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Bishop Michael James Gallagar (1866-1937)
Born in Auburn, Mich., ordained priest.

1918 biography. - Added Nov., 2010.

Grand Rapids and Kent County, Michigan: Historical Account - 1918.


Bishop Michael J. Gallagher, who became a bishop of the Diocese of Grand Rapids upon the death of Bisphop Henry Joseph Benedict, was appointed coadjutor in July, 1915, by Pope Benedict, with the provision for his succession to the bishopric when death should make it vacant. He succeeded Bishop Joseph Schrembs, who became first bishop of the new Diocese of Toledo, Bishop Gallagher's assuming of his new office coming after he had rounded out nearly twenty years of faithful work in close connection with the administration of the affairs of the diocese. From 1896 until 1911 he was chancellor of the diocese and in the latter year became vicar-general, a position he has held up to the present time.

Father Gallagher was born at Auburn, a town nine miles west of Bay City, Mich., Nov. 18, 1866. Until he twelve years old he attended public schools, following which he spent four years at St. James Catholic College, Bay City. He taught during four years in public school and then decided to study for the priesthood, his first year of study being in the seminary at Sandwich, near Windsor, Ont. Following this he went to Ireland and studied for four years at Mungret Seminary, Limerick, and this was followed by five years in Austria, where he attended the Royal Imperial University at Innsbruck. In this period he was ordained a priest, receiving holy orders, March 19, 1893, at Brizen.

Father Gallagher, upon his ordination, returned to Michigan and entered upon his work at a priest of the Grand Rapids Diocese. For three months he was stationed temporarily as priest in charge of St. John's church, at Carrollton, a suburb of Saginaw. He then served for a month at Hemlock, Mich., as assistant to Rev. Robert M. Brown, now of St. James church, Grand Rapids, and in March, 1896, was called by Bishop Richter to join the staff of priests at St. Andrew's Cathedral at Grand Rapids, and at the same time became secretary to Bishop Richter. He served in St. Andrew's parish for fifteen years, all the time being an active helper of Bishop Richter.

Bishop Gallagher, as one of the high dignitaries of the Catholic church in Michigan, wields a strong influence in the affairs of that great religious body. He is a man of profound learning and scholarship and a linguist, of great piety and zeal, and of executive capacity far beyond the ordinary. He is much beloved by the people in his diocese and has the esteem and friendship of leading men of the city, regardless of religious denomination or beliefs.

Additional Notes.

    Bishop Gallagher died on Janurary 20, 1937, at Detroit, MI.

    1880 Census: Williams Twp., Bay, Mich.

  • Gallagher, James b. 1830 Ireland
  • Mary, wife b. 1835 Ireland
  • Catherine, daughter b. 1865 Mich.
  • Michael J., son b. 1867 Mich.
  • Fannie, daughter b. 1869 Mich.
Related Note & Pages

Bishop Gallagher

Related Pages:
None at this time.
People Referenced
Benedict, Henry J. Rev.
Brown, Robert M. Rev
Gallagher, Catherine (sis)
Gallagher, Fannie (sis)
Gallagher, James (father)
Gallagher, Mary Mrs. (mother)
Gallaher, Michael J. (subject)
Richter, Rev.
Schrembs, Joseph Rev.
Subjects Referenced
Auburn, MI
Bay City, MI
Bay Co., MI
Carrollton, MI
Detroit, MI
Grand Rapids, MI
Hemlock, MI
Limerick, Ireland
Mungret Seminary
Royal Imperial Univ.
Saginaw, MI
Sandwich, Ont.
St. Andrews Cathedral
St. James Catholic Col.
St. James Church
Toledo, OH
Williams twp., MI
Windsor, Ont.
WRITINGS: History As It Was Written Then.