The Rogans and Catholicism

      Generations of Rogans and Duffys were ardent Catholics in Ireland, so it is not surprising that Hugh and Nancy maintained the practice of their faith and passed it along to their children. While frontier Tennessee was dominated by protestant denominations, the Rogan family was determined to practice their chosen religion even though few priests ventured into the area for several decades.

      The Rogan stone cottage and later the brick house built by Francis were both used as meeting places for area Catholics. When itinerate priests did appear, it was in these two homes that mass was said for nearly 50 years. By the 1840s, a Catholic congregation was formalized in the Sumner County seat of Gallatin. Generations of the Rogan family were actively involved in the religious community and especially associated with St. John Vianney Catholic Church well into the twentieth century. Local cultural and religious historians credit the Rogan family with establishing the Catholic faith in Sumner County.

Wednesday, April 28, 1858

We had mass this morning. Fr. H ___ made me a present of a small silver medal blessed by the Pope. Mother, Uncle ___, and Fr. H___ left his morning for old Wm ___ for the baptizing Margret's child and then to Aunt C's to baptize Hugh Rogan.

From Clarissa Rogan Desha's journal.
Fr. Choby at Rogana
Because of the significance of the Rogan family and the stone cottage to the history of Catholicism in the area, Father David R. Choby, then pastor of
St. John Vianney Church in Gallatin, blessed the Rogan stone cottage before it was dismantled and moved to Bledsoe's Fort Historical Park in 1998.  Choby is now Bishop of Nashville.