Michael F. Gallagher, O.S.A.

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1802 – 1869 (August 25)

Michael Francis Gallagher was born in Dromore, Ireland, in 1802, the son of Eugene Gallagher and Catharine Hughes. He left Ireland for the United States at the age of 18, studied for the priesthood under Bishop Francis Kenrick for the Diocese of Philadelphia, and was ordained by him on May 25, 1837, at St. Mary’s Church in Philadelphia. Father Gallagher served at Brownsville on the missions, where he built the “Historic Old Saint Peter’s Church,” and at other stations in western Pennsylvania until 1848. With the consent of his bshop, he entered the novitiate at Villanova, Pennsylvania, on August 15, 1848, and was professed on August 22, 1849.

Father Gallagher served at Saint Augustine’s in Philadelphia. From there, in 1855, he was the first of the friars to travel to the Jersey coast to provide Sunday Mass for the growing number of Philadelphians especially, who spent their summer vacations at the shore. In 1858, he built the first chapel in Atlantic City, New Jersey. He, and other friars, continued to travel to the shore from St. Augustine’s until 1880, when the first Augustinian resident pastor was installed there. 

Father Gallagher’s last seven years were spent at Saint Mary’s in Lawrence, Massachusetts, where he had charge of St. Augustine’s Church in Andover, for the three years preceding his death.

He died at Saint Mary’s on August 25, 1869 at the age of 67. The Requiem Mass was celebrated at Saint Mary’s on August 27th, and he was buried in Saint Mary’s Cemetery in Lawrence.