Venerable Alfonso Gallegos [Biography]

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Alfonso Gallegos was born during hard times.  The Great Depression of the 1930’s was worldwide. It was made more excruciating in the United States of America when the dry spell, the longest in modern American history, struck the Great Plains, affecting mainly the Midwest and the Southwest, the states of Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, and New Mexico. These areas became known as the Dust Bowl.

The lack of economic stability and the fear of starvation led people to flee their homelands in search of better opportunities. Thousands fled to California, which itself was reeling from high unemployment and low wages. This economic situation led to social unrest, worsened by the government’s default on spending that adversely affected all public services including education.

It was then during this time in a place not far from California, in Albuquerque, New Mexico, that the baby boy Alfonso was born.  It was February 20, 1931.  At the age of 7, the little boy and his family took the lead of the many others and moved to Watts, Los Angeles, California hoping for the better.  Watts was a home to a growing community of Mexicans and Mexican American migrants. It was among them that Alfonso grew up until he left his home in 1950 to enter in the seminary of the Order of Augustinian Recollects in Kansas City. He was ordained priest in 1958.

Four years after his priestly ordination, he was assigned as pastor in his home parish in Watts. Here he dedicated his primary attention to the out-of-school youth who were prone to drugs and criminal activities. But the young Father Alfonso did not judge them, must less evaded them. Rather he spent time with them and encouraged and even helped them to go back to school and obtain university degree. This move brought about a change of life to many who heeded his encouragement. His pastoral care improved the environment of the area. Church attendance increased, crime rates dropped and people felt safe to go around. He infused hope into the community.

Aware of the growing population of the Hispanic migrants in California, in 1979 the California Bishops Conference named Alfonso Gallegos as the first Director of the Hispanic Affairs, California Catholic Conference. Its main objective was to organize and implement programs for the benefit of the Spanish-speaking migrants coming to the United States. In these Hispanic Affairs, Gallegos kept up with legislation and issues affecting the Hispanic community and provided this information to the Bishops. His appointment in 1981 as Auxiliary Bishop of Sacramento was a recognition of the new demographics and a response to the need for ecclesiastical leadership for this rapidly growing Hispanic population. Gallegos was the first Mexican-American Bishop to serve the Church in Sacramento since 1861.

He visited and stayed with the migrants in the labour camps, spoke out for them before the government legislators and assured them of the welcoming embrace of the Church. He would spend various nights during the week with the youth in the parks, befriended gang members by talking to them, encouraging them to leave behind drugs and criminal activities and strive for a better future. He blessed the cars of the “low riders” and rode with them. He championed the right of the unborn children. Everyone had a place in his agenda, the poor, the sick, the aged and those in prisons regardless of their creed, colour and culture. He was a Bishop always on the move, spending most of his time with his flock. As one witness during the diocesan process testified, “Bishop Gallegos was always trying to be there for every one, that at times, he would forget to take care of himself”.

Now a day, the world needs shepherds whose life is configured to Christ; shepherds who do not ask for what they stand to gain but what they can give to others; shepherds who do not seek to win people for themselves but to lose themselves for others. People want to see a joyful zeal in the ministers of Christ, ministers who carry out their task with enthusiasm, thus, giving credible witness to the Gospel message. Bishop Gallegos´ life is a response to these noble aspirations. Although throughout his life he had to bear the serious effects of his myopic eye problem, never for an instance did he lose his optimism. His wide smile was a constant mark of his personality. “What a beautiful day!” was his usual expression. He was not a scholar nor considered an intellectual but his preaching touched people’s hearts because God had first touched his own. He chose as motto for his episcopal coat of arms “Love one another”.

Asked how he wanted to be remembered, Bishop Gallegos said, “I would like to be remembered as having helped the young people how to appreciate who they are and to value the life God has given them. I would also like to be remembered as having appreciated people and all that they have to offer in making the world a better place to live in” (The Sacramento Bee Magazine, January 18, 1987).

A vehicular accident in the evening of October 6, 1991 claimed the life of this Hispanic Bishop at the age of 60. Earlier during the day, he joined a march against abortion, visited a young AIDS patient and finally administered the sacrament of confirmation to 71 candidates. His funeral claims the record attendance of grieving people in the diocese of Sacramento up to now.

