“Life is a journey – ever ancient, ever new”: University Archivist celebrates 40 years in the priesthood
Villanova University Archivist, Rev. Dennis J. Gallagher, O.S.A., Ph.D., celebrated the 40th anniversary of his ordination to the Augustinian priesthood on January 30. Father Gallagher has been with Falvey Memorial Library since 1984. A native of Rosemont, Pa., he attended Rev. Dennis J. Gallagher, O.S.A.
local parochial schools during his early years. Following a calling to religious service, Father Gallagher entered the Good Counsel Novitiate, New Hamburg, N.Y., in 1955, to prepare to become an Augustinian priest.
Rev. Dennis J. Gallagher, O.S.A.
While at seminary, Father Gallagher earned his bachelor’s degree in philosophy from Villanova University. He was ordained to the priesthood in his home parish, St. Thomas of Villanova Church, on the Villanova University campus on January 30, 1965.
Following his ordination, Father Gallagher was assigned to teach at two Augustinian schools, the Austin Preparatory School in Reading, Mass., from 1965 to 1969, and Malvern Preparatory School in Malvern, Pa., from 1969 to 1972. During this time period, he earned a master’s degree in religious studies from Augustinian College, Washington, D.C., a master’s degree in library science from Villanova University and a doctoral degree in higher education administration from The Catholic University of America, Washington, D.C., in 1975.
After obtaining his doctorate, Father Gallagher became a faculty member at Villanova University’s then Graduate School of Library Science, teaching a variety of courses, including cataloging, acquisitions and library management. Concurrently, he served as residence hall minister, first in Stanford and then McGuire Hall from 1975 to 1997. Father Gallagher became archivist for Villanova University in 1985.
At that point, he began preparing for Villanova University’s sesquicentennial celebration by developing an historical exhibit and co-authoring an exhibit catalog called Villanova: College to University: 150 Years of Augustinian Tradition and Promise, 1842-1992. Father Gallagher also co-authored Ever Ancient, Ever New, a pictorial history of Villanova University. In addition, he was research and editorial assistant for Villanova University: American – Catholic – Augustinian, also published for the sesquicentennial celebration.
In his capacity as University Archivist, Father Gallagher enjoys the daily challenge of acquiring additional materials for Villanova University’s historical collection.
Father Gallagher has also served in parish ministries in the surrounding communities. From 1975 to 1986, he was spiritual director of the Sisters of the Holy Child in Rosemont. He has assisted in parish ministry in the Diocese of Trenton, N.J., and, since 1989, has assisted with weekend parish ministry at St. Catharine’s and St. Margaret’s Parishes in Spring Lake, N.J. Father Gallagher currently is the spiritual director of the Third Order of Mount Carmel in Spring Lake and is also a member of the Knights of Columbus.
Receptions honoring Father Gallagher’s 40 years in the priesthood were recently held at both Falvey Memorial Library and at St. Catharine’s Parish in New Jersey. At Falvey’s celebration, which was attended by many colleagues, Father Gallagher reflected on his experiences over the years, remarking that “Life is a journey – ever ancient, ever new.”
Donna Chadderton works in the Technical Services Department.
Photograph by Donna Blaszkowski.