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• People - Rev. Msgr. Robert Gallagher


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Imagespeople/GALLAGHER%20RIP200w.jpgRev. Monsignor Robert Gallagher,


A People Priest
By Gary Sunkin

Monsingor Gallagher loved being a people priest. He was truly beloved and loved his parishes and high school ministry. He was also loved by many Archdiocesan committes he led as well as the man boards he was member of.

He passed away after a long battle with cancer, on July 26, 2018, at his beloved St. Charles parish.

Msgr. Robert Gallagher was a native Angeleno, born on November 21, 1946. He went to grade school and high school at St. Genieve's in Van Nuys, California, where he was voted Student Body President. Bob always had a calling to be a priest noted Father Jose Magaña. He would play priest as a little boy setting up an altar. Throughout grade school and high school, Bob continually talked of priesthood. His parents encouraged Bob to go to a co-ed college before entering seminary. He went to one year of college at Cal State Northridge, and ended up at St. John Seminary in Camarillo, California. He was ordained a priest on May 26, 1973, in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles after attending St. John's Seminary in Camarillo and later got his Master's degree. He has told the family many times throughout his life how he loves being a priest. Monsignor Gallagher truly was a people priest. He was truly beloved and loved his parishes and high school ministry. He was also loved by many Archdiocesan committees he led as well as the man boards he was member of said Father Jose.


Gallagher, who was assigned to lead the parish in January 2000, after the death of Monsignor Thomas Kiefer, oversaw the renovation and rebuilding of three parish buildings. The Social Center, formerly the Parish Hall, was renovated to accommodate parish and school functions. Then came the replacement of the Service Center building across the street from the church with the Holy Family Service Center. Then came Gallagher's "grandest achievement," according to the church: The refurbishment of the church building, which was completed in 2014 and rededicated four years ago following the beautification and upgrade. The Rev. Msgr. Peter Nugent, a retired pastor, said it was "quite a big labor" that Rev. Robert Gallagher had done.
•••• Even during his last years, the tall but noticeably weaker Gallagher could be seen taking part in masses. He would even sit in the pews, taking in whatever ministry might be going on, even singing along.
•••• "He bore this long and painful illness with grace and dignity and he was a beautiful example for all of us," Gomez said.
•••• In his best years, physically, he would step down off the altar, and speak more closely to his congregation, microphone in hand, to deliver his homily.
•••• He retired in June, Gomez said. Father Jose Magaña, former pastor of St. Anthony parish in Long Beach, became the 10th pastor of St. Charles Borromeo parish, which is home to retired Archbishop Roger Mahony and once was the home parish for entertainers Bob Hope and Bing Crosby.

Associate Pastor

St. Joseph Catholic Church, Hawthorne, CA

June 1973-June 1977

Associate Pastor

St. Charles Borromeo Catholic Church North Hollywood, CA

June 1977-July 1982

Associate Pastor

Our Lady of Peace Catholic Church,North Hills, CA

July 1982-January 1994

Teacher & Chaplain

Bishop Amat Hight School, La Puente, CA

February 1984-May 1986


St. Paul High School
Santa Fe Spring, CA

Sept. 1986-June 2000


St. Charles Borromeo Catholic Church North Hollywood, CA

February 2000 - June 2018

• Vigil
•••• The day before the funeral mass, Wednesday August 1, a Vigil was held at St. Charles Borromeo, when fellow priests, family and parishioners had the opportunity to say a last goodbye to their beloved priest. His Eminence Roger Mahony told the audience how in the 26 month that Monsignor Gallagher was battling cancer he never heard a word of complaint and that he will be greatly missed.
•••• Music Director James Drollinger addressed all who attended with his words of gratitude to and love for Monsignor Gallagher, and ending with the heartfelt "St. Joseph's Song," by Michael Card.
••• Father Jose Magaña spoke of the last few days in the life of Bob as he likes to refer to Monsignor Gallagher, and of Monsignor Gallagher's repeated wishes that he wanted "to go home."

