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Souvenir of Loretto Centenary

 LORETTO CENTENARY.67

not wishing to be separated from his congregation at Bedford to which he was much attached, he declined the appointment. He afterwards regretted this step, for by that means Father Gallitzin's letters and papers, which were of the greatest literary and historical, as well as personal, value, were suffered to become scattered and lost. Father Peter Henry Lemke was then appointed, and he continued as pastor until September, 1841, residing principally at Carrolltown, and giving the pastoral residence at Loretto over to the assistants for the time being. His assistants were Rev. Matthew William Gibson, Andrew P. Gibbs and Thomas B. O'Flaherty.
    Rev. Hugh Patrick Gallagher became pastor September 27, 1844, and remained until 1852. During his pastorate the first foundation of the Franciscan Brothers in the United States was established at Loretto; a branch House of the Sisters of Mercy, whose first foundation in the United States was established a few years previously in Pittsburg, was started here with very humble beginnings; the monument of Father Gallitzin was erected; the pew-rent system of supporting the church and pastor introduced; and the new brick church commenced and carried nearly to completion. The corner stone was laid in 1854, in which year also the great Mission was held.
    In the congregation at this time, according to Bishop O'Connor's note, there were 2,500 souls. Although three prosperous congregations have since been organized from the territory then included in the Loretto parish, the population of the latter on August 15th, this year, was 1234. Father Hugh Gallaghers assistants were his brother, familiarly known as “Father Joe” and Rev. N. Haeres.
    Rev. Joseph A. Gallagher succeeded to the pastorate in 1852. He completed the new church the following year, and had it dedicated on January 6, 1854. Owing to its hasty construction, and to the further fact that the soft brick were placed in the brick wall, the tower, soon after it was completed, fell in on the roof of the church and caused considerable damage. It was rebuilt, but only to within about twenty feet of its original height. It was topped with a spire, which in after years on


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