1906 – 1994 (October 17)
Thomas Edward Rogers was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on October 10, 1906, the son of William H. Rogers and Catherine A. Crowley. He had three brothers and two sisters. Baptized in the church of Saint John the Evangelist in Philadelphia, his early education was in the Philadelphia public schools. His secondary school education began in Central High School, Philadelphia. However, he transferred to Augustinian Academy on Staten Island, New York, as a postulant and graduated from there in 1925. That same year he was received into the novitiate and professed simple vows August 16, 1926. Three years later he made his solemn profession on August 16, 1929. Thomas graduated from Villanova College with an A.B. degree in philosophy in 1930 and studied theology at Augustinian College in Washington, DC. On June 13, 1933, he was ordained to the priesthood at the National Shrine of me Immaculate Conception in Washington, DC. The following year he completed graduate studies at Catholic University of America in Washington, DC.
Father Rogers' first assignment in 1934 was to the Augustinian Mission Band. For the next twenty-eight years, six of these as rector of the Mission Band, he traveled extensively giving missions, retreats, and talks at various parishes and to many groups throughout the country. During these years he was in residence at Saint Mary's in Lawrence, Massachusetts, Saint Thomas of Villanova Monastery on the Villanova campus, and at the Assumption, also in Lawrence, where he was the prior of the Augustinian community.
In 1962 Father Rogers entered parochial ministry as associate pastor and prior at Saint Nicholas of Tolentine Church in Atlantic City, New Jersey. In 1968 he was assigned to Saint Patrick's Church in Cambridge, New York, as pastor and superior. From 1971 until 1977 he was associate pastor of Our Mother of Good Counsel, Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania and Our Mother of Consolation, Chestnut Hill, Pennsylvania. In 1977 Father Rogers returned to Saint Nicholas of Tolentine in Atlantic City, New Jersey, where he celebrated his golden jubilee as a priest on June 13, 1983. Although well past the age of retirement he continued his priestly ministry.
In March of 1994 failing health led to his transfer to Saint Thomas of Villanova Monastery on the campus of Villanova University, where he could be cared for properly by the nursing staff. Father Rogers died in Bryn Mawr Hospital, on October 17, 1994 at eighty-eight years of age, having been a professed religious for sixty-eight years and a priest for sixty-one.Father Rogers possessed a fine mind, a powerful voice, as well as a keen grasp of the faith and human nature. All of the God given gifts he used for the benefit of all who came in contact with him. At Saint Charles Seminary in Philadelphia many priests of the Archdiocese remembered him as "Red Tom Rogers" the Augustinian priest who gave "the wonderful priests' retreats."
A Mass of Christian burial was celebrated at Saint Thomas Church, Villanova University, on October 19. The main celebrant was Father John E. Deegan, O.S.A., the prior provincial and the homily was given by Father Dante I. Girolami, O.S.A. Interment was in the Rogers' family plot at Holy Cross cemetery, Yeadon, Pennsylvania.