The untimely passing of the Rev. Gregory A. Galvin, CSV, stunned the parish of St. Viator in Chicago. He was their beloved, young pastor and only 46 years old when he passed away June 3, 1942. They loved and admired him for his magnetic personality, his devotion to the sick, and his dynamic talent as a speaker and organizer.
Fr. Galvin was born April 11, 1896 in Assumption, IL. He attended the high school department of St. Viator College in Bourbonnais. Upon completion, he entered the Viatorian Novitiate in 1914 and attended college at St. Viator. Among the many honors he earned, was a place on one of Fr. William Bergins’ famous debate teams, winning the college oratory medal and the presidency of his 1919 graduation class.
In continuing his studies for the priesthood, Fr. Galvin attended Kendrick Seminary in St. Louis, before being ordained on May 26, 1923. Afterwards, he returned to St. Viator College as the dean of men. By all accounts, he served as a counselor and friend to the students, who dearly loved and respected him.
Fr. Galvin was called to become the assistant pastor at St. Viator Church in Chicago, in 1926. Almost immediately, he established a Holy Name Society for men to become active in the parish. It became one of the most flourishing groups of its kind in the city.
Serving as pastor from 1938 until his death, Fr. Galvin worked tirelessly to meet the financial burdens of the parish. Working with parishioners, he organized fundraising parties, carnivals and other projects, which resulted in reducing the debt to a minimum in record time.
Fr. Galvin’s funeral took place June 6, 1942 at St. Viator Church. The Very Rev. Richard French, CSV, Provincial, celebrated the Mass and was assisted by Fr. Edward Fitzpatrick, CSV, and Fr. Frederick Wenthe, CSV. An eloquent sermon was delivered by the Rev. John P. O’Mahoney, CSV. The last absolution was given by the Right Rev. Bishop Bernard J. Sheil, DD, Auxiliary Bishop of the Chicago Archdiocese. His pallbearers included a group of his beloved Holy Name men of the parish. Burial took place in the Community cemetery in Bourbonnais, IL.