Cover photo for Reverend Monsignor Thomas Monahan Ph.D.'s Obituary
Reverend Monsignor Thomas Monahan Ph.D. Profile Photo
1929 Reverend Monsignor Thomas 2020

Reverend Monsignor Thomas Monahan Ph.D.

July 30, 1929 — March 15, 2020

The Chancery received word Sunday, March 15, 2020, that Reverend Monsignor Thomas J. Monahan, Ph. D., died at Wesley Willows in Rockford. Monsignor was born on July 30, 1929, in Des Moines, Iowa, to James T. Monahan and Leona Waltenbaugh.

Monsignor Monahan attended Fordham University, New York, before attending Iona College, New Rochelle, N.Y. where he received his Bachelor Degree in Education. He attended St. Paul Seminary (1954-1958) where he received a Master’s Degree in Church History and was ordained to the priesthood for the Diocese of Rockford on May 31, 1958 by Bishop Loras T. Lane at St. Mary Parish, McHenry.

Monsignor’s first assignment was as Parochial Vicar at St. Mary Parish in DeKalb. He was then assigned as Parochial Vicar at St. Peter Parish in Spring Grove; and then as Parochial Vicar at St. Patrick Parish in Rockford. In 1965, he attended St. John University in Minnesota where he received a Master’s Degree in Theology. In 1966, Monsignor was appointed as the first Director of the Bishop Lane Retreat Center in Rockford. He was then appointed Director of the Priests’ Eucharistic League. Monsignor was assigned as Parochial Vicar of St. Therese in Aurora in 1968. He was then appointed Executive Director of The Observer Catholic Newspaper. He was then assigned as Pastor of St. Mary Parish in Byron. In 1978, Monsignor was appointed Pro-Synodal Judge for the Diocese of Rockford Tribunal. He was later assigned as Pastor at St. Peter Parish in South Beloit as well as Holy Spirit Parish in Roscoe. In 1982, Monsignor went on to further his studies and received his Ph.D. in Psychology from Walden University, Minnesota. Monsignor was then appointed Advocate for the Diocesan Tribunal and later appointed Director of Permanent Deacons. In 1988, he was assigned Chaplain of the Poor Clares Corpus Christi Monastery in Rockford. Monsignor was later assigned Pastor at St. Mary Parish in Durand and St. Patrick Parish in Irish Grove. In 1999, he was appointed Diocesan Moderator of the Priests’ Eucharistic League; and in the year 2000, as Spiritual Director for the Permanent Diaconate.

Monsignor Monahan retired from active ministry on August 1, 2000. He was appointed Chaplain to His Holiness on March 6, 2005, with the title of Monsignor by Pope St. John Paul II.

Monsignor is preceded in death by his parents, brother, Jim and sisters, Margaret, Maxine and Kay. He is survived by several nieces and nephews.

Mass of Christian Burial will be on Thursday, March 19, 2020 at 10 a.m. at St. Bernadette Parish.
Arrangements are being made by Fitzgerald Funeral Home, Rockford, Illinois.

Due to local, state and national concerns over the spread of the coronavirus, there will be no visitation and the funeral is not open to the public.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Reverend Monsignor Thomas Monahan Ph.D., please visit our flower store.

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