Born Henry McGurgan on June 15, 1834 in County Tyrone, Cappagh, Ireland he arrived as an immigrant to the United States on December 31, 1851. On March 15, 1853 he was formally admitted into the Sodality of the Children of Mary and dedicated himself to Mary on August 15, 1856 in his own blood!
Father McGurgan originally studied at St. Vincent’s Benedictine Abbey in Latrobe, Pennsylvania and with the approval of the Abbot and his pastor Father Mullen, who became Bishop of Erie, Pennsylvania, McGurgan entered the Passionist novitiate at Pittsburgh. He professed his vows on January 22, 1857. Due to the need for priests at that time, his study time for theology was shortened. On May 1, 1860 he was ordained to the priesthood by Bishop Michael O’Connor at St. Paul of the Cross Monastery Chapel in Pittsburgh. He was the first Passionist priest to be ordained in the United States.
Over the years he was Vice-Master, Director of Students, parish priest, Vicar at the Passionist monasteries, and sometimes gave parish missions. While in Cincinnati, Ohio he began to lose his memory. When he was transferred to Louisville, Kentucky his health improved. He died on October 15, 1899.