WEST HARTFORD – Father Ronan Callahan, a Passionist priest, seminary professor and overseas missionary, died at St. Mary Home on Sept. 9, 2015. He was 92.
He was born and named Jerome F. Callahan in 1923, the second son of the late Walter S. and Rose (Tierney) Callahan. He was the brother of Robert Callahan of Farmingdale, N.Y., and the late Walter Callahan.
Father Ronan grew up in the Flatlands section of Brooklyn. He attended St. Augustine High School in Brooklyn and graduated from Farmingdale High School in 1941. He studied at Manhattan College in the Bronx, N.Y., and graduated from Cathedral College of Immaculate Conception Preparatory Seminary in Brooklyn in 1944.
He then entered the Passionist community. After completing the novitiate at St. Paul of the Cross Monastery in Pittsburgh, Pa., in 1945, Father Ronan studied theology at St. Michael Monastery in Union City, N.J. He received a Master of Arts degree in theology and was ordained a priest in 1951. He then studied philosophy at the Angelicum in Rome from 1952-54; the University of Ottawa, Canada; Laval University in Quebec, Canada; and Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. He received a Carnegie Fellowship at the University of Notre Dame in Indiana in 1968.
Father Callahan taught philosophy at the Passionist Monastic Seminary in Jamaica, N.Y., from 1954-70. He also taught at St. Joseph College in West Hartford from 1964-68 and held membership in the American Catholic Philosophical Association. In 1970, he embarked on a missionary career with the Passionists in the southern Philippines. He taught philosophy at Notre Dame of Marbel University in Cotabato, served as consultor to the bishop, was chancellor of the Diocese of Marbel from 1975-90 and ministered as a prison and hospital chaplain. He was president of the Philosophy Association of the Visayas and Mindanao in the southern Philippines and received numerous awards for public service.
After returning to the United States, Father Ronan taught at Holy Apostles Seminary in Cromwell from 1993 until his death. Several years ago, he was awarded an honorary doctoral degree by Holy Apostles Seminary. He also served in local leadership at Holy Family Monastery in West Hartford during that time period.
For more than a dozen years, Father Callahan helped out with Saturday and Sunday ministry at St. Catherine Parish in Broad Brook, where he quickly became a beloved pastoral servant and popular preacher.
A Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated Sept. 14 at the Holy Family Monastery chapel. Burial followed at Holy Family Cemetery.
Donations may be made to the Passionist Retirement Fund, Holy Family Monastery, 303 Tunxis Rd., West Hartford, CT 06107.