Bishop Barbarito's Public Schedule
Below is a list of events and Masses in which Bishop Barbarito will be the celebrant or will attend in the upcoming weeks at various locations within the five-counties of the Diocese of Palm Beach.
April 1 – 12:00 p.m. – Mass – Easter at St. Christopher Church, Hobe Sound
March 1 – 11:00 a.m. – Taping – Easter TV Mass at Parallax Studios, West Palm Beach
March 3 – 10:00 a.m. – Confirmation at St. Jude Church, Tequesta
March 3 – 6:00 p.m. – Rcptn/Dinner – Newman Night Gala at Kravis Center, West Palm Beach
March 4 – 11:30 a.m. – Confirmation at St. Anastasia Church, Fort Pierce
March 4 – 6:30 p.m. – Rcptn/Dinner – Spiritus Dei Gala at Lost Tree Club, North Palm Beach
March 7 – 11:00 a.m. – Taping – TV Mass at Parallax Studios, West Palm Beach
March 7 – 12:00 p.m. – Prayer Vigil – 40 Days for Life at Presidential Women’s Center, West Palm Beach
March 10 – 11:00 a.m. – Confirmation at St. Lucie Church, Port St. Lucie
March 10 – 5:00 p.m. – Rcptn/Dinner – St. John Paul II Academy Gala at The Seagate Country Club, Delray Beach
March 11 – 10:30 a.m. – Mass – Rite to Candidacy at St. Vincent de Paul Regional Seminary Chapel, Boynton Beach
March 13 – 10:30 a.m. – Mtg. – Presbyteral Council at Pastoral Center, Palm Beach Gardens
March 13 – 12:30 p.m. – Mtg. Deans at Pastoral Center, Palm Beach Gardens
March 14 – 6:00 p.m. – Mass/Dinner – Order of Malta at Holy Cross Church, Vero Beach
March 15 – 2:00 p.m. – Mtg. – Priests’ Advisory Assignment Board at Pastoral Center, Palm Beach Gardens
March 16 – 6:30 p.m. – Confirmation at St. Vincent Ferrer Church, Delray Beach
March 17 – 5:30 p.m. – Confirmation at Emmanuel Church, Delray Beach
March 18 – 12:00 p.m. – Confirmation at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Church, Port St. Lucie
March 18 – 5:00 p.m. – Confirmation at the Cathedral of St. Ignatius Loyola, Palm Beach Gardens
March 21 – 10:00 a.m. – Mtg. – Education Development at the Pastoral Center, Palm Beach Gardens
March 21 – 2:30 p.m. – Mtg. – Diocesan Foundation Board at the Pastoral Center, Palm Beach Gardens
March 24 – 11:00 a.m. – Confirmation at Sacred Heart, Okeechobee
March 25 – 10:30 a.m. – Mass – Palm Sunday at the Cathedral of St. Ignatius Loyola, Palm Beach Gardens
March 27 – 11:00 a.m. – Chrism Mass at the Cathedral of St. Ignatius Loyola, Palm Beach Gardens
Pastoral Center Closed – March 29 & 30 – In Observance of Holy Thursday and Good Friday
March 29 – 7:30 p.m. -Mass – The Lord’s Supper at the Cathedral of St. Ignatius Loyola, Palm Beach Gardens
March 30 – 12:00 p.m. - Stations of the Cross– Cathedral Youth Ministry at the Cathedral of St. Ignatius Loyola, Palm Beach Gardens
March 30 – 3:00 p.m. – The Lord’s Passion at the Cathedral of St. Ignatius Loyola, Palm Beach Gardens
March 30 – 6:00 p.m. – Outdoor Stations of the Cross – Bilingual at the Cathedral of St. Ignatius Loyola, Palm Beach Gardens
March 31 – 8:00 p.m. – Mass – Easter Vigil at the Cathedral of St. Ignatius Loyola, Palm Beach Gardens
February 1 – Catholic Days at the Capitol at Tallahassee
February 3 – 10:00 a.m. – Confirmation at Our Lady of Lourdes Church, Boca Raton
February 4 – 2:30 p.m. – Holy Hour - World Day of Consecrated Life at Mary Immaculate Church, West Palm Beach
February 5 – 6:00 p.m.- Mass/Dinner – Holy Sepulchre at St. Patrick Church, Palm Beach Gardens
February 6 – 10:45 a.m. – Mass – Catholic Schools Week at John Carroll High School, Fort Pierce
February 7 – 10:25 a.m. – Mass – Catholic Schools Week at Cardinal Newman High School, West Palm Beach
February 9 – 6:00 p.m. – Confirmation at Ascension Church, Boca Raton
February 10 – 10:30 a.m. – Mass – Wedding Anniversary at St. Lucie Church, Port St. Lucie
February 10 – 4:00 p.m. – Mass – Black Awareness at St. Francis Church, Riviera Beach
February 11 – 10:00 a.m. – Confirmation at St. John Fisher Church, West Palm Beach
February 11 – 2:30 p.m. – Confirmation at St. Helen Church, Vero Beach