A year after his death, a street connecting the State Capitol Building and the Cathedral of Sacramento was named “Bishop Gallegos Square”. It serves as bridge to bring the teaching of Jesus to the lawmakers, reminding them that one of their important and sacred duties is to help the migrants find a better place for themselves and for their families. His bronze statue stands in this same place. On March 27, 2010, his mortal remains were transferred to a new tomb in Our Lady of Guadalupe National Shrine.

Considering his saintly life and his intercessory prayers before the Lord, the diocesan process for his Cause of beatification and canonization was opened on December 4, 2005 at the Cathedral of Sacramento. After interviewing 130 witnesses and gathering the pertinent available documents, the process was concluded on November 5, 2006. The Congregation of the Causes of Saints in Vatican approved the validity of the diocesan process on July 4, 2008. The Positio on his life, virtues and fame of sanctity was submitted to the same Congregation on June 27, 2014. The Theologians approved his heroic virtues on March 17, 2016. The Congress of the Cardinals and Bishops gave their affirmative votes on July 5, 2016. Finally, on July 8, 2016, Pope Francis authorized the Congregation of the Causes of Saints to promulgate the decree attesting to his sanctity of life and the heroic practice of virtues.

With a miracle attributed to his intercession he can be declared blessed and with one more he will be due for canonization.  For now we rejoice and content ourselves with the assurance of his sanctity as the Church recognizes the Bishop of the Barrio as Venerable Alfonso Gallegos.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Frei Bo

Frei Bo

Priest-Religious of the Order of Augustinian Recollects, Province of St. Ezekiel Moreno. Webmaster.

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< 2022 >
June
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   1
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    June 1, 2022

    BIRTHDAY

    Fray Raul Buhay Fray Russell Lapidez
    Sis. Susana Batin, SAR (Manila Chapter)
    Sis. Felina Chiong, SAR (Cebu Chapter)
    Sis. Lourdes Dawag, SAR (Cebu Chapter)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY

    +Sis. Estella Buelo, SAR (Manila Chapter)

2
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    June 2, 2022

    BLESSING & DEDICATION OF THE ALTAR OF THE ST. AUGUSTINE OF HIPPO QUASI-PARISH
    Inayawan, Cebu City
    Time: 4:00 p.m.
    Presider: Most Rev. Jose Palma, D.D.

    BIRTHDAY
    Fray Constantino Real
    Carl Veloso (RAY-Cavite)

3
  • All day
    June 3, 2022

    RST: COMMENCEMENT EXERCISES

    BIRTHDAY

    Fray Roy Baluarte
    Fray Ramon Bitancor III
    Br. Roque James Sabas (postulant)
    Sis. Clothie Canoy, SAR (Cebu Chapter)
    Sis. Olivia Alicante, SAR (Cebu Chapter)
    Sis. Corazon Ranoa, SAR (Miranila Chapter)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY

    +Bro. Edgar Bond Jr., SAR (Baguio Chapter)

4
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    June 4, 2022

    PRAYER INTENTION: FOR VOCATIONS

    BIRTHDAY

    Sis. Milagros Lagan, SAR (Brooke’s Point Chapter)

5
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    June 5, 2022

    PENTECOST SUNDAY

    CARES, BAGUIO: TRANSITIO ET FORMATIO / COMMENCEMENT EXERCISES

    BIRTHDAY

    Sis. Purita Crom, SAR (Cebu Chapter)
    Sis. Herminigilda Claver, SAR (Talisay Chapter)

    ANNIVERSARY OF SIMPLE PROFESSION
    (1985-2022)

    Fray Francisco Antonio
    Fray Amadeo Lucero

6
  • All day
    June 6, 2022

    BIRTHDAY

    Sis. Ma. Asuncion Zorilla, SAR (Antipolo Chapter)
    Sis. Jennifer Sibayan, SAR (Urbiztondo Chapter / Trial)
    Christine Joy Euraba (RAY-Talisay)

    ANNIVERSARY OF PRESBYTERAL ORDINATION

    Most Rev. Agustinus Agus (Archdiocese of Pontianak, Indonesia)

7
  • All day
    June 7, 2022

    BIRTHDAY

    Sr. Ma. Teresita Aurigue, AR
    Sis. Roberta Legaspi, SAR (Cebu Chapter)

    ANNIVERSARY OF PRESBYTERAL & EPISCOPAL ORDINATIONS

    Most Rev. Raul Dael, D.D.  (Diocese of Tandag)

8
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    June 8, 2022

    BIRTHDAY

    Sr. Mary Joy Dula, AR
    Sis. Cristina Crosland, SAR (Provincialate Chapter)
    Sis. Yolanda Apacible, SAR (Manila Chapter)
    Sis. Corazon Layumas, SAR (San Carlos Chapter)

