John Patrick McGovern, O.P.
Born: November 23, 1925
Professed: August 16, 1953
Ordained: June 5, 1959
Died: August 16, 2005
John Patrick McGovern was born in Providence, RI, on November 23, 1925. His early education was completed there at St. Patrick’s elementary school and at LaSalle Academy. During the Second World War, he served with distinction in the Navy as a Signalman on a LST from 1943 to 1946.
After two years at Providence College, he received the Dominican habit as he began his Novitiate at St. Stephen’s Priory in Dover, MA. His Simple Profession was made at St. Stephen’s in 1953 and his Solemn Profession at Precious Blood Church in New Monmouth, N.J., three years later.
Following his studies in philosophy at St. Rose Priory in Springfield, KY, and at St. Joseph’s Priory in Somerset, OH, and in theology at the Dominican House of Studies in Washington, Father McGovern was ordained to the Priesthood on June 5, 1959, at St. Dominic’s Church in Washington by Patrick Cardinal O’Boyle.
Much of Father McGovern’s priestly ministry was in the parish apostolate in several locations throughout the Province, including Johnson City, TN, Washington, DC, New York City, Philadelphia, and Cincinnati. It was during his several years in residence at the House of Studies in Washington in his later years that Father McGovern had what was perhaps his most rewarding assignment. He had a special rapport with the students there who looked upon him as an unofficial though effective mentor and guide during their years of formation, and who profited from his colorful experience.
In 2004, Father McGovern became a resident at the Center of Assisted Living at St. Dominic’s Priory in Washington as his state of health declined. While there, he served as chaplain at the U.S. Soldiers’ Home, to the degree that his health permitted, and once again found an admiring and grateful reception.
After several sessions in the hospital during his final illness, Father McGovern died on August 16, 2005. V. Rev. E. Raymond Daley, O.P. was the main celebrant at the Mass of Christian Burial which was concelebrated at St. Dominic’s Church on August 20th by many of his Dominican brothers and attended by the student brothers, as well as by his sister and other relatives. Burial was in the Dominican Friars’ section of Mt. Olivet cemetery in Washington, DC.