The Rev. John P. Rohan, 67, of East Hartford, formerly of Manchester, died Sunday, Jan. 20, 2013, at his home.
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Born in Manchester on Feb. 14, 1945, the son of the late Dorothy McHale and John Gorman Rohan, Father Rohan attended St. James Grammar School. He then attended St. Thomas Seminary High School and Junior College in Bloomfield, graduating in 1966. He continued his studies for the priesthood at Christ the King Seminary at St. Bonaventure, N.Y., where he pursued his graduate studies. Ordained to the priesthood on May 27, 1972, by the Most Rev. John F. Whealon, archbishop of Hartford. Father Rohan served as an assistant pastor at St. John of the Cross Parish in Middlebury from 1972 until 1973. In 1973 he was appointed to Saint Rita Parish in Hamden, and then in 1976 he was assigned to Blessed Sacrament Parish in Hamden. In September of 1979, he was appointed co-pastor of St. Francis Parish in Naugatuck, a position he held until September of 1981 when he became director of Catholic chaplains and co-director of the department of pastoral care at Hartford Hospital. While at Hartford Hospital, Father served on the ethics committee and was a founding member of the trauma support team. In August of 1989, Father became pastor of St. Francis of Assisi Parish in South Windsor where he served until December of 2001. He then became priest in residence at St. Rose Parish in East Hartford.
In May of 2004 when the parishes of St. Rose and St. Isaac Jogues were linked, Father became administrator of both parishes. In January of 2005, St. Mary Parish in East Hartford joined St. Rose and St. Isaac Jogues to form the cluster of the Catholic Parishes of East Hartford North, and Father Rohan was appointed pastor of the three parishes in the cluster, a position he continued to hold until his death. Under his leadership, the three parishes came together to form a model of what can happen when strengths and resources are shared for the building up of the Kingdom of God through the ministry of the church, while each community maintained its own identity. For many years, Father served as a trustee of Goodwin College when it was first beginning and was chairman of the academic committee. Working with the college, Father developed a unique partnership between the college and St. Rose School. Father also ministered to the retired Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur at Julie House in Windsor. A gifted preacher, he studied in the fellowship program at the College of Preachers in Washington D.C., and taught homiletics for many years to the permanent deacon candidates in the Archdiocese of Hartford. For many years, Father maintained a home in Charlestown, R.I., where he loved to garden and relax.
Father is survived by his niece, Tracy Rohan Willard and her husband, Bill, along with their two children, Liam Willard and Morgan Willard; and his cousins, Timothy Rohan and his wife, Barbara, of Manchester, Nancy Yost of Manchester, and Geraldine DeMarche of Charlestown, R.I. He also leaves behind his longtime friend, Frank Lawlor and his son, Timothy Lawlor, who was Father's godchild. Father was predeceased by his brother, Michael.
Father Rohan's body will lie in state at St. Mary Church, 15 Maplewood Ave., East Hartford, on Wednesday, Jan. 23, from 4 to 8 p.m., with a parish Mass to follow at 8 p.m.
On Thursday, Jan. 24, The Most Rev. Henry J. Mansell, archbishop of Hartford, will be the principal celebrant for the Mass of Christian Burial to be celebrated at 10 a.m. at St. Mary Church, East Hartford, followed by burial in St. James Cemetery, Manchester.
The John F. Tierney Funeral Home, Manchester, has care of the arrangements.
Memorial contributions may be made to St. Rose Church, 33 Church St., East Hartford, CT 06108.
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Published in Journal Inquirer from Jan. 22 to Jan. 26, 2013