1853 – 1919 (May 6)
Hugh Augustine Gallagher was born in Letterkenny, County Donegal, Ireland, on August 13, 1853, the son of John Gallagher and Jane McLaughlin. He immigrated to the United States and became a naturalized citizen in 1873. He entered the novitiate at Villanova, Pennsylvania, on February 2, 1883, and made his first profession on February 3, 1884. He was ordained to the priesthood in the Cathedral of Philadelphia by Archbishop Ryan on May 29, 1887.
Father Gallagher was assigned in July, 1887 to Schaghticoke, New York, where he served as an assistant until August, 1891 when he was transferred to Immaculate Conception/Saint Mary's Parish, Lawrence, Massachusetts. In July, 1894, he was appointed rector of Saint John's Parish, Schaghticoke, where he remained for twelve more years. In 1902, he was named prior and pastor at Villanova. Due to failing health he resigned as pastor in August, 1916, and the following year stepped down as prior of the community as well.
Father Gallagher was 66 when he died of heart disease in Saint Agnes Hospital in Philadelphia on May 6, 1919, after a two year illness. He is buried in the Community Cemetery at Villanova.
One of his sisters, Sister Mark, a member of the Sisters of Saint Joseph at Chestnut Hill, PA, predeceased Father Hugh in 1914. A rescript in Father Hugh’s file notes that he was granted a papal dispensation in January, 1889, to wear a toupee at Mass! A marginal note, however, indicates that he never took advantage of this privilege.