Father James W. Gormley

Father James W. Gormley, 89, pastor emeritus of St. Gabriel of the Sorrowful Mother, Stowe, died Feb. 22.

Born in Philadelphia the son of the late William J. Gormley and the late Leona (Yeager) Gormley, he attended Our Lady of Mount Carmel School and Southeast Catholic High School before entering St. Charles Borromeo Seminary.

He was ordained May 8, 1954 at the Cathedral of SS. Peter and Paul by Archbishop John F. O’Hara and his first assignment was as parochial vicar at St. Joseph Parish, Summit Hill. He also served as parochial vicar at SS. Simon and Jude, Bethlehem; St. Francis de Sales, Lenni; Our Lady Help of Christians, Abington; Seven Dolors, Wyndmoor; St. Edmond, Philadelphia; St. John the Baptist, Philadelphia and Holy Innocents, Philadelphia; and pastor of St. Stephen, Philadelphia.

In 1988 he was appointed pastor of St. Gabriel of the Sorrowful Mother and pastor emeritus in 2004.

“I met him at SS. Simon and Jude in Bethlehem before I went into the seminary,” said Msgr. John Campbell, a priest of the Allentown Diocese. “We have been close all these years and my family has been close also. He was a kind priest and a very good man.”


Jack Bucciglia, a parishioner at St. Gabriel, said Father Gormley “was truly a good shepherd and dedicated priest, and he loved St. Patrick’s Day. He was fun loving and truly generous to the poor. I cried when I heard he died. I remember how at Christmas time he would fill his van with flowers and take them out to the people.”

“He had a sister (Sister Theresa Gormley, R.S.M.) who is dead now, he loved her, and he loved the nuns of her community and he told me when he died, he wanted to be buried from their convent.”

There will be a viewing for Father Gormley at the Motherhouse of the Sisters of Mercy of America, Merion, on Wednesday, Feb. 27 at 6 p.m. followed by his 7 p.m. funeral Mass celebrated by Bishop Michael Fitzgerald. Among the concelebrants will be Msgr. Bernard Trinity, Fathers Francis X. McKee and Kevin Gallagher, and Msgr. Campbell, who will be the homilist.

A viewing will take place at Holy Trinity Parish, Epiphany Church, Longport, N.J. on Thursday, Feb. 28 at 10 a.m. followed by the Liturgy of the Word.

Interment will be at Holy Cross Cemetery, Mays Landing, N.J.

There will be a memorial Mass at St. Gabriel of the Sorrowful Mother, Stowe on Friday, March 1 at 12 noon.

Father Gormley is survived by his cousins, Kathy and Marty Metzler, and the Walsh and Burke families.