The death of Camden’s seventh bishop

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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.

“I ask that you pray for his eternal rest in peace,” Bishop Dennis Sullivan said in announcing the death of Bishop Galante, Bishop Emeritus of Camden.

Bishop Sullivan celebrated the funeral Mass June 1 at Saint Agnes Church of Our Lady of Hope Parish in Blackwood.

Bishop Galante was buried at Saint Dominic Church Cemetery in Philadelphia’s Torresdale neighborhood.

Joseph Anthony Galante was born in Philadelphia July 2, 1938. He went to Saint 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 Saint 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 Saint 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.