February 12 – 11:00 a.m. – Mass/Lunch - Our Lady of Lourdes Feast Day at Lourdes /Noreen Mc Keen Residence, West Palm Beach
February 14 – 12:00 p.m. - Ash Wednesday at Pastoral Center Chapel, Palm Beach Gardens
February 14 – 5:30 p.m. - Mass – Ash Wednesday at Cathedral of St. Ignatius Loyola, Palm Beach Gardens
February 16 – 11:00 a.m. – Diocesan Teacher Professional Day at All Saints School, Jupiter
February 17 – 10:30 a.m. – Mass - Wedding Anniversary at St. Paul of the Cross Church, North Palm Beach
February 17 – 7:00 p.m. – Rite of Election at St. Peter Church, Jupiter
February 18 – 11:00 a.m. – Confirmation at Mary Immaculate Church, West Palm Beach
February 18 – 3:00 p.m. – Rite of Election at St. Peter Church, Jupiter
February 19 – Pastoral Center Closed in Observance of Presidents' Day
February 20 – 2:00 p.m. – Mtg. Finance Council at Pastoral Center, Palm Beach Gardens
February 21 – 10:30 a.m. – Mass and Covenant Signing at St. John Paul II Academy, Boca Raton
February 21 – 2:00 p.m. – Blessing/Rcptn – 20th Anniversary at Villa Madonna, Lake Worth
February 22 – 12:00 – 4:00 p.m. – Mtg – Board Directors at St. John Vianney College Seminary, Miami
February 23 – 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. - Mtg. – Board of Directors at St. Vincent de Paul Regional Seminary, Boynton Beach
February 24 – 11:00 a.m. – Confirmation at St. Jude Church, Tequesta
February 24 – 4:00 p.m. – Mass/Blessing School Founders’ Hall at Sacred Heart Church, Lake Worth
February 25 – 10:30 a.m. – Confirmation at St. Andrew Church, Stuart
February 25 – 6:00 p.m. – Confirmation at Our Lady Queen of the Apostles Church, Royal Palm Beach
February 27 – 12:00 p.m. – Mtg. – Deans at Pastoral Center, Palm Beach Gardens
February 28 – 10:00 a.m. – Lenten Day of Prayer – Priests at Our Lady of Florida Spiritual Center, North Palm Beach
January 6 – 4:30 p.m. – Mass – National Migration at Cathedral of St. Ignatius Loyola, Palm Beach Gardens
January 7 – 10:30 a.m. – Confirmation at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Church, Delray Beach
January 13 – 10:00 a.m. – Confirmation at St. Peter Church, Jupiter
January 14 – 10:30 a.m. – Confirmation at St. Lucy Church, Highland Beach
January 15 – Pastoral Center Closed – In Observance of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
January 16 – 10:30 a.m. – Mtg. – Presbyteral Council at Pastoral Center, Palm Beach Gardens
January 16 – 12:30 p.m. – Mtg. College of Consultors at Pastoral Center, Palm Beach Gardens
January 16 – 7:00 p.m. – Holy Eucharist Presentation – Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA) at Cathedral of St. Ignatius Loyola, Palm Beach Gardens
January 18 – 12:00 p.m. – Luncheon - Diocesan Services Appeal Donors at PGA National Resort, Palm Beach Gardens
January 19 – 11:00 a.m. – Mtg. – Cross Catholic Outreach at Pastoral Center, Palm Beach Gardens
January 20 – 1:00 p.m. – Confirmation at Holy Family Church, Port St. Lucie
January 21 – 1:00 p.m. – Confirmation at St. Joseph Church, Stuart
January 22 – 11:00 a.m. – Prayer Vigil – Anniversary of Roe v Wade at Palm Beach County Courthouse, West Palm Beach
January 23 – 12:00 p.m. – Luncheon - Diocesan Services Appeal Donors at The Moorings Yacht and Country Club, Vero Beach
January 24 – 12:00 p.m. – Luncheon - Diocesan Services Appeal Donors at Royal Palm Yacht and Country Club, Boca Raton
January 26 – 6:00 p.m. – Rcptn/Dinner – Caritas Dei - Catholic Charities Gala at The Breakers Hotel, Palm Beach
January 28 – 10:30 a.m. – Red Mass/Breakfast – Catholic Lawyers Guild at Cathedral of St. Ignatius Loyola
January 30 – February 1 – Catholic Days at the Capitol at Tallahassee
Father John Gallagher has spent much of the past week portraying himself to media outlets in Ireland and Florida as a whistleblower punished by the Catholic Diocese of Palm Beach for alerting authorities to a pedophile priest.