GallagherFuneral200w.jpg• Farewell
•••• On August 2, the faithful of St. Charles Borromeo Church turned out by the hundreds to say farewell to Monsignor Robert Gallagher, who served as pastor of the Catholic parish in North Hollywood for almost 20 years The service was conducted by the Rev. José Gomez, the archbishop of Los Angeles with His Eminence, Cardinal Roger Mahony, Archbishop Emeritus of Los Angeles, Reverend Alexander Salazar, Reverend Joseph Brennan , Reverend David O'Connell, Rev. Jeff Baker, Rev. Msgr. Peter Nugent and Reverend Jose Magaña, Pastor, in attendance.
•••• Auxiliary Bishop Edward Clark, who delivered the sermon, said he had known Msgr. Gallagher for 53 years, going back to their time in the seminary.
•••• GallagherCarriedOut100w.jpgHe described Gallagher, as "very strong-willed, stubborn, opinionated… He liked things to be done his way but added, "he had a boundless ability to make friends and to maintain friendships."
•••• Sunlight streamed through the church's stained glass windows during the nearly two-hour service, warming the interior of the church that Gallagher helped renovate during his tenure at St. Charles Borromeo.
•••• Bagpipes played outside the church as Msgr. Gallagher's casket was placed into the hearse before being taken to Holy Cross Cemetery in Culver City for burial.

History of St. Charles Borromeo

StCharlesBorromeo150w.jpgSt. Charles Borromeo Church is a Catholic church and elementary school that serves the North Hollywood community in Southern California.

The church, a beautiful building depicting Spanish, colonial-style architecture, is located at Moorpark and Lankershim in North Hollywood, Los Angeles, California. It is one of the oldest parishes in the San Fernando Valley dating back to 1921. It has long been a parish with celebrity members and many celebrities that have lived in the Toluca Lake, North Hollywood, and Studio City communities served by St. Charles Borromeo.

St. Charles Borromeo served a wide swath of the San Fernando Valley for many years, but with the population growth in the Valley, additional parishes were carved out of the territy previously encompassed by St. Charles Borromeo. Modern parishes that were carved out of St. Charles Borromeo include Our Lady of the Holy Rosary in Sun Valley (1937), St. Francis de Sales in Sherman Oaks (1938), St. Finbar in Burbank (1938) and St. Patrick in North Hollywood (1948).

• 1921 - The parish was founded in 1921, and it elected to purchase an existing Methodist church structure on the corner of Weddington and Bakman and petitioned the Chancery for a resident pastor. In 1921 Reverend Anselme Bois was appointed pastor and the parish was named Immaculate Conception until 1925, when it was renamed Saint Charles Borromeo. Before the parish was established, Catholics in the central San Fernando Valley shared a priest with St. Robert Bellarmine (then known as Holy Trinity ). Originally Mass was celebrated in the Mulhall family home by Father Ernest Leguyader.
•••• Following Father Bois was Father Leo Murphy as pastor. Four years later, during the pastorate of Father Emmet Panner the name was changed to what we know today as Saint Charles Borromeo, and the church was enlarged to accommodate 250 worshipers.

• 1925 - The parish known as Immaculate Conception was renamed Saint Charles Borromeo.

• 1927 - In 1927 Father Edward Riodan came for two years followed by Father Michael Lalor.

• 1936 - By 1936, the parish had outgrown the space on Weddington, and a parishioner named Goykes donated land on Moorpark.

• 1936 - In 1936, Reverend Harry C. Meade was appointed pastor of Saint Charles. Realizing immediately the property on Bakman and Weddington was not large enough to accommodate a full parish plant, he purchased seven 50-foot by 150-foot lots on Moorpark Street and accepted the donation of the site for the Church (now the Social Center) from the Goykes family, parishioners of Saint Charles.

• 1936 - The Rev. Msgr. Harry C. Meade was the pastor at St. Charles Borromeo for more than a quarter century starting in 1936.

A New Structure

• 1937 - A new church was built on Moorpark in 1937-- the structure that is now the parish hall. The church had a seating capacity of 600 and was styled after the San Carlos Mission in Carmel, California.

