Right Rev Monsignor William J Lallou
William J Lallou was born in Philadelphia and graduated from Central High School. He attended St Charles Seminary (Overbrook PA). After ordination, he was a graduate student at the Catholic University of America, then appointed curate at a suburban parish, then ten years later he was appointed as curate of St John the Evangelist, a downtown parish in what was then the heart of the theater district. He was an Army chaplain in the First World War and upon the war's ending, he was appointed rector pro tem of St. Ann's in Pheonixville PA. A few years later he was appointed as the director of diocesan charities, later to be known as the Catholic Children's Bureau, then appointed permanent rector of St Philip Neri, the parish of his parents and grandparents in South Philadelphia, which proved not to be too permanent for he then spent twelve years as professor of liturgy and dogmatic Theology at St Charles Borromeo Seminary and another twelve years as professor of liturgy and master of ceremonies at the Catholic University of America, in Washington DC. It was during his tenure at CUA that he cultivated a growing renown throughout the diocese and beyond as a stirring orator.
He assumed his responsibilities with an astonishing vigor and youthfulness which belied his years. On Easter 1950, he introduced what became a familiar scene: two altar boys dressed as San Luigi pages who served at all solemn ceremonies. In 1952, the number of masses was increased to keep pace with the continuing growth of the parish. On May 28, 1954, Monsignor Lallou and the whole parish celebrated the Golden Jubilee of his ordination to the priesthood. In 1958, a new shrine of Our Lady of Lourdes was installed in the chapel and the centenary of Our Lady's apparition to Saint Bernadette was solemnly commemorated. On October 23, 1959, Pope John XXXIII honored Monsignor Lallou by naming him Domestic Prelate with the title of Right Reverend Monsignor. The Parish formally congratulated him at a reception in the school hall on November 29th of the same year. The triangular plot opposite the church was publicly identified as part of the parish plant with the erection of a contemporary Celtic cross on a granite base. The cross was blessed on October 2, 1960.
On May 28, 1964, Monsignor Lallou celebrated the sixtieth anniversary of his ordination to the priesthood at a solemn Mass with Archbishop John J Krol presiding and five members of the hierarchy attending: Bishops Hyland, McDevitt, Graham, Yuen and Espelage. A reception was tendered by the parish the evening before at which a resolution of the City Council of Philadelphia honoring the jubilarian was read. On June 7th of that year, he was elevated to the rank of Prothonotary Apostolic (a mitered Monsignor), and solemnly invested downtown at the Cathedral Church of Saints Peter and Paul by the Archbishop. Monsignor Lallou was one of only sixteen men in the history of the diocese to receive this honor. One of the final acts of Monsignor Lallou was the creation of Our lady of Lourdes Home and School Association. It held its first meeting at the Green Hill Theater on June 6, 1967, the day before he retired with the title of Pastor Emeritus.
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