But with the blessing of Bishop Gerald Barbarito, another version of Gallagher is emerging from diocese employees and parishioners. They paint an unflattering portrait of an egotistical problem-priest who spread lies about the diocese because he was passed over for a promotion for at least the second time in six years.
“The only reason that this is going on is that John is very upset and angry that he was not named pastor. That’s the bottom line. He wanted to be pastor of Holy Name so bad,’’ said Father Nestor Rodriguez, pastor at St. Ann’s Church in West Palm Beach. “John is a disgruntled employee of the diocese. He needs serious professional help.’’
Among allegations made to The Palm Beach Post about the 60-year-old priest, who rose from humble Northern Ireland origins and bounced around 11 pastoral assignments since coming to Florida in 2000, are:
• Gallagher sparked numerous complaints from Hispanic parishioners at Holy Name of Jesus Church in West Palm Beach. They say he drove a wedge into the congregation’s 2,000 members by mistreating Hispanics and trying to push them away from the church because he said they didn’t contribute enough to the collection plate.
• He harassed a Cuban priest, Father Jose Crucet, prompting Hispanic parishioners to demand Gallagher’s transfer. When Crucet resigned because of stress, the diocese, upon Gallagher’s recommendation, replaced Crucet with Father Jose Palimattom, who was arrested two months into his new assignment for showing pornographic images to a 14-year-old boy after Mass in January 2015.
• He transformed the living room of his parochial house into a piano bar where church employees served drinks and cleaned dishes at “high roller” parties he hosted for friends and parishioners.
Barbarito, whose diocese has issued two press releases this week discrediting Gallagher, took another extraordinary step Friday. He ordered priests to read a letter during Mass this weekend addressing Gallagher and his “unfounded allegations” that the diocese “tried to ‘cover up’ the inappropriate behavior of” Palimattom.
“Father Gallagher’s harmful assertions are an embarrassment to my brother priests as well as to me,” Barbarito says in the five-paragraph letter, which closes with the bishop asking parishioners “to pray for Father Gallagher.”
Gallagher on Friday referred questions about the diocese’s allegations to his attorney, who called the assertions a “smear” campaign meant to discredit a good priest.
“This shows what they are about — retaliation. That’s all there is,” said Robert Flummerfelt, an attorney with Canon Law Services in Las Vegas. “If they want to go down and fight in the gutter with Father Gallagher, he can do the same thing.”
In the spotlight
The priest-vs.-bishop spat appeared to start when Gallagher was passed over for a promotion at Holy Name last spring. That prompted him to start reaching out to media outlets with reports that the diocese changed the locks on his parochial house and transferred him to a Stuart church after he refused church orders to put Palimattom on a plane to India rather than report him to law enforcement.
The allegations seemed sensational considering how the Catholic Church has been trying to bounce back from an international scandal of priests abusing kids, a troubling episode currently being replayed in the Oscar-nominated movie “Spotlight.”
Gallagher’s assertions also sharply contrasted with the zero-tolerance policy adopted by the Palm Beach Diocese in 2002 after the resignation of the second of two bishops in four years over charges of improper sexual relationships with teenage boys.
