Nicholas Francis Halligan, O.P., S.T.M.
Birth: December 3, 1917
Profession: August 16, 1937
Ordination: June 10, 1943
Died: June 29, 1997
Francis Joseph Halligan was born in Fall River, MA, the eldest son of Frank and Anna (Connors) Halligan. He attended both grammar and high schools in that city before entering Providence College, Providence, RI. After two years of study he entered the novitiate of the Province of St. Joseph at St. Rose Priory, Springfield, KY (1936) receiving the religious name Nicholas. Here he made his simple vows a year later. He studied philosophy at the Dominican House of Studies in River Forest, IL (1937-1940) and theology at the Dominican House of Studies, Washington, DC (1940-1944) receiving the Lectorate and Licentiate degrees. He was ordained to the priesthood by Archbishop M. J. Lemieux, O.P., Bishop of
Fr. Nicholas’ first assignment was to teach at the Dominican House of Studies, Somerset (1944-1946). For the next two years he studied at the University of St. Thomas (Angelicum), Rome, Italy where he achieved the Doctorate in Sacred Theology (1946-1948). Returning to the States, he spent the next two decades teaching at the following institutions: Dominican House of Studies, Washington, DC (1948-1959); St. Stephen’s Priory, Dover, MA (1959-1965); Dominican House of Studies (Aquinas Institute) and St. Bernard’s Archdiocesan Seminary, both in Dubuque, IA (1965-1966); Dominican House of Studies, Oakland, CA (1966-1967); Dominican House of Studies, Washington, DC (1967-1970). During these years he was also Editor of the Thomist as well as the Assistant to the Dean of Theology at the Catholic University of America, Washington, DC. In 1963 he was awarded the S.T.M. by the Master of the Order. In 1971 he became the Secretary and Archivist at the Apostolic Delegation (later Nunciature), Washington, DC (1971-1984).
He joined the Archdiocese for the Military Services, USA in 1984 and remained there in various capacities, such as Judicial Vicar and Judge of the Tribunal, Vice Chancellor and Vicar General, until he retired on January 1, 1995. His book, The Sacraments and Their Celebration, is used in many seminaries. Pope John Paul II honored him with the Pro Pontifice et Ecclesia Medal. He was also a Knight Commander of the Equestrian Order of the Knights of the Holy Sepulchre.
His funeral Mass was celebrated by Cardinal John O’Connor, Archbishop of New York and concelebrated by numerous bishops and clergy (both diocesan and Dominican). The homily was preached by Fr. Norman A. Haddad, O.P., Prior Provincial.
Fr. Nicholas’ burial was in Pleasantville, NY.