Paschal Gallagher, OFM
1936 – 2002
Br. Paschal Gallagher, OFM, was born in Glendale, N.Y., on March 4, 1936, the youngest of the four children. In 1934, he became attached to Holy Name Province as a tertiary brother, training as a carpenter at St. Stephen’s Friary in Croghan, N.Y.
He was received into the Province’s novitiate in 1957 and professed temporary vows the following year. In 1961, Br Paschal professed solemn vows at St. Raphael Friary in Lafayette, N.J.
Br. Paschal went to St. Francis Friary in Rye Beach, N.H., for continuing formation and carpentry work from 1958 until 1964. In 1964, his missionary commitment was launched, eventually including seven foreign assignments. The first one was to La Paz, Bolivia, followed by a year in Lima, Peru, where he also qualified as a glider pilot.
He then was forced to take a sick leave, spent between St. Joseph’s Seraphic Seminary in Callicoon, N.Y., and his brother Tom’s house, while Tom and another pilot taught him to fly and become a licensed private pilot in the record time of three months.
Back in La Paz, Br. Paschal was commissioned in the Brazilian Air Force from 1970 to 1976 as a captain with duty as a religious counselor. He spent time in the house of prayer in Cochabamba, Bolivia, then returned to Lima as procurator until 1982.
Next, he had several short-term assignments at the House of Prayer in Warwick, N.Y., St. Francis Friary in Brookline, Mass., the Franciscan headquarters in Rome for an African seminar and Swahili studies, and then Tanzania, East Africa from 1983 to 1990. Br. Paschal’s time in Africa was interrupted by sick leave at Mount Alverno, Warwick, N.Y.. before returning to Kenya for roughly 12 years. His time in Kenya was predominantly spent engaged in retreat work among religious sisters.
During his time as a missionary, Br. Paschal served as catechist, cook, retreat master, procurator, counselor, maintenance worker, road and homebuilder, musician and general mission factotum.
He returned to the United States permanently in 2000, residing at St. Anthony’s Friary in Butler, N.J., except for an interlude at St. Mary Friary in Obernburg, N.Y.
Br. Paschal died unexpectedly in his room in St. Anthony Friary during the night of Sept. 11, 2002. He was 66 years old and a professed friar for 44 years.