To bolster his case, Gallagher supplied media outlets with a letter written to Cardinal Sean O’Malley by Chief Deputy Michael Gauger of the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office, praising Gallagher for his help in prosecuting Palimattom.
The Irish Independent newspaper published Gallagher’s assertions Monday, prompting several media outlets in Ireland and Florida, including The Palm Beach Post, to pursue the story.
The diocese initially responded with vague denials. But when the stories prompted a protest Tuesday in front of diocese offices in Palm Beach Gardens by members of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, the diocese went on the offensive.
Although Barbarito has made no public comments about Gallagher, he authorized priests and parishioners to talk to The Post.
“He is very smart. He is conniving. He is self-centered. He is all about John Gallagher,’’ said Luis Trinidad, who worked under Gallagher as the director of Hispanic Ministries at Holy Name.
Holy Name, on Military Trail just south of Gun Club Road, is a blue-collar parish with members from different cultural backgrounds. Last year, Rodriguez said, he and Barbarito sat through “many, many appointments” with parishioners, “both Anglo and Hispanic,’’ who were unhappy with Gallagher.
“One person after the other came up and said, ‘We don’t have anything personally against Father John, but we just feel he doesn’t understand us, he doesn’t interact with us.’ They were very disappointed at his performance. They felt cut off,” Rodriguez said.
Many congregants were upset that Gallagher would call the police on Hispanic kids who were playing basketball on church grounds.
“From day one he came in with the idea of getting rid of Hispanics in the parish,’’ Trinidad said. “He was always being a bully.’’
Jesus Lopez, a Holy Name parishioner for nearly 30 years, said he never saw Gallagher at the doors of the church shaking hands with church members after Mass.
“Maybe he did for the English Mass but not for the Spanish Mass,’’ Lopez said. “A lot of people ended up leaving the church until Father Gallagher was gone from here. I left for several months.”
Other parishioners complained that Gallagher was rarely available “when people would visit and seek counsel. Some people asked him to visit the sick, but he would not do that,” said Father Tom Barrett, who served on a committee that reviewed Gallagher’s performance at Holy Name.
Crucet, who has been with the diocese 15 years, said he served at Holy Name for three years. But the last four months there were stressful because he said he was harassed by Gallagher, who often changed his schedule at the last minute and parked his car in a way that prevented Crucet from accessing his car.
“He made me feel vulnerable, like he might manufacture something against me. He really had it in for me,” Crucet said.
“It deteriorated my health. I couldn’t sleep. My blood pressure was up. I was always worried. He accused me of stealing. He once showed me a sheriff’s card and said this man is looking for you.”
Crucet has since moved to St. Ignatius. “I looked in the English dictionary to find a word that properly reflects who he is. That word is ‘evil-doer,’ he said. “That defines the experience I had with him in the church. He made me suffer, he made me get sick. I decided to leave because I did not want confrontation.”
More than 150 people attended a meeting last February to air their grievances, which included accusations that Gallagher was trying to push away Hispanic members because they made up nearly one-third of the parish but contributed just 11 percent to collections.
“Over and over again, they commented that they were being discriminated against, they were not being treated justly and they were basically being abandoned and mistreated,’’ Rodriguez said.
Barrett added: “It was very much a groundswell of discontent.”
The accusations are remarkable considering Gallagher’s own background.
He was born and raised in the working-class town of Strabane, one of the most economically deprived communities in the United Kingdom. Like many towns in Northern Ireland, Strabane witnessed bombings and shootings in the political violence from the 1960s to the late 1990s known as The Troubles.
He’s the oldest of three brothers, including one who works as religious education director for the Archdiocese of Dublin. His parents still live in Strabane and attend Mass every day at the church where Gallagher started after he was ordained as a priest in 1992 — the Long Tower Parish, which dates to the year 542.
“John’s family came from quite humble origins but are very proud,’’ said Conor Donnelly, who grew in Derry, just north of Strabane, and spent time in the seminary with Gallagher.
“I couldn’t tell you any remarkable story about him. He was just a regular guy. He’s a very prayerful guy that inspires your spirit.’’
Locals still remember how Gallagher’s parents, during one spring break weekend, “organized fund-raising events to help pay for his education and training as a priest,’’ Donnelly said.
