Fr David Rowan SJ, RIP

Fr David Rowan SJ
15 July 1952 – 12 July 2021

The Society of Jesus (Jesuits) mourns the loss of Fr David Rowan SJ.

After a battle with cancer he passed away peacefully this afternoon, Monday 12 July 2021, at Nazareth House in Johannesburg. Fr Rowan will be remembered for the stories he always began his homilies with. He was a friend to many and will be fondly remembered.

The Jesuit Community in Johannesburg is grateful to the Sisters and staff at Nazareth House for the care and love they showed Fr Rowan in the last few months. We are also grateful to the medical staff at the Donald Gordon Hospital for their care.

We commend Fr Rowan to the Lord, knowing that he is now at peace and has no more pain.

The Funeral will take place at 10h00 on Tuesday, 20 July 2021, at the Church of the Holy Trinity in Braamfontein, Johannesburg.

Due to COVID-19 restrictions, ONLY 50 people can be in attendance, this includes all Jesuits, relatives and clergy. Persons wishing to attend are kindly requested to inform the Community by sending an email to Your attendance will be confirmed by email, if numbers still allow.

Please note that the funeral will be live-streamed on YouTube at this link (, and available at the bottom of this page.

Fr Russell Pollitt SJ
Superior: Jesuit Community Johannesburg

Fr David Rowan SJ Funeral Mass

8 thoughts on “Fr David Rowan SJ, RIP”

  1. Lorenzo Locatelli-Rossi

    Father David was a dear family friend. to my late brother Fr Claudio Rossi sj so through my brother a lovely friendship grew between us. David was fir me like a gentle giant with a cuddly teddy bear heart. When in his company I always felt so at ease, he had this “zen” aura that was accompanied by some few words he would say, then silently listen to how you answers. With this he slowly got the best out of you and that is how he helped me in my times of sadness and confusion. He officiated our marriage as my brother was in Europe by then and baptised our first child. I’m soon to hopefully return to South Africa and on top of my “ bucket list” was to be with David. Sadly I will not see him but as my faith taught me, David is now reading this message. With love.

  2. Gillian Tweehuysen

    Our thoughts & prayers are with all Fr Rowan’s family & the Jesuits, may he Rest In Peace Amen God bless you all. Gillian Tweehuysen, St Patrick’s Parish & Carmel Benoni.

  3. Sr Maureen Rooney HC

    So sorry about the loss of Fr David. I will not be attending the funeral but will be participating through the live streaming. May Fr David now intercede for us all. I have very good memories of working with him. Sr Maureen Rooney HC

  4. Hello,

    I write to express my sadness of the death of David, such a humble friend.

    It is especially Poignant to be able to watch and listen to his funeral mass via YouTube this morning.

    Thank you for sharing this.

    with thanks

    Michael Cole, MA


  5. Michael Gillespie

    My prayers and love to Fr David Rowan, my friend from schooldays at St George’s College, Zimbabwe. I searched for him on the internet, wanting to send good wishes for the anniversary of his ordination, 30 July 1982, only to learn of his recent death. God bless him and his lifelong dedication.

  6. My former rector at orientation seminary in Verulam, North of Durban. I just learn about his passing this year (2023). As someone explained the way he would narrate a certain story before his sermon, I got a testimony about that. May his soul rest in peace.

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