Cardinal to inaugurate Charlestown lecture series

BRIGHTON -- Cardinal Seán P. O’Malley will be the featured speaker March 14 at the inaugural Father Henry Gallagher Lecture Series at St. Mary Church in Charlestown.

The event, hosted by St. Mary-St. Catherine of Siena Parish will begin at 6:30 p.m. It is free and open to the public and a playgroup will be available for families with young children. A reception will follow.

“I am honored to attend this important event in the life of our local Church,” said Cardinal O’Malley. “This inaugural lecture series in honor of one of Charlestown’s own, Father Gallagher, recognizes we are linked as one both in faith and in our humanity. Father Gallagher’s presence is alive in Charlestown through the good works of many who share his concern for meeting the needs of our families, and especially the poor.”

Father James J. Ronan, pastor, said, “This lecture inaugurates a new series in the parish, named for a native son who became a priest and a beloved figure in Charlestown. Father Gallagher, who died in 1991, was especially noted for his love and service of the poor and concern for the young and their education.”

Father Gallagher was born in Charlestown in November 1910 and was baptized at St. Mary Church.

After graduating from Boston College, he began seminary formation at St. Augustine Seminary in Ontario, Canada and completed his formation at St. Francis Seminary in Loretto, Pa. He was ordained by Cardinal Richard Cushing in 1941 and served the Diocese of Youngstown, Ohio until his retirement in 1964.

Upon his retirement, he returned to Charlestown. There he served as the spiritual director of the St. Vincent de Paul Society at St. Mary’s. He had a keen interest in education and established scholarships for Boston College High School students and seminarians. Upon his death, he left a generous bequest to St. Mary’s St. Vincent de Paul Society and to other organizations in Charlestown.

His compassion lives on through the good work performed through the St. Vincent de Paul Society and also through the Father Henry M. Gallagher scholarships, which assist college students with tuition in their first two years at an accredited institution.