Receives papal honor as Chaplain of His Holiness
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Father Mark Rowan, a Chaplain Colonel in the United States Air Force Reserve Command (AFRC) endorsed by the Archdiocese for the Military Services (AMS), has been named a monsignor in his home diocese of Rockville Centre, New York.
His Excellency, the Most Reverend William Murphy, Bishop of Rockville Centre, announced the Vatican has designated Father Rowan a “Chaplain of His Holiness,” a papal honor that carries the title of Reverend Monsignor.
Msgr. Rowan said:
“I was very surprised and humbled to learn I was chosen to receive this great honor and title. I am grateful to Pope Benedict and Bishop Murphy, who recommended me while graciously allowing me to serve outside his diocese in the Air Force.”
Msgr. Rowan, a native of Cedarhurst, N.Y., was ordained a priest on May 25, 1991 after completing studies at the Seminary of the Immaculate Conception in Huntington, N.Y. That same year, the AMS granted the young priest endorsement and faculties to serve as a Chaplain in the U.S. Air Force Reserve.
In 2003, Msgr. Rowan went on active duty. For the next seven years, he did tours at Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska; Osan Air base, South Korea; and as Wing Chaplain at Yokota Air Base, Japan.
In 2009 Msgr. Rowan returned to the Air Force Reserve where he serves as the Individual Mobilization Augmentee to the Deputy Command Chaplain at Headquarters, AFRC, Robins Air Force Base, Georgia.
Over the course of his 21-year military chaplain career, Msgr. Rowan has served on 13 deployments, including two in Iraq, three in Saudi Arabia, three in the United Arab Emirates, two in Qatar, and one in Kyrgyzstan. He is currently on his second deployment to Kuwait, stationed at Ali Al Salem Air Base.
Msgr. Rowan said his career highlights include serving as a Chaplain at the Dover Port Mortuary for six weeks immediately following the 9/11 attack on the Pentagon as well as his role as coordinator of the 2010 and 2011 Christmas visits by His Excellency, the Most Reverend Timothy P. Broglio, J.C.D., Archbishop for the Military Services, to American servicemen and women stationed in the Middle East. In 2010, Msgr. Rowan coordinated Archbishop Broglio’s visits to U.S. military bases in the Persian Gulf nations of Bahrain, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates and aboard the aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln. In 2011, Msgr. Rowan coordinated Archbishop Broglio’s visits to bases in Kuwait, Afghanistan and Kyrgyzstan and the aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis.
Msgr. Rowan receives his new church title less than six weeks after achieving a new rank in the Air Force Reserve. On April 14, he was promoted from Lieutenant Colonel to Colonel at St. Agnes Cathedral, Rockville Centre, N.Y.
Msgr. Rowan has previously served in the diocese of Rockville Centre at St. Aidan’s Williston Park, N.Y. and St. Catherine of Sienna, Franklin Square, N.Y. He was an associate and later pastor at Our Lady of Peace, Lynbrook, N.Y. and a chaplain at Nassau University Medical Center, East Meadow, N.Y.
The AMS was created as an independent archdiocese by Pope John Paul II in 1985 to provide the Catholic Church’s full range of pastoral ministries and spiritual services to Catholics serving in the U.S. armed forces, enrolled in U.S. military academies, undergoing treatment in Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Medical Centers, working for the U.S. Government in civilian jobs outside of the country, and their families.
As the nation’s only archdiocese without geographical boundaries, the AMS endorses and grants faculties to priests for on-site ministry at more than 220 U.S. military installations in 29 countries, 153 VA Medical Centers in the U.S. and 134 countries where civilian workers serve the federal government. Worldwide, an estimated 1.8 million Catholics depend on the AMS to serve their spiritual and sacramental needs.
For more information on the Archdiocese for the Military Services, visit www.milarch.org, the only official Web site for Catholics in the military and for the Cause of Father Vincent Capodanno, M.M.