Father Francis H. Gallen

Father Franci­s H. Gallen, 94, pastor emeritus of St. Augustine Parish in Bridgeport and a former career chaplain with the United States Air Force, died May 17.

Born in Philadelphia, the son of the late George F. and Mary C. (Dalton) Gallen, he attended St. Charles School, Oakview, and West Philadelphia Catholic High School before entering St. Charles Borromeo Seminary.

He was ordained May 31, 1947 by Bishop Hugh L. Lamb at the Cathedral of SS. Peter and Paul. His initial assignments were as parochial vicar at All Saints Chapel, St. Clement Parish in Philadelphia and St. Patrick Parish, Kennett Square. He served as an Air Force Chaplain from 1952 to 1980, a period that spanned the Korean War through the Vietnam War.


In 1982 he was appointed pastor of St. Augustine, where he served until his 1995 retirement.

“The people just loved that man,” said Connie Hunt, a long-time St. Augustine parishioner. “He was so humble and gentle. There was nobody I knew that didn’t like him.”

Father Gallen’s funeral Mass will be celebrated by Bishop Michael J. Fitzgerald at 11 a.m. Wednesday, May 28 at SS. Peter and Paul Church, West Chester. Concelebrants will include Msgrs. John M. Galyo, Wilfred J. Pashley and Patrick E. Sweeney; Fathers Philip R. Barr, James C. Sherlock and Father Jeffrey Rott, who will be the homilist.

Father Gallen is survived by his sisters Rosemary Donaghue and Margaret H. F. Procko.

Interment will be at St. Augustine Cemetery, Bridgeport.