Rev. Father Peter T. Rowe
Father Peter Rowe - 40th Ordination Anniversary
Congratulations! click here for video
Here is a "little bit" about myself . . .
I was born on September 10, 1952 in Oshawa, Ontario -- and was baptized later that same month in St. Gregory the Great Church. I am from a family of four, and with them, I took an active part in parish life at St. Gertrude Church, Oshawa, where I celebrated first Holy Communion in 1959 and Confirmation in 1963. I attended St. Gertrude and St. Francis Catholic Schools before moving on to Oshawa Catholic High School (now named after Msgr. Paul Dwyer, the priest who baptized me). Following graduation in 1971, I went on to complete my studies at the University of Toronto, St. Michael College. I obtained my degree in 1975 and then entered St. Augustine Seminary (Toronto School of Theology) in 1975. I had the privilege of spending the summer of 1978 with Fr. Anthony Meagher (the future Archbishop of Kingston) at St. John the Evangelist Parish, Whitby. Then, after much deliberation, I chose to transfer to the Diocese of St. Catharines (where the other half of my family lives), with the blessing of Cardinal Emmett Carter.
Upon ordaination as a deacon on January 14, 1979 and was assigned to St. Joseph Church, Grimsby. Bishop Thomas Fulton ordained me a priest in my hometown, at St. Gertrude Church, on September 29, 1979. I spent my years as Associate Pastor at St. Denis and St. Alfred Parishes, St. Catharines (for a time with Msgr. Anthony Tonnos, as he was named Auxiliary Bishop of Hamilton). At the time I began in the diocese the twice-annual SEARCH weekends for teenagers. After five years as an associate pastor, Bishop Fulton called me to become Pastor of Mary, Star of the Sea Parish, St. Catharines (Port Dalhousie), and for the next decade I ministered to the people there -- a time which saw the extension of the 1871 church to include an enlarged worship space. While there, besides assisting with the SEARCH weekends until 1992, I served for a time as diocesan representative at the annual Ontario Liturgical Conference (I was diocesan Director of Liturgy 1984 to 1988).
In 1994 I was asked by Bishop John O'Mara to accept an appointment to Our Lady of the Scapular Parish, Niagara Falls. There are many highlights to recall about my time spent in Niagara Falls: undertaking a very successful fundraising campaign and working to complete an addition of a new front foyer and side entrance to the church (as well as an interior renovation); participating with a team of priests and lay people on the "Come Home" program; coordinating the 2000 Jubilee Year celebration for Niagara Falls Deanery (I served as Dean of Niagara Falls for some years); initiating a Parish Synod experience leading up and following the 50th anniversary of the parish in 2001, when they became Parish Summits; serving (still) as Spiritual Animator of the diocesan Holy Name Society; launching the diocesan "Harvest of Hope" campaign for the parish -- to name a few. And we were privileged to host so many visitors from overseas for World Youth Day 2002.
In the course of my life's journey as a priest, I have had the privilege of leading groups of pilgrims -- through Brinkman Travel of St. Catharines -- to Portugal (2007), Holy Land (2011), Italy (2013), Fátima / Lourdes / Spain to encounter St. Teresa of Avila (2015), and Fátima to mark the centenary of the apparitions / Spain to encounter St. John of the Cross (2017). I had the joy of taking part in the International Eucharistic Congress in Dublin (2012) -- one of the many recent trips I have made to Ireland.
From 2005 to 2012, I was Pastor of St. Alexander, Fonthill. There I marked with the parishioners the 50th anniversary of the first Mass in town (2007). We had several fine parish missions in those years and a good ecumenical spirit prevailed among the Christian faith communities in Pelham. In 2012, I took up my duties as Pastor of St. Thomas More, Niagara Falls -- beginning and ending that year overseeing the addition of steel roofs to two churches. I was appointed by Bishop Bergie as Dean of Niagara Falls in 2013. Five years having past now since I became Pastor, I look back with joy and go forward enthusiastically to serve the People of God at St. Thomas More!
(Fr.) Peter T. Rowe