Requiescat in Pace
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
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