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Father John Martin Egan, O.P., died peacefully on the evening of Thursday, November 29, 2018, at St. Antoine's Residence, North Smithfield, RI, at the age of 91. Fr. Egan faithfully served the Church as a priest for over 60 years ministering as a professor, as a missionary in Peru, a chaplain to Dominican sisters, a pastor, and a chaplain for the Veterans Administration. He is survived by his brother Lawrence, his sister Rosemary Gouin, and his nieces and nephews.
Father Egan was born January 6, 1927 in Detroit, MI, to William Lawrence Egan and Elizabeth Margaret (Nehs) Egan and named John Landon. He attended St. Rita’s Parish School and then University of Detroit High School, both in Detroit, MI. He attended the University of Detroit from 1944-1948 earning an A.B. in Philosophy.
He entered the Dominican Novitiate in August of 1949 at St. Rose Priory in Springfield, KY and received the religious name Martin. He made his first profession at St. Rose on September 15, 1950 and his solemn profession at the Priory of the Immaculate Conception, on September 15, 1953. He studied philosophy at St. Rose in Springfield, KY, and St. Joseph’s in Somerset, OH, and then theology at the Pontifical Faculty of the Immaculate Conception (PFIC) in Washington, DC. On June 8, 1956, he was ordained a priest in the Basilica of the Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, DC.
In 1959, after completing an additional year of studies at the PFIC, Fr. Egan was assigned to St. Thomas Aquinas Priory in Providence, RI, where he taught religion at Providence College (1957-1959). He later taught at Barry College in Miami, FL, (1959-1962), at Salve Regina College in Newport, RI, (1962-1964), and St. Mary’s of the Spring College in Columbus, OH (1964-1965).
In 1965, Fr. Egan was assigned directly to the Vicariate of Chimbote in Peru where he ministered for eight years. When returning to the United States, Fr. Egan referred to these as the “best eight years of my life.” When interviewed by a Detroit newspaper, Fr. Egan said that the Peruvians “are a friendly, outgoing people…. They’re also people who see God as directing us, and they incorporate this in their lives.”
In 1973, Fr. Egan returned to the United States and served as chaplain to the Motherhouse of St. Mary of the Springs in Columbus, OH. In 1975, he was assigned to St. Rose Priory in Springfield, KY, and appointed pastor of Holy Rosary Parish in Springfield. In 1981, after serving as pastor for six years, he was assigned to St. Dominic Dominican Community in Detroit, MI, and began a ministry preaching parish missions. In 1987, while continuing his preach, Fr. Egan served part time as a chaplain at the Veterans’ Administration Hospital in Detroit. In 1988, Fr. Egan moved to the Dominican House of Studies in Washington, DC, and began serving as an assistant chaplain at the United states Soldiers’ and Airman’s Home
In 2011, Fr. Egan was assigned to St. Dominic Priory in Washington, DC, so that his growing health needs could be better addressed. In 2013, Fr. Egan took up residence at the Mohun Health Care Center in Columbus, OH. In 2016, Fr. Egan moved to St. Antoine's Residence in North Smithfield, RI.
Fr. Egan’s body will be received into the Chapel of Our Lady of the Rosary in the Priory of St. Thomas Aquinas at Providence College at 9:00 a.m. on Wednesday, December 5, 2018. The Office of the Dead will be celebrated at 9:30 a.m. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated for him in the same Chapel at 10:00 a.m. Very Rev. Kenneth R. Letoile, O.P., Prior Provincial, will be the principal celebrant. Rev. Henry Camacho, O.P., will be the preacher. His body will then be laid to rest in the Dominican Section of the Saint Francis Cemetery, Pawtucket.