Humble servant

The Rev. Gerald Gallagher, who retires today after 24 years as rector of the Church of the Messiah in Rhinebeck, doesn’t like to talk about himself.


It’s not as if Gallagher, a former Catholic priest who was ordained at the Vatican in 1967, doesn’t have anything to boast about. Known as “Father Jerry” to his flock, he exhibits a remarkable spirit of Christian humility when asked about his contributions and legacy, but his face lights up when the topic turns to his parish.

“I have a deep feeling of thanksgiving for the gift of being a part of this parish family,” he said. “We’re very close. Both my wife (Joy) and I really feel like we have a real extended family here.

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