Sunday, March 2, 2008

Urgent Prayer Request for Fr. Bernard "Brian" Gallagher

I read this on Leticia's blog:
A terminally ill Roman Catholic priest is the center of a tempestuous legal battle between a court-appointed temporary guardian - who has demanded his return to an Arizona care center - and family and friends - who believe such a move could kill him.

Fr. Bernard "Brian" Gallagher, 76, a retired priest from the Roman Catholic Diocese of Yakima, Washington, is the focus of a custody struggle between his family and a woman acting as his legal emergency guardian. Imelda Guadalupe "Lupe" Kowalczyk has insisted to authorities that Fr. Gallagher is mentally incompetent and cannot make his own decisions, among which is Fr. Gallagher's well-documented desire to live with fellow religious in California and to finish his days with constant access to the Mass and the sacraments.


Easter A. said...

Esther, so glad you posted it here! Thank you!

Esther said...

Well, thanks for the reminder on your blog Easter.

Anonymous said...

Please be aware that Fr. Gallagher's cousin may have ulterior motives. There is more to this story than many people realize.

Anonymous said...

I've heard something similar myself, but we shouldn't jump to any conclusions until we have more information. Please continue to pray for Father.

Family of Father Gallagher said...

Fr. Gallagher is MY cousin and the family's only motive in this case is to give Father all the comfort, care, and dignity he deserves. For more information on his plight, see

Please pray for his continuted safety and comfort.

Family of Father Gallagher said...

This morning I saw Father and he was alert and asking about all his friends.

He was notified that he would be transferred to a Skilled Nursing Facility by 3 pm and he understood and wanted everyone to be informed.

When my brothers and I returned to the hospital at 2 pm to accompany Father to his new place, we were greeted by an empty room and nurses unwilling to tell us where he was. We called the facility that we were previously told he would be going and were told that the room was cancelled that and they didn’t know where he was going.

We contacted our attorneys to see if they can find out where Father is so that his family and friends can see or know of his progress. We are waiting for what they discover.

Please pray for his safety and security. It is thought that his previous caregiver has taken control and is cloistering him.

We still have our day in court this week and we believe that we can and will prevail.

Your prayers are appreciated.

Anonymous said...

Sadly, I agree that both Lupe and his very own cousins do indeed have a hidden agenda. You are right on.

Irish relative said...

I am an Irish relative of Fr Brian. We fully support our US cousins and they have acted with nothing but integrity and decency, in trying to help Fr Brian. We stand with them 100%. There is NO hidden agenda or ulterior motive. The more anonymous people try to discredit them, the more we stand with our family in the US.

Jean M. Heimann said...

I'll be praying for Father and his family during my time in Eucharistic Adoration.

Thanks, Esther!

Easter A. said...

It is my prayer that Fr. Gallagher, in his last days here on earth, will receive Jesus daily just as he requested. God's love and peace be his and to us all.

Thanks again Esther for posting this!

Sheila said...

I am Fr. Brian's niece in Ireland and I fully support my cousins in
America. They have done everything they possible can to help my uncle and neither my cousins in America or my family here are interested in anything apart from Father being safe and having access to his daily
sacraments and family. I would appreciate if we could just
concentrate on positive actions rather than trying to discredit honest and decent people anonymously.

Esther said...

It is sad that people are talking about hidden agendas when this energy would be best served in praying for Father who is in need of these prayers.

Christine M said...

Whatever anyone's motivation in this, it is clear that Father Gallagher needs prayer. And that's what we do here. We pray for people in need of prayers. The motivations can be sorted out by a judge (and ultimately by God). We'll just pray.

Anonymous said...

I am sorry for posting that there might be ulterior motives, but Lupe was being crucified (by Fr. Gallagher's cousin) with no recourse and this blog chose to publicize information that may not be accurate regarding a long time friend of Fr. Gallaghers. Lupe's name has been tarnished. Please visit
and read those comments.
Fr. Gallagher has been in my prayers since I first learned of his illness in early February and will continue to be in my prayers.

Selina Kowalczyk said...

I am the daugher of Imelda and have known Father Gallagher for many years now. I do not appreciate all the slander that is being said about my mother. When no one else was there to help Father Gallagher my mother offered her hand to help. She was helping him find a place were he would like to stay. Where was everyone else when he was healthier! I believe Father was in a hospital in Arizona first where he was being looked after, after his surgery. He was taken out before being officialy discharged by the hospital, by people who thoought that it was in his best intrest to leave the hospital. Because of this he contracted pneumonia soon after arriving in California. Mind you that when one points a finger at another individual there are three pointing right back at you. I beg you to please continue praying for Father!! I believe that many profess to be christian and i also know that speaking ill of a person is a sin. So I hope that you will do the right thing by praying for him instead of gossiping of another individual.

