New Bedford’s ‘Sister Rose’ dies

CUMBERLAND, R.I. — Sister Mary Rosellen Gallogly, R.S.M., a Sister of Mercy for almost 70 years, died on April 6, 2018 at Mount St. Rita Health Centre, Cumberland, R.I.

Better known as “Sister Rose,” she was the daughter of the late Lawrence and Rose (Mimnaugh) Gallogly, born and raised in Providence, R.I. 

In addition to her Sisters in Mercy, she is survived by her brother, Raymond Gallogly, and her nieces, nephews, and foster daughters. Her brothers, Edward, Lawrence, Thomas and Vincent; and her sisters Mary Hackman and Rosella McLaughlin predeceased her.

In 1951 Sister Rose began her teaching ministry at St. Michael School in Providence. She continued in Rhode Island diocesan elementary and secondary schools until 1968 when she was assigned to St. James School in New Bedford. In addition to classroom teaching, Sister Rose served as Assistant Director of several programs for non-English-speaking children. Sister Rose also worked in the New Bedford school system as attendance supervisor and social worker.

In 1982 in coordination with the New Bedford Council of Churches, Sister Rose assumed the directorship of Market Ministries Meals and Shelter, known today as Sister Rose’s House. She continued in this ministry until 2014, when declining health necessitated a move to Mount St. Rita Health Center.

Located for many years at 72 Eighth Street in New Bedford, the Sister Rose House was relocated to the former St. Hedwig’s Church at 75 Division Street in New Bedford, where it continues to operate today under the auspices of the diocesan Catholic Social Services. The 25-bed shelter for men provided much-needed housing and support for the homeless in the greater New Bedford area.


Sister Rose was proud to attend the opening of the new facility named in her honor in 2016 and was happy to know her charitable efforts would continue.

“I’m so happy for everyone, they’ve reached a level where they are able to do a lot of what I hoped would be done,” Sister Rose told The Anchor. “It’s a terrific facility and a lot of people have done a lot of good work on it.”

Former Catholic Social Services Executive Director Arlene McNamee, who collaborated with Sister Rose for more than 45 years, remembered when she first formed Market Ministries, Inc. and how it grew and was later merged with CSS.

“For 25 years she was its fearless leader, providing safe havens for people in this community who were homeless,” McNamee said. “We’ll always be grateful for her kindness and her justice and her awareness of this need that — all too often back in those days — many of us were blind to.”

Though Sister Rose impacted many persons and received numerous honors, her humble style was to educate others regarding the importance of showing a human response to human needs. She was happiest when she could enlist others to respond to those needs. In her words: “We can’t do it alone, but together we can make a difference.” She would often repeat these words in the hope that those whom she called “the young people” would be inspired to carry on acts of human kindness in order to alleviate suffering.

Sister Rose will forever be remembered as a gentle woman of mercy and hospitality to anyone in need!

A Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated on April 12, 2018 at St. John Vianney Church in Cumberland, R.I. Interment was at Resurrection Cemetery in Cumberland, R.I.

Donations in Sister Rose’s memory to the Sisters of Mercy, 15 Highland View Road, Cumberland, R.I. 02864 would be appreciated.

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