Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish
Peralta, New Mexico, USA

Rev. Albert M. Gallegos, O.S.M.
July 11, 1936 - March 15, 2007

Fr. Albert Gallegos, (or as all of his nieces and nephews know him, "Uncle Robert") is an uncle that always made us feel special. I have many fond memories of Uncle Robert. Most of these memories take place in Jarales, or "Jar-bles" as we all called it. Jar-bles was where the Gallegos family grew up and where the grandchildren spent much of our childhood. We felt special because we had three uncles that were priests…weren't we fortunate? The anticipation of one of the priests coming home for a visit…oh my grandparents were so excited and that excitement rubbed off on all of us. There was work to do….cleaning, food preparation, yard work all to get ready for the visit from the priest(s). We didn't mind, we were excited to be a part of it.

In Jar-bles, there was a magic tree. It seemed to blossom every time my Uncle Robert came home. All the nieces and nephews got together and said the magic words and off we ran to the magic tree. We found all kinds of goodies…more than enough for all of us. Oh what fun it was! Then, even more special moments….the Mass. The Mass that would take place in my grandparent's living room. The Mass came alive to all of us present….imagine, the changing of the bread and wine to the body and blood of Christ…right in my grandparent's living room. I remember the prayers that were said for relatives' names that I heard of but never knew….

We were so lucky to have Uncle Robert home for a visit…to share his stories with us. There were times when it was dark and we would go for a walk…Uncle Robert telling us stories….the La Llorana, La Chalupa, sometimes we were so scared…but we knew we were safe, we were with Uncle Robert. Then, after the stories, the frozen chocolate covered bananas that were ready for us to enjoy. We felt so special and so lucky to be a part of the magic.

As we grew older and got busy with our own lives, the magic never left. We all knew that we had been blessed to belong to such a special family. Although we may not have seen Uncle Robert as much as we would have liked, the feeling, the excitement was always there when we did have a chance to see him. We knew he was special and we knew that we were fortunate to call him Uncle. Uncle DD and Uncle Robert were both close and made such an impact on making Jar-bles so special for all of us.

Thank you Uncle Robert for sharing your life with us and making all of us feel special. Thank you for all that you gave to be the priest that grandma and grandpa were proud to call "son".

I love you Uncle Robert.
Heaven shines brighter.

Your niece,
Mary (Louise) Sanchez

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Last updated April 1, 2007