CAMDEN, N.J. — Bishop Joseph A. Galante, who headed the Diocese of Camden from 2004 until his retirement in 2013, died May 25 at Shore Medical Center in Somers Point. He was 80.
His death followed a long illness that had led to his retirement at age 74. Canon law requires bishops to turn in their resignation to the pope when they turn 75.
On behalf of the family of the late bishop, Camden Bishop Dennis J. Sullivan announced that the funeral Mass will be celebrated the morning of June 1 at St. Agnes Church of Our Lady of Hope Parish in Blackwood. He will be buried at St. Dominic Church Cemetery in Philadelphia’s Torresdale neighborhood.
Bishop Galante’s body will be received at St. Agnes May 31, with three periods for viewing scheduled. Viewing will be in the afternoon and the evening of May 31 and the morning of June 1 before his funeral Mass.
“I ask that you pray for his eternal rest in peace,” Bishop Sullivan said.
Joseph Anthony Galante was born in Philadelphia July 2, 1938. He went to St. Charles Borromeo Seminary in Wynnewood in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia and was ordained a priest for Philadelphia May 16, 1964.
He attended Pontifical Lateran University in Rome, where he received his doctorate in canon law in 1968, and the University of St. Thomas (Angelicum) in Rome, where he earned a master’s degree in spiritual theology in 1991.
He served in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia until he was named by St. John Paul II in December 1986 to be undersecretary of the Vatican Congregation for Religious. He was a member of what was then the Pontifical Council for Social Communications and chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on Communications.
In October 1992, he was named an auxiliary bishop for the Archdiocese of San Antonio. Eighteen months later, he was installed as bishop of Beaumont, Texas. He became coadjutor bishop of Dallas in January 2000.
On April 30, 2004, Bishop Galante was installed as the seventh bishop of the Diocese of Camden. He retired for health reasons Jan. 8, 2013.
In the neighboring Diocese of Trenton, Bishop David M. O’Connell said: “On behalf of the clergy, religious and faithful of the Diocese of Trenton, I extend to Bishop Dennis Sullivan and to all the Catholics of the Diocese of Camden, our prayerful sympathies. In all his assignments, Bishop Emeritus Galante served the church with dignity and grace. Our prayers go out for him and his loved ones.”