Father Albert Gaelens, CSB died on the evening of December 23, 2021 at Houston Hospice. He was 89 years old and had been a member of the Congregation of Priests of St. Basil (Basilian Fathers) for 70 years and a priest for 61 years.
Father Gaelens was born in Rochester, New York, the son of Gaston Gaelens and Adrienne Dhont. After graduating from Aquinas Institute in Rochester, he entered the Basilian Novitiate and took his first vows in 1951. He earned his undergraduate degree from the University of Toronto and taught for two years at Aquinas before beginning his theological studies at St. Basil’s Seminary in Toronto. He was ordained a priest in 1960.
Father Gaelens taught for several years before becoming Assistant Principal and then Principal of Aquinas. He was also Principal of St. Thomas High School in Houston in the late 80s and early 90s and of St. Pius X High School in Albuquerque, NM in the late 90s. In 2000 he returned to St. Thomas High School as the Alumni Director before he retired. He spent his last years with his Basilian brothers at Dillon House in Houston, even after he developed dementia.
Father Gaelens was preceded in death by his parents and his brother, Hilaire, and his sister, Lucille (Sr. Mary Hilaire, RSM). He is survived by a niece, Lori Gaelens and nephew, Roger Gaelens and his wife Carol. He is mourned by his Basilian brothers and the many people whom he served.
A concelebrated funeral Mass will be at St. Anne Catholic Church, 2140 Westheimer Road on Thursday, Dec. 30, 2021 at 10:00 a.m. Visitation will take place at the church beginning at 9:00 a.m. The burial will follow on Friday, December 31, 2021 at 10:00 a.m. at Forest Park Lawndale Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be directed to St Thomas High School or the Basilian Fathers at Dillon House.