Fr. Larry Dolan, OFM
Born: March 10, 1940
Ordained: Dec. 12, 1965 for the Diocese of San Diego
Entered Franciscan order: 1987
Professed solemn vows:
Aug. 15, 1992
Service in the Diocese of Phoenix
  • Director of pastoral ministry, Franciscan Renewal Center, (the “Casa”)
  • Rector of Conventual Church of Our Lady of the Angels, 2002-09
Died: May 15, 2018


Fr. Laurence Dolan, OFM, who served as the first rector of the Conventual Church of Our Lady of the Angels at the Franciscan Renewal Center, or the “Casa” in Scottsdale, passed away May 15. He also served as the Casa’s director of pastoral ministry during his time there in the 2000s.

Fr. Dolan was born March 10, 1940 in San Diego. He studied at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome and was ordained to the priesthood in St. Peter’s Basilica for the Diocese of San Diego Dec. 12, 1965.

“He was proud of his studies in Rome,” recalled Franciscan Father Joe Schwab, director of the Casa. “He was very good at Latin, among other things, and he remained a scholar all his life, particularly in biblical studies.”

As a diocesan priest Fr. Dolan served as a university chaplain and parish pastor before entering the Order of Friars Minor Santa Barbara Province in 1987 and professing solemn vows on Aug. 15, 1992, at Mission Santa Barbara.

“He told me once the major reason he entered the order was he really wanted that experience of brotherhood in his life because he had no siblings, and he was always attracted to the order since he was a little boy,” said Fr. Schwab.

“He also really valued his strong relationships with diocesan clergy, and maintained those friendships throughout his life from his time at the Pontifical North American College in Rome to the day he died.”

As a Franciscan priest, he served four years at St. Catherine Indian Mission in Topawa, Arizona, and at a parish in Huntington Beach, California, before being assigned to the Casa in 2002. One of Fr. Dolan’s ministries was to those in recovery, and he served on the board of directors of Guest House, a Michigan-based residential Catholic addiction treatment center.

“His ministry here stood out for two reasons: he was an excellent preacher who really had a gift for helping people understand the Scripture readings of the given Sunday and how to apply them to their daily lives,” said Fr. Schwab, “and he was extremely gifted in helping people in family situations with drug and alcohol abuse.”

He remained at the Casa until 2009, when he was assigned to Mission San Luis Rey in Oceanside, California, where he retired and continued in ministry at the mission as well as in other parishes as needed. During his retirement, he continued to conduct retreats nationwide.