The longtime pastor of St. Charles Borromeo parish in North Hollywood, Msgr. Robert Gallagher, died Thursday morning at the age of 71 following a long illness.

“It is with heavy hearts that we announce the passing of Monsignor Robert J. Gallagher,” read a statement from St. Charles Borromeo posted on the parish website hours after his death on July 26.

“At 11:22 a.m. Msgr. Gallagher was called home to God whom he served so faithfully. May he rest in the loving arms of Christ.”

Priests at St. Charles were able to celebrate Mass with Msgr. Gallagher in his residence at St. Charles Borromeo on Monday.

A native Angeleno, Msgr. Gallagher served as a priest for the Archdiocese of Los Angeles for 45 years. Before serving as pastor at St. Charles from 2000 until his retirement this June, Msgr. Gallagher had been principal of St. Paul High School in Santa Fe Springs for 14 years.

He also taught at Bishop Amat High School in La Puente from 1984 to 1986 and before then, served as associate pastor in the following parishes: St. Joseph, Hawthorne; St. Charles Borromeo, North Hollywood; and Our Lady of Peace, North Hills.

During his 18 years at St. Charles, Msgr. Gallagher oversaw the rebuilding of three parish buildings as well as the renovation of the parish church, which was completed in 2014.

“Msgr. Gallagher was a wise and compassionate shepherd. He served the family of God here in Los Angeles with great love and dedication and he brought many people to know the love of Jesus,” said Archbishop José H. Gomez on Thursday.

“We are going to miss him. He bore this long and painful illness with grace and dignity and he was a beautiful example for all of us. May he rest in peace.”