Funeral mass took place July 25 at St. Aedan’s, the St. Peter’s University Church, Jersey City, for Fr. Charles A. (Chuck) Gallagher, SJ, the originator and driving force behind the Worldwide Marriage Encounter movement, and member of the St. Peter’s Jesuit Community in Jersey City. He died on July 21. In his earlier years as a Jesuit Fr. Gallagher taught at Canisius and Xavier high schools and led the spiritual exercises at two Jesuit retreat houses.
Since 1967 Fr. Gallagher was devoted to the work of Marriage Encounter, a force of renewal in the church which changed the lives of countless couples and priests throughout the 50 states and around the world in 56 countries. His vision and knowledge inspired couples to live the sacrament of marriage to its fullest potential.
Fr. Gallagher was also the originator and author of Engaged Encounter, the Parish Renewal Experience (PREX), and the Parishioner Empowerment weekend. He personally trained over 6,000 priests and 45 bishops in the United States and more than 1,000 priests in other countries to give the parish renewal weekend in their parishes. In addition, Fr. Gallagher was the founder and executive director of the Pastoral and Matrimonial Renewal Center, a global network of specially trained couples and priests who helped Fr. Chuck to produce dozens of parish based programs and retreat workshops.
He authored 10 major books and over 50 booklets to help couples experience the presence of God in their conjugal love. As early as 1975 he began to explore with couples the concept of the language of the body that was later so clearly articulated by Pope John Paul II in what is now known as the Theology of the Body. Fr. Gallagher is survived by his sister, Therese Sweeney, and his niece, Meghan Sweeney. Services arranged by the McLaughlin Funeral Home, Jersey City.

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