Meet the Chaplain: Father Stanley Galvon – 2018 Chaplain Of The Year (West Region)
Former engineer, church volunteer had game-changing chat with his archbishop
Father Stanley Galvon, the Rector of Holy Rosary Cathedral in Vancouver, is a self-described “business junkie.” He is an avid reader of business authors Peter Drucker, whose writings have helped form the modern foundations of business corporations, and Stephen Covey, who wrote The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.
Noting that Covey, a Mormon, introduced his coreligionists’ support for one another in business to a wider audience, Father Galvon wondered a year ago why Catholics had not done the same. When the Legatus chapter in Vancouver began, he jumped at the opportunity to serve as the chaplain.
Father Galvon, 67, who has been ordained for 33 years, has been a vocations director and a parish priest. He was named the 2018 Legatus Chaplain of the Year for the West Region and recently spoke with Legatus magazine.
When did you discern your priestly vocation?
I was 29. I was volunteering at the cathedral as a young adult. Sometimes I drove the archbishop around to confirmations. One day, he looked at my hand, didn’t see a wedding ring, and asked if I had ever thought of becoming a priest. When I said no, he said, “Why not?” I said, “Well, I’m an engineer.” He said, “So what?” I told him that priests were skilled with psychology and sociology, and I was just an engineer. He said, “No. All priests have to do is pray and love God’s people.” So he told me to go see the vocations director.
And being a dutiful Catholic, I obeyed the archbishop. The vocations director suggested the seminary would be a good place to discern one’s vocation, and if I was happy there, that would be a good sign. Well, I was happy in the seminary, and I was ordained.
What did you do before entering the seminary?
I trained as an electrical engineer. I was an officer in the Canadian navy as a combat systems engineer on destroyers. I worked another three years with commercial petroleum companies.
How did you become acquainted with Legatus?
I was reading Stephen Covey’s book, and noticed how he was very eager to bring the ways of the Mormons in how they network with each other and support each other in business to a larger audience through his books. I thought to myself, “Why can’t Catholics do that kind of thing also, and network with each other and support each other, because we’ve been around a long time.”
So when Legatus surfaced in Vancouver, I was very pleased. The archbishop said he would need some help with the chaplaincy, and I was eager to say that I would love to assist with that.
Does your background in business help you as a Legatus chaplain?
Well, it certainly is a lived experience. I’ve seen there is a need to have clarity, a need to have vision and humility to work with each other. It’s good to talk about things such as best practices and to pray together about such things. Legatus is a wonderful vehicle for that.
Does your business background help you as a cathedral rector?
That’s where stewardship certainly is important, to know that it’s public money I’m responsible for. It’s not my money; it belongs to widows and orphans. So we have to be very prudent and effective in using it, saving it, and communicating about it.
Who are your spiritual heroes?
St. Catherine of Siena. She’s wonderful. There was a controversy of who was the legitimate pope, but she managed to sort things out with truth and kindness. That is a wonderful set of characteristics to have in facing difficulties. Also, Blessed Cardinal John Henry Newman, with his ways of persevering in his transition from Anglicanism to Catholicism, his being misunderstood but also being very prayerful and following his vision.
What are your hobbies and interests?
I like bicycling and cross-country skiing. My interests are more in serving the Lord with a business background rather than being a high-profile presenter in Church circles.