James L. Galligan

Galligan James-17.jpeg

1922 – 2011 (December 3)

James Laurence Galligan, was born on August 8, 1922, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, one of four sons and four daughters of James L. and Margaret Haas. He was baptized on August 13, 1922, at St. Francis de Sales Church, Philadelphia, Pa., and attended St. Laurence Parochial School, Upper Darby, from 1928 to 1937, and Upper Darby High School for a year, West Catholic High School for two years, and then went as a postulant to Augustinian Academy, Staten Island, New York. He was received as a novice on September 9, 1943, at Good Counsel Novitiate, New Hamburg, New York, and professed simple vows on September 10, 1944. He then attended Villanova College and received his BA in Philosophy in 1947. On September 10th of that same year he made his solemn profession and pursued theological studies at Augustinian College, Washington, DC. He was ordained to the priesthood at the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, Washington, DC, on June 6, 1950, by Bishop John McNamara.

Father Galligan’s first assignment, in 1951, was to Saint Patrick Parish, Cambridge, New York. In 1952 he was transferred to Our Lady of Good Counsel Parish, Staten Island, N.Y., where he remained until 1966. From the next two years, he was assigned to Holy Rosary Parish, Lawrence, Massachusetts, and then returned as pastor to Our Lady of Good Counsel Parish, Staten Island, N.Y., in 1968. In 1975 h was assigned as pastor to Saint Rita of Cascia Parish, Philadelphia, Pa., and from 1980 to 1983, he served as an assistant at Saint Nicholas of Tolentine Parish, Bronx, N.Y. where he became involved in ministry among the Vietnamese refugees living there. He was assigned as prior at Good Counsel Novitiate, Lawrence, Mass., in 1983, and in 1986 moved to Saint Mary Parish, Lawrence. His last assignment in Lawrence was to Saint Augustine Parish, Tower Hill in 1990. During this period in Lawrence Father Galligan ministerd to Cambodian Refugees in both Lawrence and Lowell. Afterwards, he volunteered to go to Monastery, Nova Scotia, to live a more contemplative life with the Canadian friars.

In 1997, he returned to Saint Rita of Cascia Shrine, Philadelphia, where he ministered as confessor and promoter of Eucharistic adoration. In 2007, due to failiing health, he was assigned to Saint Thomas Monastery, Villanova. 

Father Jim was known for his great Augustinian hospitality and generosity. When in positions of leadership he was always willing to accept friars who were experiencing difficulty or in need of an open door. In his years of ministry with refugees he won the admiration and loyalty of people not through any facility with foreign tongues, but simply through the language of the heart.

Father Jim Galligan died in St. Thomas of Villanova Monastery, Villanova, Pa., on Saturday morning, December 3, 2011. A wake was held on December 9 and the funeral Mass followed at the church of St. Thomas of Villanova on the campus of Villanova University. Father Galligan is buried at Calvary Cemetery, West Conshohocken, Pa.