Rev. John E. Molan

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The Reverend Monsignor John E. Molan, 83, of Manchester, NH died June 13, 2010.

Born in Manchester, NH on April 24, 1927, he was the son of John and Katherine (Neville) Molan.

He received his early education from the Sisters of Mercy at St. Patrick School and graduated from Manchester High School West in 1944. He attended Saint Anselm College. He embarked on his ecclesiastical studies for priesthood at Saint Mary's Seminary, Baltimore, MD. Over the course of six years, he earned a bachelor of arts degree in two areas of concentration, philosophy and theology. In addition, he earned a masters degree in social work from Boston College.

During World War II, he served with the United States Army.

He was ordained into the priesthood on May 30, 1953 at Saint Joseph Cathedral by the Most Reverend Matthew F. Brady, D.D., fifth Bishop of Manchester.

Over the course of the next forty-five years, Msgr. Molan served in a variety of pastoral and administrative positions. His first assignment was at Saint Joseph Cathedral, Manchester, where he served as associate pastor. In 1958, he was appointed assistant director of New Hampshire Catholic Charities. In 1963, he was appointed by Bishop Ernest J. Primeau as Diocesan Director of New Hampshire Catholic Charities. During this time he also served as Diocesan Coordinator of Health Affairs.

In 1975, he served as pastor of Immaculate Conception Church, Portsmouth and in 1983, at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Church, Manchester.

Msgr. Molan served on the Diocesan Budget Committee, Diocesan Building & Real Estate Board, Diocesan Finance Council, Dean of the Dover Deanery and Diocesan Consultor for over thirty years.

During his assignments and until 1980, Msgr. Molan also served as the Bishop's representative to Catholic hospitals. He was extremely active in the health care field. Locally, he served as the first lay chairman of the Board of Directors of Saint Joseph Hospital, Nashua as well as Sacred Heart Hospital, Manchester. He also served as a founding trustee of Catholic Medical Center. Nationally, he served on the Board of Catholic Health Association and was the founding chairman of the Board of the Pope John XXIII Medical-Moral Research and Educational Center.

In 1983, he was designated by Bishop Odore Gendron to assist in the administration of the Diocese of Manchester. From 1985 until his retirement in 1998, he served as vicar-general of the diocese.

During his assignments in diocesan administration, Msgr. Molan assisted in a number of parishes including Our Lady of Mercy, Merrimack, Saint Patrick, Manchester, and Saint Mark Church, Londonderry. He served as chaplain to the Army National Guard and Army Reserve.

In 2007, Bishop John B. McCormack called Msgr. Molan out of retirement to serve as pastor of his home parish, Saint Patrick Church, Manchester. During that year, the Monsignor also facilitated the closing of the church.

During his retirement years, he served as a part-time associate at Saint Pius X Church, Manchester. He also served as part-time chaplain to the Sisters of the Presentation of Mary.

Msgr. Molan received each of the three papal honors, associated with the title "Monsignor", the Papal Assistant, Prelate of Honor and the highest being the Protonotary Apostolic. This honor was bestowed upon very few priests in the history of the Diocese of Manchester.

In 1987, he was received into the Equestrian Order of Holy Sepulchre. In 2001, he was the first recipient of the "Outstanding Catholic Alumnus" of St. Anselm College Alumni Association. In 2006, he was inducted into the Manchester West High School Hall of Fame. He was a member of the Legion of One Thousand Men of the Precious Blood Monastery as well as a life member of the Third and Fourth Degrees of the Knights of Columbus. He was a member of the American Legion Henry J Sweeney Post No. 2 and Saint Vincent de Paul Society. Msgr. Molan served on the Board of Director of Cathedral Credit Union, Manchester as well as the Manchester Mental Health Center.

Family members include his sister, Katherine DeCorte of Erie, PA; a nephew, Michael DeCorte; a niece, Mrs. Ronald (Kathleen) Wright; a grandnephew, Evan DeCorte; and several cousins. He was predeceased by his brother, David Molan and two nephews, Thomas and Paul DeCorte.

The Rite of Reception of the Body will take place Wednesday in Saint Pius X Church, 575 Candia Road, Manchester, NH at 3PM.

Monsignor Molan will lie in state at Saint Pius XChurch until 7PM, concluding with Solemn Vespers evening prayer.

On Thursday, Monsignor Molan will lie in Sate at Saint Joseph Cathedral, 145 Lowell Street, Manchester, NH from 9AM to 9:45AM.

The Most Reverend John B. McCormack, Bishop of Manchester, will preside at a mass of Christian burial to be held Thursday at 10AM in Saint Joseph Cathedral, corner of Lowell and Pine Streets, Manchester, NH.

The Rite of Committal with burial will take in Saint Joseph Cemetery, Bedford, New Hampshire.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to Diocesan Priests Retirement Fund, c/o Diocese of Manchester, PO Box 310, Manchester, NH 03105 or to New Hampshire Catholic Charities, PO Box 686, Manchester, NH 03105.

The Connor-Healy Funeral Home & Cremation Center, 537 Union Street, Manchester, New Hampshire, has charge of the arrangements. Daniel J. Healy is the funeral director.

For more information or to view the online guest registry, please visit

Published in Union Leader on June 14, 2010
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