Fr. Dennis J. Gallagher, O.S.A., March 30, 1935 – November 22, 2020

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Dennis Joseph Gallagher was born on March 30, 1935, in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania, the son of Dennis Gallagher and Anne McGlinchey. He was one of five brothers and three sisters, and was baptized on April 14, 1935, at Our Mother of Good Counsel Parish, Bryn Mawr. He attended Saint Thomas of Villanova Parish School, Rosemont, and West Catholic High School, Philadelphia, before entering Augustinian Academy, Staten Island, New York, as a post-graduate postulant in September 1954. Dennis was received into the Order on September 9, 1955, and following his year at Good Counsel Novitiate, New Hamburg, NY., he professed simple vows on September 10, 1956 and solemn vows on the same day in 1959. He attended Villanova University which awarded him a BA in Philosophy in 1960. He then pursued theological studies at Augustinian College, Washington, DC, where he received an MA in Theology. He likewise studied Library Science at Villanova and received a MSLS in Library Science in June 1965. He was ordained to the priesthood on January 30, 1965 at Saint Thomas of Villanova Church, Villanova, by Bishop Gerald McDevitt.

In August 1965, Father Dennis was assigned to Austin Preparatory School, Reading Massachusetts, where he taught Theology, was School Librarian, and Director of Reading Services. In 1969 he was transferred to Malvern Preparatory School, Malvern, PA., where he held the same three positions. He was assigned to Saint John Sahagun Friary, Washington, DC in June 1972 to work on a PhD in Higher Education at Catholic University of America. Upon completion of his degree in 1975, he returned to Villanova University as a member of Saint Thomas Monastery, to teach Library Science in the Graduate School. In 1985 he became the University’s first full time Archivist.

Father Gallagher was the weekend assistant in several parishes in the Diocese of Trenton, New Jersey, and from 1989 until 2016, he exercised this role at Saint Catherine-Saint Margaret Parish in Spring Lake, NJ. On the occasion of his 50th Anniversary of ordination in 2015, Saint Catherine-Saint Margaret was the site of a special celebration hosted by grateful parishioners for his many years of service to them. The following year, he suffered a stroke which necessitated the termination of this parish ministry and retirement as University archivist. Following months of rehabilitation, Father Dennis returned to Saint Thomas Monastery, until declining health and Covid-19 infection caused him to be transferred briefly to Power Back Rehabilitation.

Father Dennis was an avid traveler, who often said, “Life is a journey-ever ancient, ever new.” This wayfaring spirit proved helpful in his convalescence from the effects of the stroke as he worked persistently to regain his strength and retain as much autonomy as possible. The final stage of his journey commenced on November 22, 2020, when he passed over to the Lord.


Eternal rest grant unto him, O Lord.

And let perpetual light shine upon him.

May his soul, and the souls of all the faithful departed,

through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen.

Funeral arrangements for

Fr. Dennis J. Gallagher, O.S.A.

are as follows:

Viewing and Funeral Mass:

Monday, November 30, 2020

St. Thomas of Villanova Church, Villanova, PA

9:30 -10:20 am (Viewing)

10:30 am (Mass)


Following the Funeral Mass

Monday, November 30, 2020

Augustinian Plot, Calvary Cemetery

West Conshohocken, PA