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Father Tom Mallaghan – A Priest to the End

In his homily, Fr. Steve Trzecieski, a classmate, spoke of Fr. Thomas Mallaghan’s last acts as a priest.

 

About a week before Fr.Tom died I visited him like many others and sat by his bedside. He seemed to be asleep.I began to pray the Rosary. Slowly. he began to wake up and I introduced myself. He smiled. Since he had great devotion to Mary I finished the rosary. He seemed to join in since his lips moved. When we finished I began to reminisced about our days in Princeton. Fr. Tom perked up. I reminded him of his famous home run on July 19 when for the first time in over 10 years the Novices beat the Major Seminarians. His reaction was interesting, He smiled and nodded approvingly. He had been the hero of the day.

 

I also noticed that he was getting tired. So I said “Tom, will you please give me you blessing” Suddenly he sat up, smiled and blessed me with a Hugh sign of the cross. He spoke the words of blessing loudly and clearly. I could sense his zeal for ministry was still very much alive. Fr. Tom loved being a priest, something which was always evident over the past 57 years.

 

I asked Tom if he would like to rest. He said “Yes”. So I left the room quietly.

His enthusiastic response of blessing me I will never forget.

 

… One last virtue of Fr. Tom… The last words he said to me as I left his room were “Thanks, Steve, for coming to see me” Fr. Tom was a man of gratitude.

 

Father was born in Brooklyn, May 17, 1932, in Our Lady of Good Counsel Parish. After moving to Woodhaven he attended St. John’s Prep. Our beloved Bishop O’Shea ordained him May 26, 1960. After ordination, he earned a Master of Arts degree in History from Villanova University and a Ph.D. in Religious Studies from New York University.

 

He taught at St. John’s Prep, St. Thomas More, and finally, St. John’s University where he taught theology and served three terms as Superior. He spent 20 years at Niagara University in a variety of ministries. In 2003 he was assigned to St. Vincent’s Seminary in Philadelphia where he resided until his death.

 

He is survived by one living brother, Jim,  who was unable to attend. Fr. Steve described his younger brother, Brother Frank,  as welcoming his older brother to heaven continuing to do what Frank did so well for so many years welcoming people to wherever he was stationed.

 

His cousins Tom Corcoran and Loretta Welsh and her husband also attended.

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