Solanus Gallagher, OFM
1910 – 1976
Fr. Solanus Gallagher, OFM, was born on Sept. 1, 1910 in Lenox, Mass. He entered the novitiate at St. Bonaventure Friary, Paterson, N.J., in 1936, professing temporary vows in 1937. He made his solemn profession in 1940 and was ordained in 1942.
He served for five years as a professor of biology at St. Bonaventure College, Allegany, N.Y., and Siena College, Loudonville, N.Y. In 1947, he went to China as a missionary, but was forced to return to the Province after the Communist take over. He taught at Bishop Timon High School in Buffalo, N.Y., and ministered at Our Lady of the Angels, Little Falls, N.J.
When the Province opened a mission in Japan in 1952, Fr. Solanus was among the first to volunteer. He served in the city of Tatebayashi, where he built the first Catholic church, and then spent 14 years in the town of Tomioka. At the time of his death, he was ministering at the Franciscan Chapel Center in Tokyo.
He died at the friary in Tokyo on Nov. 23, 1976. Fr. Solanus was 66 years old, a professed friar for 39 years, and a priest for 34 years.