wednesday, April 10.

In recent years, Rowan served the parish of St. Frances de Chantal Church in Wantagh and spent much of his spare time working in his garden, according to his obituary.

As the founding Principal at Holy Family High School (which closed and saw its students absorbed by St. Anthony’s High School in 1984), Rowan remained committed to education and in touch with many of the school’s alumni and former teachers.

Rowan was a member of the Board of Directors of the Diocese of Rockville Centre, as well as at Catholic Health. Over the course of his educational journey, he earned doctorate degrees in canon law, civil law and education.

He additionally worked with Nassau Suffolk Law Services and in 1985, he became a founding member of Mercy Haven Inc. He also served on the boards of Catholic Charities and Good Samaritan Hospital, among many other nonprofits.

Rowan is survived by his brothers, Terry and his wife Rita of California and Michael and his wife Maria of Bohemia. He also is survived by 15 nieces and nephews and their families.

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