They also remember his talent as a singer and keyboard player who performed in bands and orchestras.
Gallagher became friends with the Irish singer Dana Rosemary Scallon, who sang the hit “All Kinds of Everything,” which knocked Simon & Garfunkel’s “Bridge Over Troubled Water” off of Ireland’s No. 1 slot in 1970.
Scallon, who ran for president of Ireland in 1997 and later served as a member of European Parliament, worked with Gallagher on a musical album to raise money for low-income churches.
After Gallagher came to Florida in 2000, he persuaded her to perform concerts at Boca Raton’s St. Joan of Arc Church as recently as 2008.
Gallagher served as parochial vicar at St. Joan’s from July 2005 to October 2009. “It did not end well,’’ said Kevin Flinn, operations manager at Holy Name.
Flinn said Gallagher told him he had “put in for the pastoralship of St. Joan and they passed him over.’’
In all, Gallagher has had 11 assignments in the diocese, starting at St. Anastasia Church in Fort Pierce from September 2000 to August 2002 and ending with his transfer last spring to St. Joseph’s in Stuart.
He never reported to St. Joseph’s. He is on paid medical leave with benefits, even though he has not told the diocese where he is living.
“Despite the fact he had issues in every parish he’s been before, the bishop gave him the benefit of the doubt,’’ Rodriguez said. “When Father John was named administrator of Holy Name, trust me, there were priests on the board that said, ‘No, he’s going to mess it up again.’”
Parish piano bar
Not long after Gallagher’s arrival at Holy Name, he had workers install a piano and a bar in the rectory living room, where he would entertain friends, said Trinidad and Flinn.
“He called (his party friends) the high rollers,’’ Trinidad said.
Barrett said a priest having a piano in the rectory might not be surprising, “but certainly bringing in a bar would be unusual and not the norm.”
Flinn said many church employees resented “being invited to the party and being expected to tend bar and do dishes until the wee hours of the morning.’’
No one disputes Gallagher’s talents as a charismatic speaker who has offered inspiration and joy to congregants. Many parishioners called the diocese last week asking for Gallagher’s reinstatement, diocese spokeswoman Dianne Laubert said.
And many of his supporters say they have a hard time believing the diocese because of the Catholic Church’s history of covering up sex-abuse cases.
Gallagher has several friends who either work or used to work for PBSO, whose Gun Club Road headquarters is less than a half-mile from Holy Name.
Indications are Gauger, the PBSO’s second-in-command, decided on his own to write to Cardinal O’Malley, a former Palm Beach bishop, to praise Gallagher’s cooperation on the Palimattom case — and not at the request of Gallagher.
“I felt strongly about the cooperation we received and was compelled because of that to write the letter to the cardinal for accolades on (behalf of) Gallagher,’’ Gauger said in a voice message left for a reporter.
“Other than that I am not involved and I certainly don’t want to create an issue with the Catholic Church.’’
Some local Catholics fault the diocese for not fully commenting on Gallagher’s accusations as soon as the Irish newspaper broke the story.
“There’s a saying by Mark Twain: ‘A lie can travel around the world when the truth is still putting its boots on,’’’ Flinn said, “and that’s what this is.”
Staff researcher Melanie Mena contributed to this story.
Gallagher in Palm Beach Diocese
Parachial vicar at St. Anastasia Church, Fort Pierce — Sept. 1, 2000-Aug. 1, 2002
Parochial vicar at the Cathedral of St. Ignatious Loyola, Palm Beach Gardens — Aug. 1, 2002-June 30, 2005
Parochial vicar at St. Joan of Arc Church, Boca Raton — July 1, 2005-Sept. 30, 2009
Special leave to study evangelization — Oct. 1, 2009-Jan. 1, 2010
Special leave, Ave Maria University, Naples — Jan. 4, 2010-June 30, 2011
Special leave, spiritual director-arts with Soleil — July 1, 2011-July 1, 2012
Parochial vicar, Holy Name of Jesus Church, West Palm Beach — Dec. 1, 2013-June 30, 2014
Parochial administrator, Holy Name — July 1, 2014-June 30, 2015
Special leave since July 1, 2015.
Source: Diocese of Palm Beach