Requiescat in Pace

Age 91 

Reverend Monsignor Eugene J. Fowler

Reverend Monsignor Eugene J. Fowler (1921 - 2012), Pastor Emeritus, Church of Saint Catherine Laboure, Lake Katrine; entered into Eternal Life on Saturday, October 13, 2012;

Born December 14, 1921 in Manhattan, New York, Monsignor was raised by his parents, Eugene and Anna, along with his sister, Marie and brothers Kenneth, Joseph (all deceased) and Robert in the North Bronx.

Attending St. Barnabas grammar school, Monsignor first realized his vocation for the priesthood by serving Mass for the Pastor, Msgr Michael Reilly. He attended Cathedral College in Manhattan and St. Joseph's Seminary in Yonkers.  He was ordained a priest of the Archdiocese of New York in 1948.

He then began a career of parish assignments in Manhattan (St. Catherine of Genoa and Our Lady of Victory),  The Bronx (SS. Peter and Paul, Christ the King, Our Lady of Grace, and St. Mary’s), Westchester (SS Peter and Paul, Mount Vernon[1965-1979]; St. Anthony’s, Yonkers), and Ulster County (St. Catherine Laboure, Lake Katrine).   He was pastor of St. Catherine Laboure from 1979 to 1996, when he retired.

In all parishes, he worked with the local youth, using baseball, football, basketball and boxing to channel children into a positive direction for their lives.

While assigned to SS Peter & Paul, Monsignor saw his beloved Bronx in a state of decline and he worked diligently with the Model Cities Program of the Federal Government and local merchants to keep jobs and middle class housing in the South Bronx. This work culminated in his elevation to Monsignor in 1965 by Francis Cardinal Spellman.

Monsignor then transferred to Sts. Peter & Paul in Mount Vernon NY. He continued his work with youths and urban development but took on a new role as Catholic Chaplain of the Mount Vernon Police Department.

He worked in community revitalization and Model Cities programs in Mount Vernon and the Bronx; sponsored the August P. Petrillo Apartments for Senior Citizens in Mount Vernon; and conducted the Msgr. Fowler Yankee Day Camp at Mount Vernon High School. He also served as Mount Vernon Human Rights Commissioner and was a chaplain of the Mount Vernon Police Department. In the Bronx he worked with government and local business leaders to keep jobs and middle class housing there. He also engaged local youth in sports programs to focus their lives in a positive direction.

In The Word This Week column for Catholic New York, Msgr. Fowler wrote, “All Christians are called to serve our neighbors. God’s call always involves renunciation of self and much self-denial because his call must come first, and all our hopes must be in him, rather than ourselves and our own achievements.”

In 1979, Monsignor accepted his last official assignment as a priest, serving as Pastor of St. Catherine Laboure in Lake Katrine NY.  Monsignor retired in 1996.

Monsignor resided in housing provided by St Joseph's Novitiate in Greene County, NY. His last known residence was at an assisted care living facility, the Ferncliff Nursing Home, Rhinebeck, NY.

In addition to your prayers for the repose of his soul, we ask that you consider a donation to the Daughters of Mary, St. Joseph's Novitiate, PO Box 205 Round Top, NY 12473.

A Funeral Mass was offered Oct. 16 at the Chapel of Our Lady Queen of Peace, Gate of Heaven Cemetery 10 West Stevens Avenue, Hawthorne, New York 10532 914.769.3672.

Archbishop Henry J. Mansell of Hartford was the celebrant and homilist. Burial was at Gate of Heaven Cemetery, Hawthorne.

Requiescat in Pace

 

October 15, 2012
RIP Uncle Gene. U were the greatest! Love u.
Joanne Walker,
Ossining, New York
 
October 15, 2012
Our sincere condolences and prayers are extended to Father Fowler's family. Father leaves many of us, formerly of Sts. Peter and Paul parish in the Bronx, with special and wonderful memories. We, for one family, will miss mailing him SSPP and family news at Christmastime. May Father rest in peace.


October 19, 2012
My name is James M Manning. I was born and raised in SS Peter & Paul Parish. I was an Altar Boy and for a short time (1956-1960) was in the minor seminary (Cathedral College Prep). The priests I remembered from my youth (Grammar School) were Msgr. Joseph McCarthy, Fr Donahue and Fr O’Neill. My only recognition of Fr Fowler in my early youth (through my father) was how Father Fowler interceded with officials in the Justice system numerous times on behalf of SS Peter & Paul wayward youth, mitigating subsequent punishment on many occasions. When I left the seminary (1960), I joined the SS Peter & Paul Social Club (Ages 16+) managed by Fr Eugene J Fowler. Fr Fowler was a role model that left an impact that lasted my whole lifetime. The friends that I associated with have lasted to the present day. I met Helen M Clancy at the SS Peter & Paul Social Club and we have spent our lives together till this date. Now, there were those, that did not accept the guidance of Fr Fowler but that was their loss. Time goes on. We marry, have children and they grow into adolescence. There were no Fr Fowlers to provide the leadership that Helen & I benefitted from in SS Peter & Paul. When our children became of age, Helen & I stepped into the void and took over the parish Senior CYO organization in our local parish. The parish priests were absentee landlords. We modeled our leadership style with a few exceptions on Rev. Eugene Fowler. One thing leads to the other. I found myself not only the President of the Parish group but also the President of the Diocesan Co-Ed Softball and Basketball Leagues. Helen & I gained the recognition of most of the active Diocesan CYO youth. The Diocesan recognition resulted from not being a “Patsy” but being truthful and resolute as to expected conduct from all concerned. We continued this until our 4 children went on to bigger and better things as we did in our lives. Helen & I hope that our children continue the cycle. Father Eugene J Fowler has left a lasting Legacy to all those that have associated with him. He was a perfect parish priest.

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