Augustinian Servant of God
Alphonse Gallegos (1931-1991) was an American auxiliary bishop for the Diocese of Sacramento, California. He is a member of the Order of Augustinian Recollects and remembered as having an enthusiastic and humble spirit for his ministry of serving the poor, especially among migrants and various minority groups.
Alphonse was born on February 20, 1931 in Albuquerque, New Mexico to Joseph and Caciana Gallegos. He was one of 11 children. He was born with a severe myopic condition that nearly blinded him as a child. Following surgeries, part of this condition was healed.
Alphonse first came to know the Augustinian Recollects by serving as an altar server at the parish of San Miguel. He later joined the Novitiate of Augustinian Recollects, located in Kansas City, Kansas, in 1950. During his formation years, Alphonse had further struggles with near-blindness. As he prepared for ordination to the priesthood, his superiors questioned whether his impairments could allow for his academic readiness toward priesthood. Thanks to Alphonse's continued persistence, humility, and community spirit, his superiors approved him to be ordained to the priesthood. He was ordained a priest on May 24, 1958.
Following his ordination, he served in formation and parish work before being appointed as the Director of the Division of Hispanic Affairs of the California Catholic Conference. Two years later on November 4, 1981, he was ordained a bishop to serve as an auxiliary bishop for the Diocese of Sacramento. As bishop, he was a strong voice in the pro-life movement; he was also a friend to various minority groups, the poor, and many migrant workers.
Alphonse passed away on October 6, 1991 following a car accident. As a sign of his legacy, a statue was erected in Bishop Gallegos Square. He also serves as a legacy to those fighting on behalf of the unborn, as well as a model for the Knights of Columbus, a group of which he was a member. Later in 2005, the cause for his sainthood was opened and moved forward and was later advanced in 2009.