The new $50,000 church was designed by Lawrence Viole, a specialist in Spanish architecture. It had a seating capacity of 600 and was reminiscent of San Carlos Mission in Carmel, burial place of Padre Junipero Serra. The equipment was modern and the oak altar was a masterpiece of handicraft.
•••• The bell in the church tower, brought from the original church, was cast in Baltimore, Maryland in 1897, and is now permanently mounted in the courtyard of the present church.

• 1938 - The first Mass was sung by Father Meade on July 17, 1938. The formal dedication of the church was held on January 22, 1939, with archbishop John. J. Cantwell as celebrant. Assisting him on that occasion was his secretary, the Reverend Timothy Manning (who later become Cardinal Archbishop of Los Angeles). The rectory, in matching Spanish style, was ready for occupancy on January 1, 1939.
In 1939, St. Charles Borromeo School opened in four portable bungalows and operated by five Sisters of Charity of the Blessed Virgin Mary. A new permanent school opened in 1947 in a building with 14 classrooms, a cafeteria, library, music room, and auditorium.[1]

Mission Church

• 1942 - To meet the needs of the growing Hispanic community at the northern margin of the parish, Msgr. Meade established the mission church of Santa Susanna in 1942. The mission church was closed and sold in 1983 to vast industrialization of the area.

• 1947 - In September of 1947, classes were held for the first time in a new solid concrete school building which had 14 classrooms, a cafeteria, library, music room and auditorium. The property across the street, to be used for additional parking and two classrooms, was purchased in 1948 for $50,000. The small building there is now used for group meetings and home to the Service Center.

St. Charles Borromeo Choir
• 1949 - The St. Charles Borromeo Choir has enjoyed a long reputation as one of Southern California's finest parish choral groups. Prior to 1949, the choir director was Roger Wagner who later formed the Roger Wagner Chorale. In 1949, Paul Salamunovich became director of the choir.Volunteer singers from Santa Barbara to San Pedro drove to North Hollywood to sing for Salamunovich as part of the St. Charles Choir.
The St. Charles Boys Choir under Salamunovich appeared with Dinah Shore on the "Chevy Show" and also formed the Disneyland Boys Choir, with which Salamunovich recorded in 1965 the "It's a Small World" album of folk songs still sold at Disney theme parks. Salamunovich also became the leader of the Los Angeles Master Chorale. Salamunovich also conducted choirs for dozens Hollywood films, including "Air Force One", "My Best Friend's Wedding," "First Knight," "Waterworld", "The Devil's Advocate" and "xXx". Salamunovich conducted the choir at the 10:00 a.m. Mass for 60 years before retiring in June 2009.
James Drollinger succeeded him and is serving as the Music Director to date.

The Present Church

• 1952 - In 1952, the property on which the present church stands, was purchased for $110,000. Exemplifying the Spanish colonial style, the Church conveys a spirit of serenity and repose. Construction was completed in 1959. The main altar was consecrated by Bishop Aldon J. Bell. On Thanksgiving Day, parishioners, in solemn procession, moved into the new Saint Charles Borromeo Church.

• 1957 - The parish continued to grow in the years after World War II, and in 1957, ground was broken for the current church.

• 1958 - Newspaper credit: The Tidings, January 3, 1958: "Future St. Charles Church - North Hollywood new church of St. Charles Borromeo will be reinforced concrete and masonry building of Spanish Colonial design. Large dome with cupola will rise above crossing of transepts and nave. Church seating 1000 was designed by J. Earl Trudeau, architect. It will be the Valley parish's third church."

• 1959 - The new church opened at Thanksgiving 1959 with a blessing from James Francis Cardinal McIntyre.

• 1960 - Since 1960 -- for over 50 years, this parish has been blessed with the musical artistry of Paul Salamonovich as Choir Director. His unique dedication to promoting the tradition of the finest of Sacred Music in Catholic Liturgy has brought him innumerable honors. Following Msgr. Keane's retirement in February 1984, he was replaced by Msgr. Thomas Kiefer. Msgr. Kiefer introduced many different parish activates. He started the annual Parish Festival in 1985, Pancake Breakfasts, the development of the Service Center as well as the weekly Friendship Sunday tradition of coffee and donuts. Msgr. Kiefer retired in 2000, and to take the torch from him was former associate pastor Father Robert Gallagher. Father Bob Gallagher has been a priest for over 32 years and was assigned here in January, 2000.

