UPDATED: Father Daniel F. Gowen, a priest of the Diocese for 34 years, dies

March 12, 2024 at 3:13 p.m.


Father Daniel F. Gowen, who served in multiple parishes throughout the Diocese over more than three decades, died March 9. He was 64.

Funeral services will be held in St. Denis Church, Manasquan, beginning March 14, with visitation 2-4 p.m. and 6-8 p.m. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated March 15 at 11 a.m. Interment will be in St. Catharine Cemetery, Wall Township.

Father Gowen was born in 1959 in Bayonne and grew up in Manasquan. He attended St. Denis Parish and School and graduated from St. Rose High School, Belmar.

He studied at Mercer County Community College and Aviation Careers Institute, Norwood, Mass. He had his private pilot certificate and was air traffic control certified.

Father Gowen completed his undergraduate studies at St. Meinrad Seminary, St. Meinrad, Ind., and received a master of divinity degree from Mount St. Mary’s Seminary, Emmitsburg, Md. Bishop John C. Reiss ordained him to the priesthood Dec. 2, 1989, at St. Mary of the Assumption Cathedral, Trenton.

Father Gowen served as parochial vicar of St. Ann Parish, Keansburg; St. Anthony Parish (now part of Our Lady of Sorrows-St. Anthony), Hamilton; St. Joseph Parish, Toms River; and St. Catharine-St. Margaret Parish, Spring Lake.

He served as temporary administrator, then pastor of Our Lady of Perpetual Help Parish, Highlands (now part of Our Lady of Perpetual Help-St. Agnes Parish, Atlantic Highlands); temporary administrator, then pastor of St. Elizabeth of Hungary Parish, Avon-by-the-Sea (now part of St. Teresa of Calcutta Parish, Bradley Beach); administrator, then pastor of St. Michael Parish, West End; and administrator of Jesus the Good Shepherd Parish, Beverly.

Subsequent assignments included serving as parochial vicar of St. Paul Parish, Princeton; St. Robert Bellarmine Co-Cathedral, Freehold; and Our Lady of Sorrows-St. Anthony Parish.

In addition to parish assignments, Father Gowen served as a diocesan pro-life chaplain; chaplain to the Trenton Council, Knights of Columbus; chaplain at McCorristin Catholic High School (now Trenton Catholic Preparatory Academy), Hamilton; chairman of the diocesan priest council; chaplain of the Serra Club of Trenton; and a member of the committee for the Review for Diocesan Policies.

Upon his retirement in 2022, he resided in Villa Vianney, the diocesan facility for retired priests, in Lawrenceville.

Father Gowen was predeceased by his mother, Bridget McGlynn Gowen. He is survived by his father, Matthew J. Gowen; four brothers, Matt (Diana), Bernie (Dawn), Joe (Laurie), Jim (Linda); a sister, Marianne (Brien) Ely; 13 nieces and a great-niece.

Memorial donations may be made to St. Mary’s Seminary, 16300 Old Emmitsburg Rd., Emmitsburg, Md. 21717 (seminary.msmary.edu/support/index.html); Diocese of Trenton Department of Development – Retired Priests Support, 701 Lawrenceville Rd., Trenton, N.J., 08648; or Mary’s Place by the Sea, 22 Main Ave., Ocean Grove, N.J., 07756.


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Father Daniel F. Gowen, who served in multiple parishes throughout the Diocese over more than three decades, died March 9. He was 64.

Funeral services will be held in St. Denis Church, Manasquan, beginning March 14, with visitation 2-4 p.m. and 6-8 p.m. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated March 15 at 11 a.m. Interment will be in St. Catharine Cemetery, Wall Township.

Father Gowen was born in 1959 in Bayonne and grew up in Manasquan. He attended St. Denis Parish and School and graduated from St. Rose High School, Belmar.

He studied at Mercer County Community College and Aviation Careers Institute, Norwood, Mass. He had his private pilot certificate and was air traffic control certified.

Father Gowen completed his undergraduate studies at St. Meinrad Seminary, St. Meinrad, Ind., and received a master of divinity degree from Mount St. Mary’s Seminary, Emmitsburg, Md. Bishop John C. Reiss ordained him to the priesthood Dec. 2, 1989, at St. Mary of the Assumption Cathedral, Trenton.

Father Gowen served as parochial vicar of St. Ann Parish, Keansburg; St. Anthony Parish (now part of Our Lady of Sorrows-St. Anthony), Hamilton; St. Joseph Parish, Toms River; and St. Catharine-St. Margaret Parish, Spring Lake.

He served as temporary administrator, then pastor of Our Lady of Perpetual Help Parish, Highlands (now part of Our Lady of Perpetual Help-St. Agnes Parish, Atlantic Highlands); temporary administrator, then pastor of St. Elizabeth of Hungary Parish, Avon-by-the-Sea (now part of St. Teresa of Calcutta Parish, Bradley Beach); administrator, then pastor of St. Michael Parish, West End; and administrator of Jesus the Good Shepherd Parish, Beverly.

Subsequent assignments included serving as parochial vicar of St. Paul Parish, Princeton; St. Robert Bellarmine Co-Cathedral, Freehold; and Our Lady of Sorrows-St. Anthony Parish.

In addition to parish assignments, Father Gowen served as a diocesan pro-life chaplain; chaplain to the Trenton Council, Knights of Columbus; chaplain at McCorristin Catholic High School (now Trenton Catholic Preparatory Academy), Hamilton; chairman of the diocesan priest council; chaplain of the Serra Club of Trenton; and a member of the committee for the Review for Diocesan Policies.

Upon his retirement in 2022, he resided in Villa Vianney, the diocesan facility for retired priests, in Lawrenceville.

Father Gowen was predeceased by his mother, Bridget McGlynn Gowen. He is survived by his father, Matthew J. Gowen; four brothers, Matt (Diana), Bernie (Dawn), Joe (Laurie), Jim (Linda); a sister, Marianne (Brien) Ely; 13 nieces and a great-niece.

Memorial donations may be made to St. Mary’s Seminary, 16300 Old Emmitsburg Rd., Emmitsburg, Md. 21717 (seminary.msmary.edu/support/index.html); Diocese of Trenton Department of Development – Retired Priests Support, 701 Lawrenceville Rd., Trenton, N.J., 08648; or Mary’s Place by the Sea, 22 Main Ave., Ocean Grove, N.J., 07756.

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