    ANNIVERSARY OF PRESBYTERAL ORDINATION

    Most Rev. Ryan Jimenez, D.D. (Diocese of Chalan Kanoa, CNMI)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY

    +Sr. Amparo del Sgdo. Corazon de Jesus, AR
    +Sis. Rosita Climaco, SAR (Cebu Chapter)

9
  • All day
    June 9, 2022

    BIRTHDAY

    Sr. Purificacion Glimada, AR
    Sr. Ma. Lea Eseo, AR
    Sr. Evangeline Pejano, AR

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY

    +Sis. Porferia Georpe, SAR (Cebu Chapter)

10
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    June 10, 2022

    USJ-R MAIN: GRADUATION CEREMONY (GRADE 6)

    BIRTHDAY

    Fray Joel Villaruel
    Br. Heljen Lance Acha (aspirant)
    Bro. Arturo Catindig, SAR (Antipolo Chapter)
    Bro. John Kamara, SAR (Kamalo Chapter / Trial)
    Sis. Violeta Villamin, SAR (Manila Chapter)
    Sis. Cossete Villanueva, SAR (Talisay Chapter)

    ANNIVERSARY OF SIMPLE PROFESSION
    (1984-2022)

    Fray Raul Buhay
    Fray Domingo Saladaga
    Fray William Emilito Villaflor

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY

    +Sr. Carmela Garcia, AR
    +Sr. Soledad Cañete, AR
    +Sis. Estela Taburada, SAR (Manila Chapter)
    +Sis. Daisy Soguilon, SAR (Antipolo Chapter)
    +Bro. Rodolfo Mijares, SAR (Talisay Chapter)

11
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    June 11, 2022

    BIRTHDAY

    Most Rev. Francisco de Leon, D.D.  (Diocese of Antipolo)
    Fray Bernabe Dosdos
    Br. Kenneth Quitaleg (postulant)
    Sr. Ma. Divina Caabay, AR
    Sis. Rosalinda Rios, SAR (Talisay Chapter)

    ANNIVERSARY OF SIMPLE PROFESSION
    (1983-2022)

    Fray Bernard Amparado
    Fray Joseph Granada
    Fray Cristituto Palomar
    Fray Jorge Peligro

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY

    +Bro. Abraham Caballes, SAR (Cebu Chapter)

12
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    HOLY TRINITY SUNDAY

    [Philippine’s 124th Independence Day]

    BIRTHDAY

    Sis. Lucita Anareta, SAR (Antipolo Chapter)
    Sis. Adelaida Tanchico, SAR (Miranila Chapter)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY

    +Sr. Micaela de la Virgen del Carmen, AR
    +Sis. Felicidad Delalamon, SAR (Cebu Chapter)

13
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    BIRTHDAY

    Br. Mark Anthony Zion Madrona (aspirant)
    Mo. Lucena Antipala, AR (General Superior of the CARS)
    Sr. Antonia Pono, AR
    Sis. Herminia Ishii, SAR (Baguio Chapter)
    Sis. Antonieta Lorna Cepe, SAR (Valencia Chapter)
    Sis. Antonia Lauron, SAR (Cebu Chapter)

    ANNIVERSARY OF SOLEMN PROFESSION (Religious Brother)
    (1998-2022)

    Fray Jaazeal Jakosalem

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY

    +Sr. Fe de la Sgda. Familia, AR
    +Sr. Ma. Amparo Serra, AR
    +Sis. Victoria Caturay, SAR (San Carlos Chapter)

14
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    BIRTHDAY

    Sis. Natividad Remitera, SAR (Cebu Chapter)

    ANNIVERSARY OF SIMPLE PROFESSION
    (1972-2022)

    Fray Federico Gregorio
    Fray Lauro Larlar
    Fray Ceferino Añez

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY

    +Sr. Michaela de la Virgen del Carmen, AR
    +Mo. Maria Josefa Borces, AR
    +Sis. Angelina Yap, SAR (San Carlos Chapter)

15
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    BIRTHDAY

    Fray Nelson Plohimon
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    Sr. Adoracion Pagsisihan, AR
    Sr. Isis Vita Villagonzalo, AR
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    Sis. Rosario Mamon, SAR (Talisay Chapter)
    Bro. Leo Calimutan, SAR (Tondo Chapter)
    Bro. Leonardo Erojo (Cebu Chapter)
    Ma. Sophia Navarro (RAY-Miranila)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY

