Biographies

Father John D. Gallagher, MM

Born: November 8, 1893
Ordained: June 19, 1927
Died: January 13, 1973

Father John D. Gallagher was born in Roxbury, Massachusetts, on November 8, 1893. He received his early education in Boston public schools, including Boston Latin and Dorchester High. From 1912 to 1920 he worked as a brakeman on the Boston Elevated Railway and with United Fruit Company in Tela, Honduras. Of his experience in Honduras he wrote: The country seemed a regular paradise to me. But I was sorely grieved to see the unfortunate people of that country, Catholics in name and fact, growing up without priests and without a knowledge of their religion.”

Returning from Honduras, he visited his sister, Sr. M. Gerard, M.M. at Maryknoll in early 1920. He wrote: “I came, I saw, and I was conquered. I thank God with all my heart that He has allowed me to be a Maryknoller.”

He joined Maryknoll in August of 1920, studying at the Venard and the major seminary, receiving his S.T.B. Degree at the Catholic University in 1926. He was ordained on June 19, 1927.

Assigned immediately to Kaying, he remained there until March, 1951. During his last year there he was a house prisoner confined to the mission compound. He was assigned to Hawaii from 1951 to 1953, to Taiwan for the next two years, and again to Hawaii from 1955 to 1968. In 1968 he took up residence at St. Teresa’s.

During his years in Kaying Father Gallagher was described as “an excellent missioner, full of zeal and good spirit.” His health had been failing in recent years but he was always kind and pleasant.

Father Gallagher died January 13, 1973 at Phelps Memorial Hospital after sustaining an accidental injury. A funeral Mass was held and burial was at Maryknoll on January 17