• 1973 - Msgr. Meade retired in 1973 and continued to live in the Parish as Pastor Emeritus until his death on April 11, 1978.

• 1978 - Actually, at one time, several parishes had all or part of their territory within the boundaries of Saint Charles Parish. Our Lady of the Holy Rosary in Sun Valley, Saint Francis de Sales in Sherman Oaks, Saint Finbar in Burbank, and Saint Patrick in North Hollywood, all grew out of Saint Charles Borromeo. Msgr. Meade retired in 1973 and continued to live in the Parish as Pastor Emeritus until his death on April 11, 1978.

• 1983 - The Parish was fortunate in the appointment of Msgr. Kevin Keane as pastor, for he had served her previously as assistant for 12 years. He is remembered for his spirituality as he stressed opportunities for retreats, an Adult and Children's Religious Education program. It was during his administration that the magnificent Von Zoeren organ was installed and dedicated in a three day celebration, culminating with a Mass of Thanksgiving and Inaugural Concert on Sunday, November 20, 1983. The instrument provides a fitting accompaniment to the internationally known Saint Charles Choir.

• 1984 - Following Msgr. Keane's retirement in February 1984, he was replaced by Msgr. Thomas Kiefer. Msgr. Kiefer i

• 1985 - Msgr. Thomas Kiefer introduced many different parish activates and started the annual Parish Festival in 1985, Pancake Breakfasts, the development of the Service Center as well as the weekly Friendship Sunday tradition of coffee and donuts. Msgr. Kiefer retired in 2000, and to take the torch from him was former associate pastor Father Robert Gallagher.

• 2000 - Father Bob Gallagher has been a priest for over 32 years and was assigned here in January, 2000.

• 2002 - Controversy in 2002 and 2003, followed after well-known consultant, Richard S. Vosko, was brought in to speak to the congregation about renovations to the church's interior. Vosko's renovations in Detroit, San Antonio, and New Orleans had spawned controversy, and a book called "Ugly as Sin" had recently been published criticizing Vosko's work. Concerns over modernization of St. Charles Borromeo's interior space led to the formation of the St. Charles Borromeo Preservation Guild.
Guild supporters held protests with dozens of protesters falling to their knees outside the church and reciting the rosary asking the Virgin Mary to intercede to prevent modernization. Among other things, the protesters sought to return the Blessed Sacrament to the tabernacle behind the altar and to preserve the private confessionals, the interior's "dark beauty," kneelers, the large, dramatic wooden crucifix and the baldacchino hanging above the cross.
The traditional look and feel of St. Charles had become a refuge for traditional Catholics who rejected the secular look of modern Catholic churches. Pastor Robert Gallagher responded to the protests in a church bulletin, claiming that most of the protesters were not parishioners and said it was insulting to suggest that it was the traditional trappings that attracted parishioners. The protests drew widespread media attention, including two feature articles in the Los Angeles Times in April 2002 and June 2003.

• 2003 - Cardinal Mahoney officiates the funeral mass for Toluca Lake resident, Bob Hope in 2003.

• 2009 - Paul Salamonovich retires in June as Choir Director. He conducted the choir at the 10:00 a.m. Mass for 60 years before retiring.

• 2009 - James Drollinger succeeds Salamovich and is serving as the Music Director to date.

• 2012 - The Parish Community of St. Charles Borromeo joined in honoring Cardinal Roger Mahony in a celebration of Thanksgiving marking his Fiftieth Anniversary of Ordination to the Priesthood, which was May 1, 1962.

• 2012 - On June 12, 2018, with Mahony due to reach his mandatory retirement age of 75 the following year, the Vatican under Pope Benedict XVI named San Antonio archbishop José Horacio Gómez as the Coadjutor Archbishop of Los Angeles with immediate right of succession to Mahony.