Christine M said...

Selina, I'm sorry you feel that this blog has in some way slandered your mother. I feel that most of the comments here have been directed toward prayer for father - and not at finger pointing. As far as the little finger pointing that has gone on, it seems to be working in both directions.

Please. The purpose of this blog is prayer and praising God for prayers answered. I make no judgments regarding the actions of anyone involved in this situation, because 1) I do not know the specifics, 2) I do not know the individuals 3) it is not my place.

I feel that is true of most of the people who have commented here.

Anonymous said...

Selina, we have been praying for Father Gallagher and for your mother from the onset of this tragedy. No one wishes to malign anyone. We just needed to grant a dying priest's repeated request to return home to California so he could be with his relatives and friends.

Anonymous said...

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Anonymous said...


The Reverend Father Brian Gallagher died peacefully in Fernview Convalescent Hospital on Tuesday July 29, 2008. He was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer in February 2008 following a serious fall. During his infirmity he was surrounded by his American family and many friends. Unable to return to Ireland to see his family there, and with 3 of his siblings in failing health, his brother Nicholas, his nieces Philomena, Bernadette, & Sheila, and nephew Michael O’Flannagan came for extended visits. He passed away very peacefully surrounded by family and friends and ushered into the Lord’s presence as Father’s dear friends Sister Michele and Sister Mary Bernard (Carmelite Sisters from Sacred Heart Retreat House in Alhambra, California) sang hymns to him in Latin. A fellow All Hallows classmate Monsignor Jack Foley led those present in a time of prayer and gave Father a beautiful blessing which included an Irish blessing and was with him until shortly before his death.

Fr. Brian was ordained at All Hallows College in Dublin for the Diocese of Yakima on June 19, 1960. He served as Assistant Pastor at St. Pius X Church, Quincy, Washington and St. Paul Cathedral, Yakima, Washington; Assistant Pastor, St. Andrew Church, Ellensburg, Washington; Pastor of Immaculate Conception Churches in Mabton and Roslyn, and St. Frances Xavier Cabrini Church, Benton, Washington.

Following his retirement in 1985, he assisted in parishes and retreat centers around the country and in 1998 became the Chaplin in residence at Santa Teresita Hospital in Duarte, California, where he remained until 2006. He then served a small community in San Juan Capistrano, providing a Roman Rite Tridentine Mass. At the time of his fall, although visiting a friend in Arizona, was residing at St Michael's of Morongo Valley, California.

A rosary will be offered Monday, August 4, at 6:30 P.M. at Immaculate Conception Church, Monrovia. A funeral Mass will be celebrated Tuesday, August 5, at Noon also at Immaculate Conception Church. This will be followed by a Vigil service on Sunday, August 10 at Langevin-Mussetter Funeral Home, Yakima, WA 98902, at 5:30 P.M. and a Requiem Mass at the St. Paul Cathedral in Yakima, Washington on Monday, August 11, at 10:00 A.M. with internment at Calvary Cemetery, Yakima, Washington. Subsequent to the services in the United States, a Mass will be celebrated at St. Aidan’s Catholic Church, in Kinlough, County Leitrim, Ireland. This is the home parish of the Gallagher family and the place where Father Brian celebrated his first Mass following his ordination.

The outpouring of love from his family and many friends, and so many people from near and far, parishioners and former parishioners from all over the United States and Ireland has been a more eloquent tribute to the this quiet, good man and holy priest than any words might be.

May he now rest peacefully in the fullness of Life with the Lord he so faithfully served

Anonymous said...

fr gallagher, when he left arizona was told when he arrived at the hospitial in pasedena had he not gotten medical care immediatley he wouldnt have lasted two days he had a raging infection, and pneumonia, that was existing when he arrived in pasedena, he was so thrilled to be removed from that facility and he knew what lupes motives were finally, and that is why he requested her removal of any authority over him. God was helping all the people who risked there lives and reputations in saving his life . the doctors said he wouldnt have lasted two more days he was that sick. there are people who will never be mentioned who saved his life, the cousins were mormon and that is why so many people never even knew fr had family close by, he had mentioned that his family in the desert somewhere did give him the time of day. well maybe all this was ment to be for that family to make peace with fr and mend there freindships which is what happend, frs prayers were that those who had left the catholic church in his family would one day return to the true faith, the faith they were baptized in and that was his prayer for those cousins , and family memebers no longer practicing there faith. , he was concerened deeply for that. let us pray for them if they have not yet returned and continue on with fr. gallaghers prayers. he performed the most holy masses with such reverence and love for God. thank you freinds who saved him from depair , for that was were he was when his bishop abandoned him when he was in that dark hole of a care facility in arizona.