1852 – 1887 (September 20)
Francis Joseph Rowan, the son of James Rowan and Marjorie Huston, was born in Stranorlar, Ireland on November 12, 1852. He entered the novitiate at Villanova, Pennsylvania, on January 12, 1873, made profession of simple vows on January 25, 1874 and solemn vows on January 26, 1877. He was ordained to the priesthood at Villanova by Bishop Jeremiah Shanahan of Harrisburg on July 14, 1877.
Father Rowan served for a time as Master of Professed Clerics at Villanova, and later as procurator. Ie assisted in the mssions of at Saint Mary's in Lawrence, Massachusetts, and in February, 1887 was assisgned to Saint Augustine Parish, Lansingburg, and two months later, to Saint Mary’s Parish, Waterford, in New York. He died in Brooklyn, New York, at the home of his sister, on September 20, 1887 at the age of 35. .
The Office of the Dead was held at Villanova on Friday, September 23rd with Father Charles McEvoy, Prior Provincial, presiding. A Requiem Mass was celebrated immediately after by Father Daniel Leonard, O.S.A. of Atlantic City. Father Francis McGowan, O.S.A. preached the homily, in which he spoke of Father Rowan’s faithfulness, gentleness and piety.
Father Rowan is buried at Villanova in the Community Cemetery.