Basilian Father John L. “Jack” Dugan, assisting priest at St. Ambrose Church, Rochester, died April 21 at St. Ann’s Community in Rochester. He was 76.
A native of White Plains, Father Dugan earned degrees from the University of St. Michael’s College in Toronto and Middlebury College, where he obtained a master’s degree in German.
Before becoming a priest, he served in the U.S. Marine Corps (1952-55) and was married from 1952-73. He and his wife, Barbara, had three children.
After his wife died, he sought admission to the Basilian Fathers, a congregation with which he had become familiar as a student at St. Michael’s. He taught at St. Thomas High School in Houston, Texas, and made his profession as a Basilian associate in 1987 at St. Theresa’s Church in Sugarland, Texas.
He studied theology at Sacred Heart School of Theology in Hales Corners, Wis., and was ordained to the priesthood on Aug. 11, 1990, at St. Basil’s Church in Toronto by Bishop Robert Clune.
During his career as a priest, Father Dugan served parishes in Canada and the United States, arriving at St. Ambrose in 1996. Laurie Maier, St. Ambrose’s pastoral minister, said the priest was known for his intelligence and his well-crafted homilies. She added that he loved to tell stories and possessed a dry wit. Proud of his Marine Corps service, he also counseled families with members currently serving in the armed forces overseas, she said.
“He was very fond of children in the parish, in a grandfatherly way,” Maier added.
Phil Cichanowicz, a parishioner at St. Ambrose and a friend of Father Dugan, described the priest as grandfatherly and well-educated. He added that Father Dugan brought a unique perspective to the priesthood since he had been married, raised children and had worked several different jobs over the course of his life.
“There was just a depth to him that could only be achieved because of the broad, colorful life he led before becoming a priest,” Cichanowicz said..
Father Dugan is survived by his daughter, Catherine Dugan Zuraikat (Nashat); sons, Stephen G. Dugan and James D. Dugan; and grandsons, Laith Zuraikat and Faris Zuraikat.
A funeral Mass was celebrated at St. Ambrose Church on the evening of April 26.
Interment was at Holy Sepulchre Cemetery, Rochester.
Contributions in memory of Father Dugan may be made to: Priests of the Sacred Heart, Sacred Heart Monastery, Hales Corners, Wis., 53130