After 54 years as a Sister, and 42 years of service in the Diocese of Raleigh, Sister Margaret Gallagher, I.H.M., is retiring. Currently the Pastoral Administrator of St. Joseph the Worker Parish in Warrenton, Sister Gallagher began her work in North Carolina in 1964 as a teacher at St. Monica Catholic School in Raleigh.
Although Sister would serve several brief assignments in New York, she was always happy to return to North Carolina. She served at Our Lady of Perpetual Help in Rocky Mount, Mother of Mercy in Washington and St. Francis De Sales in Lumberton. During that time she became certified in Pastoral Administration. In 1990 she was appointed full time Pastoral Administrator of St. Joan of Arc in Plymouth. She moved to St. Joseph the Worker in 1999.
“St. Joseph is one of my favorite saints, “she says, “because of his faithfulness to grace, his interior life, his love for Mary and love for Jesus. I love to reflect on those things.”
She sees the role of Pastoral Administrator as crucial to building a religious community. “It’s important to have someone present,” she says, “and there’s lots to do physically.” She expresses gratitude to the priests who have brought sacramental ministry to St. Joseph, especially Father James Keaney and the current sacramental minister, Father William Upah, Pastor of St. James Parish in Henderson.
Sister Gallagher will return to her Congregation’s headquarters in Scranton in July, where she hopes to continue doing pastoral work there.
Bishop Emeritus of Raleigh F. Joseph Gossman recalled the “unique gift” Sister Margaret was to the thirty people she first served in Warrenton. “Now she is departing from her group of some 70 families,” he said, “who will give her much credit for all she has done with her generous concern for all she has served.”
The Most Reverend Michael F. Burbidge expressed “profound gratitude to Sister Margaret for her many years of service in the Diocese of Raleigh. She has always reflected a deep love for Our Lord Jesus and the people He has sent her to serve. I wish her continued happiness and many blessings, especially at this time of transition in her life.”