Father James J. McGowan grew up in Woburn and was born on February 23, 1936, the son of the late James J. and Margaret (Boyle) McGowan. He comes from a family of seven children. He attended Boston College and prepared for the priesthood at St. Philip Neri School for Delayed Vocations and St. John Seminary. He was ordained on February 2, 1962 at St. Margaret Church in Lowell by the Most Rev. Thomas J. Riley. He offered his first Mass on February 4th at St. Joseph Church in Woburn. His assignments have included: Sacred Heart, Weymouth; 1962-1969, Our Lady of Lourdes, Revere; 1969-1970, St. Thomas Aquinas, Nahant; 1970-1973, St. Theresa of Avila, West Roxbury; 1973-1981 and St. Thomas Aquinas, Bridgewater; 1981-1985. On July 15, 1986, he was appointed pastor of Our Lady of Mercy Parish in Belmont. The parish was suppressed on December 31, 2004 and his pastorate ended on that date. He was then assigned to Sacred Heart, North Quincy; 2005-2010. On May 1, 2010, he was granted senior priest/retirement status and took residence at Regina Cleri. He is survived by two sisters, Charlotte of Woburn and Virginia Kazazian and her husband Randolph (Biff) of Reading and sister-in-law Mary Margaret McGowan (Peggy) of Waltham. He is predeceased by brothers Robert, Paul and William and a sister Margaret Rutkosky. He is also survived by many nieces and nephews. A funeral mass will be celebrated at St. Mary's Church, 158 Washington Street, Winchester on Saturday, Sept. 8, 2018 at 10:00 AM. Relatives and friends invited. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Regina Cleri, Chapel Renovation Fund, 60 William Cardinal O'Connell Way, Boston, MA. 02114.
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