Obituaries
Home
Services
D`Alessandro Funeral Home
4522 Butler St.
Pittsburgh, PA 15201
412-682-6500

Fr. OTMAR OFM Cap GALLAGHER

Obituary Condolences

GALLAGHER
Fr. OTMAR, OFM Cap
Died at Mercy Hospital in Pittsburgh, on Tuesday, November 20, 2012. He was 91. Father Otmar was the last living member of his immediate family. He is survived by numerous nieces and nephews, and their children and grandchildren. He was born in Pittsburgh, PA, on October 15, 1921, to Edward and Helen (Kunzmann) Gallagher, and was baptized at St. Norbert Church. He enrolled at St. Fidelis Seminary in Herman, PA, in 1935. He entered the Capuchin novitiate in 1941 and professed vows a year later at SS. Peter & Paul Friary in Cumberland, MD. He studied philosophy at St. Fidelis Friary in Victoria, KS and in 1944 began his theological studies at Capuchin College in Washington, DC. Father Otmar was ordained a priest at the Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington on June 8, 1948. He realized his dream to become a missionary when he was given his first assignment to serve in Puerto Rico, where he remained for seven years. He served in Trujillo Alto and Utuado as a parish priest, and later as a chaplain at the tuberculosis sanitarium in Ponce. He returned to Trujillo Alto for his last assignment in Puerto Rico; he was pastor of the local parish and served as the chaplain for the leper colony. Before his departure from Puerto Rico, Father Otmar was named "Adopted Son" of the city of Trujillo Alto. In 1955 he was assigned to be the leader and superior of a new mission in Papua New Guinea. With the arrival of Father Otmar and five other Capuchin friars, people of the Southern Highlands heard the Gospel of Jesus Christ for the first time. Father Otmar served untiringly in various leadership capacities for nearly twenty years. In 1956 he established the mission headquarters in Mendi and was named Vicar Delegate. He became Prefect Delegate in 1960 and prepared the mission to become a diocese in 1965. He oversaw an extensive building campaign in the Southern Highlands, establishing scores of parishes and out-stations, schools, convents and friaries. The rugged terrain and primitive conditions presented an enormous challenge. However, with the indispensable and faithful help of other missionaries and the eager willingness of the local people, Father Otmar's determination and skilled leadership produced an incredible infrastructure for the Catholic Church in the Southern Highlands. It remains to this day and is a lasting legacy to Father Otmar's faith and abilities. In 1972 he relinquished wider responsibilities and took on parish work in Kagua and Sumi. For the remaining thirteen years of service in Papua New Guinea, Father Otmar was chaplain at the high school in his beloved Tari. He ended his missionary labors in 1992 and returned to the United States. After a period of rest, he was chaplain at St. Joseph Hospital and Bon Secours Nursing Home in Port Charlotte, FL, from 1993 until 2002, when he returned to his home city of Pittsburgh. For several years Father Otmar was a confessor at St. Mary of the Point Parish in downtown Pittsburgh. He was an avid sports fan, and friars could rely on him for a full re-cap of every Pirate and Steeler game. Father Otmar will be remembered for his outstanding missionary service and leadership in Papua New Guinea. Until the very end he wanted to know the latest news from the missions and remained connected with the many missionaries with whom he served. He had a special affection for the Sisters of St. Francis of Oldenburg, Indiana, whom he invited early on to share in the missionary work of the Southern Highlands. Visitation will be at St. Augustine Friary (221 36th Street, Pittsburgh 15201) on Friday, November 23, from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. and from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. The Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Saturday, November 24, at 1 p.m. at Our Lady of the Angels Parish, St. Augustine Church at 37th and Bandera Streets. Interment will be in the friars' plot of St. Augustine Cemetery immediately following the Funeral Mass. Arrangements entrusted to the care of D'ALESSANDRO FUNERAL HOME & CREMATORY LTD., Lawrenceville.
Send condolences at post-gazette.com/gb

Published in Pittsburgh Post-Gazette from Nov. 22 to Nov. 23, 2012
+
Read More
Share
- ADVERTISEMENT -