The Cardinal continues a very busy life with other responsibilities, and is living at St. Charles Borromeo, his home parish. He often joins for morning liturgy, is a part of the St. Charles parish family, and is loved and respected by his brother priests.

• 2013 -  The Parish Community of St. Charles Borromeo joined in honoring Monsignor Gallagher in a celebration of Thanksgiving marking his 40th Anniversary of Ordination to the Priesthood, which was on May 26, 1973.


Retirement of Monsignor Gallagher

• 2018 - June, 12, Rev. Monsignor Gallagher officially retires.
Reception after 10:00 o'clock mass at the Social Center.

• 2018 - The Social Center, formerly the Parish Hall, was renamed the Monsignor Gallagher Hall.

• 2018 - On July 1st, Rev. Jose Magaña becomes pastor.

• 2018 - St. Charles Church has been vandalized on July 24th.

• 2018 - On July 26, at 11:22 a.m. Rev. Monsignor Gallagher dies.

• 2018 - August 1, Vigil for Msgr. Gallagher

• 2018 - August 2, Funeral mass at St. Charles on August 2.

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/00SideBar00pOct09108w.jpg . Editor's Note / St. Charles - The Parish
----"Many celebrities have lived in the Toluca Lake, North Hollywood, and Studio City communities, served by St. Charles Borromeo.

Hollywood connection

Many celebrities have lived in the Toluca Lake, North Hollywood, and Studio City communities served by St. Charles Borromeo.

St. Charles Borromeo was the home parish of Bob and Dolores Hope, who lived a short distance from the church on Moorpark. In 1969, Bing Crosby, Loretta Young, Ed Sullivan, Ronald Reagan, Danny Kaye, Gregory Peck, Jack Benny, Danny Thomas, Dorothy Lamour and Spiro Agnew attended the wedding of Bob Hope's daughter, Linda, at St. Charles.
In July 2003, Bob Hope died at age 100. His funeral at St. Charles was a small, private afffair, followed later by a public memorial attended by numerous celebrities, including President Gerald R. Ford, Betty Ford, Nancy Reagan, Sen. Dianne Feinstein, former California governor Pete Wilson, retired Gen. William Westmoreland, Richard Myers, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Lee Iacocca, Mickey Rooney, Phyllis Diller, Raquel Welch, Sid Caesar, Kelsey Grammer, Tom Selleck, Ed McMahon, Barbara Eden, Loni Anderson, Shecky Greene, Jack Carter, A. C. Lyles, Troy and Josie Cory, Connie Stevens, Joey Heatherton, and fellow golfers Jack Nicklaus and Arnold Palmer.The memorial mass for Hope was given by Cardinal Roger Mahony.
•••• David Henrie actor, musician, film producer and television writer graduated from St. Charles in 2003-2004.
•••• Television actress Tracey Gold, who starred in ABC's "Growing Pains," was married at St. Charles in October 1994. Her TV parents, Alan Thicke and Joanna Kerns, attended the ceremony.
•••• The funeral Dorothy Lamour, Bob Hope's friend and co-star, was also held at St. Charles, in September 1996. On April 19, 2002, the church was the site of the memorial service for actor Robert Urich, best known to TV viewers as private eye 'Dan Tana' on the TV show "Vega$." Celebrities in attendance at the service included Tom Selleck, Tony Danza, "Love Boat" captain Gavin MacLeod and Olympian Bruce Jenner.
••••  Other celebrities who have been members at St. Charles include Ann Blyth ("Mildred Pierce") actor Eric Estrada ('Ponch" on TV's "CHiPS"), "Jeopardy!" quizmaster Alex Trebek, Frankie Avalon, Bob Gunton (Warden Norton in "The Shawshank Redemption"), Los Angeles district attorney Steve Cooley, and KABC news anchors Laura Diaz and Harold Greene. Also a member was Austrian-American producer and singer Elfi von Dassanowsky, whose memorial service was held at the church on October 9, 2007 with many representatives of the Austrian community in Los Angeles attending.

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