    +Sr. Manuela de San Agustin, AR
    +Sis. Amalia Gatuslao, SAR (San Carlos Chapter)

16
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    BIRTHDAY

    Sr. Aurelia Pastidio, AR
    Sis. Miriam Ruiz, SAR (Antipolo Chapter)
    Sis. Rosalina Mangaoil, SAR (Tondo Chapter)
    Sis. Mary Jane Eranista, SAR (Bacolod Chapter)
    Sis. Salvacion Rubia, SAR (Laray Chapter)
    Sis. Roselyn Ubag, SAR (Valencia Chapter)

    ANNIVERSARY OF SIMPLE PROFESSION
    (1974-2022)

    Fray Enrico Peter Silab

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY

    +Sr. Encarnacion Hynson, AR

1718
  • All day
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    BIRTHDAY

    Sr. Ma. Corazon Barroca, AR
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    Sis. Aida Tambis, SAR (San Carlos Chapter)

    ANNIVERSARY OF SIMPLE PROFESSION
    (1978-2022)

    Fray Joseph Philip Trayvilla

    ANNIVERSARY OF EPISCOPAL ORDINATION

    Most Rev. Honesto Ongtioco, D.D. (Diocese of Cubao)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY

    +Fray Victor Jose Lluch (2004-2022)
    +Sis. Erlinda Dacalos, SAR (Cebu Chapter)
    +Sis. Ma. Celia Setias, SAR (Brooke’s PointChapter)

19
  • All day
    June 19, 2022

    SOLEMNITY OF CORPUS CHRISTI

    PRAYER INTENTION: FOR THE SICK UNO-R: GRADUATION CEREMONY (COLLEGE)

    BIRTHDAY

    Sis. Rizalina Salera, SAR (Cavite Chapter)

    ANNIVERSARY OF SIMPLE PROFESSION
    (1977-2022)

    Fray René Paglinawan
    Fray Leonardo Pauligue
    Fray Samson Silloriquez

    ANNIVERSARY OF PRESBYTERAL ORDINATION

    Most Rev. Reynaldo Evangelista, D.D. (Diocese of Imus)

    (2010-2022)
    Fray Leo Alaras
    Fray Michael Catama
    Fray Kenneth Joseph Onda
    Fray James Dexter Tanquis

    ANNIVERSARY OF EPISCOPAL ORDINATION

    Most Rev. Buenaventura Famadico, DD (Diocese of San Pablo)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY

    +Sr. Rosa de Padua, AR

20
  • All day
    June 20, 2022

    BIRTHDAY

    Fray Renier Alviola
    Fray Enrico Nacorda
    Sis. Fe Enilog, SAR (Cavite Chapter)
    Sis. Macaria Salgado, SAR (Cebu Chapter)
    Reyson Valerio (RAY-Urbiztondo)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY

    +Sis. Leilani Alejandro, SAR (Bacolod Chapter)
    +Sis. Carina Juan, SAR (Manila Chapter)

21
  • All day
    June 21, 2022

    BIRTHDAY

    Luis Antonio Card. Tagle (Prefect, Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples)
    Sr. Ma. Luisa Borces, AR
    Sis. Angelita de Guzman, SAR (Miranila Chapter)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    (2005-2022)

    +Jaime Cardinal Sin (Brother General of the Order)

22
  • All day
    June 22, 2022

    BIRTHDAY

    Fray Paulino Dacanay

23
  • All day
    June 23, 2022

    SSC-R MANILA: GRADUATION CEREMONY (SHS)

    BIRTHDAY

    Sr. Joan Marie Ubag, AR
    Sis. Elenora Tubiona, SAR (Valencia Chapter)
    Sis. Remegia Lopez, SAR (Cebu Chapter)
    Sis. Marilyn Semense, SAR (Cebu Chapter)

24
  • All day
    June 24, 2022

    SOLEMNITY OF THE MOST SACRED HEART OF JESUS

    DAY OF PRAYER FOR THE SANCTIFICATION OF PRIESTS NATIVITY OF ST. JOHN THE BAPTIST

    USJ-R MAIN: MOVING UP CEREMONY (JHS)

    BIRTHDAY

    Sr. Jesusa Pedrez, AR Sr. Juanita Payawal, AR
    Sis. Juanita Payawal, SAR (Tondo Chapter)
    Sis. Lourdes Calderon, SAR (San Carlos Chapter)
    Baby Rich Pajares (RAY-Caidiocan)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY

