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* Father Dorian G. Rowe; Antelope Valley Priest

A funeral Mass was said Monday for Father Dorian G. Rowe, pastor of St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Palmdale, who sometimes dressed as a clown to teach religion outside the church.

The Roman Catholic priest died of cancer on Christmas at St. Mary’s Rectory, church officials said. He was 53.

Born in Denver, Rowe attended St. John’s Seminary in Camarillo and was ordained in 1964. During his years as a priest, he served at St. Catherine of Siena Catholic Church in Reseda, St. Teresa of Avila Catholic Church in Los Angeles, Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Lancaster and St. Genevieve Catholic Church in Van Nuys. He served as chaplain at Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center for seven years, then went to St. Mary’s Catholic Church in 1987.

Beginning in the late 1970s, Rowe occasionally dressed as a clown called Hunky Dory and performed in mime skits to teach religious lessons to children and adults. Rowe was active with the Marriage Encounter program and started the Small Christian Faith Communities program at St. Mary’s.

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Rowe is survived by his father, William Rowe; a brother, William Rowe, and a sister, Rebecca Ann Ryan, all of Los Osos, Calif.

Cardinal Roger M. Mahony presided over Rowe’s funeral Mass at St. Mary’s. Burial was at Good Shepherd Cemetery in Quartz Hill. Halley-Olsen Funeral Chapel in Palmdale handled the arrangements.


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