    +Sr. Ma. Presentacion Ramirez, AR

25
  • All day
    June 25, 2022

    IMMACULATE HEART OF THE BLESSED VIRGIN MARY

    BIRTHDAY

    Fray William Emilito Villaflor
    Sis. Asuncion Magalona, SAR (Manila Chapter)
    Sis. Prospera Jabagat, SAR (Laray Chapter)
    Sis. Vivien Oquindo, SAR (Bacolod Chapter)
    Sean Feauna Narvasa (RAY-Balamban)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY

    +Sr. Ma. Luisa Padilla, AR

26
  • All day
    June 26, 2022

    13TH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME

    START OF THE 5-DAY SPIRITUAL RETREAT OF THE CANDIDATES FOR NOVITIATE (cf. Add. Code 207.3)

    BIRTHDAY

    Fray Julius Marcos
    Fray Virgilio Calalang, Jr.
    Fray Mark Joseph Quirante (simply prof.)
    Sis. Melinda Camero, SAR (Baguio Chapter)
    Sis. Whagie Saronillo, SAR (Bacolod Chapter)
    Sis. Winifreda Pahilanga, SAR (Talisay Chapter)
    Jamaicha Lapinid (RAY-Miranila)

27
  • All day
    June 27, 2022

    SSC-R MANILA: MOVING UP CEREMONY (JHS)

    BIRTHDAY

    Br. Jos Albert Aguana (postulant)
    Sr. Elvira Vergara, AR
    Bro. Manuel Martinez, SAR (Antipolo Chapter)
    Bro. David de la Torre, SAR (Puerto Princesa Chapter)
    Sis. Lucita Dimaano, SAR (Antipolo Chapter)

    ANNIVERSARY OF SIMPLE PROFESSION
    (2020-2022)

    Fray Joseph Neil Baygan
    Fray James Esplanada F
    ray Judd Galinato
    Fray Mc Ariel Capinpin
    Fray Mark Joseph Quirante

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY

    +Sr. Ma. Catalina del Amor Misericordioso, AR
    +Sr. Crisanta Lerio, AR

28
  • All day
    June 28, 2022

    PRAYER INTENTION: FOR THE MISSION

    BIRTHDAY

    Fray Enrico Peter Silab
    Fray Samson Silloriquez
    Sis. Sonia Ramos, SAR (Antipolo Chapter)

    ANNIVERSARY OF SIMPLE PROFESSION
    (1990-2022)

    Fray Bernabe Dosdos

    ANNIVERSARY OF EPISCOPAL ORDINATION

    Most Rev. Francisco de Leon, D.D.  (Diocese of Antipolo)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY

    +Sr. Margarita de Lumbania, AR

29
  • All day
    June 29, 2022

    SOLEMNITY OF STS. PETER & PAUL, APOSTLES

    BIRTHDAY

    Sis. Pablicita Palatino, SAR (Inagawan Chapter)
    Bro. Peter Sesay, SAR (Kamalo Chapter / Trial)

    ANNIVERSARY OF SIMPLE PROFESSION
    (1967-2022)

    Most Rev. Patricio Buzon, SDB, D.D. (Diocese of Bacolod)

    (2019-2022)
    Fray Neil Robert Alilain

    (2018-2022)
    Fray Helfrid Palmis
    Fray Rey Jay Quevedo
    Fray Jhoben Rodriguez
    Fray Renz Calex Soriano

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY

    +Sis. Neriza Hernandez, SAR (Provincialate Chapter)
    +Sis. Aleja Abellar, SAR (Cavite Chapter)
    +Sis. Remedios Vitangcol, SAR (Cavite Chapter)

30
  • All day
    June 30, 2022

    BIRTHDAY

    Br. Danielle Nadal (postulant)
    Bro. Aquilino Cariño Jr., SAR (Puerto Princesa Chapter)
    Sis. Leticia Tayao, SAR (Miranila Chapter)
    Sis. Ma. Teresita Bilbao, SAR (Manila Chapter)
    Sis. Liberty Batayola, SAR (San Carlos Chapter)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY

    +Sis. Adelina Sacapano, SAR (Brooke’s Point Chapter)
    +Sis. Laureana Quijano, SAR (Talisay Chapter)
    +Sis. Amancia Gagui, SAR (Miranila Chapter)

  

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