Death of Father J. Hector Rangel Galván, C.P., of St. Ann Church in Clayton

En Español

A Life of Vocation and Service

Dozens of parishioners and close friends of Father J. Hector Rangel Galván, C.P., of St. Ann Church in Clayton and a Passionist priest of the Mexican province, gathered in the midst of prayers and songs as they paid tribute to his life, vocation and service.

Father Hector who was born in Mexico on May 2, 1964, made North Carolina his home in 2019.  He passed away on Saturday from complications due to the coronavirus after several weeks at Johnston County Hospital in Smithfield.

"Father Héctor 'Tetus' gave his whole being in the last two years to our Santa Ana parish. Not only to us, but also to people from all over the world," said Father Peter Grace, pastor at St. Ann’s.

“We first met Father Hector when he came to visit us during the feast of Santa Ana, and years later, he came back when Father Peter invited him to stay in our church," said Darce Miguel, member of the Hispanic community in the parish.

Miguel says that his daughter, who was one of Father Hector's altar helpers, as well as the rest of his family and other members of the community are greatly affected by the departure of Father Hector. 

She remembers that Father Hector’s last Mass was on Sunday, December 20. “My daughter was one of the altar servers that Sunday Mass at 9:30 a.m., and because the same day was my son’s birthday, Father Hector gave to him a blessing,” said Miguel. 

“We were happy because we had someone who spoke our language and with whom we could understand. In fact Father was from the community of the Apaseo el Grande in the state of Guanajuato, Mexico, the same town where we are from, so he was like a family to us,” said Ana Maria Cruz, a parishioner and mother of one of the altar boys who served with Father Hector.

The pain of those who were at the funeral ceremony was comforted by the words of Bishop Luis Rafael Zarama, who reminded those present that, “Since the priesthood is eternal, Father Hector's work will continue in heaven, but with another function … to continue interceding for us so that we can be reunited in heaven.”

“Let us give thanks for the life of Father Hector, for what he was and what he shared with us. Let us ask God to have compassion for Father Hector in heaven and to reward him for his work on earth,” said Bishop Zarama.

Father Hector’s remains will be sent to Mexico for burial to be buried with his family. The St Ann’s community that Fr. Hector influenced so greatly also offered prayers that he be reunited in Heaven with his mother and two brothers from Mexico, who also died during the pandemic.

St. Ann's will continue a virtual vigil for Galvan this afternoon, and his funeral is Tuesday, Feb. 23, at 7:00 p.m. and will be streamed online.

Video Slideshow

Funeral Arrangements

Please note that the faithful who attend the funeral liturgies in person are respectfully requested to observe and maintain the proper social distancing protocols, namely to maintain 6 feet of distance between you and others outside of your immediate family/members with whom you cohabitate, wear a face-covering or mask and only lower your face-covering at Mass to consume the Eucharist, repositioning it immediately thereafter.

Also, note that during these precautionary days, the parish church has a very limited capacity for the faithful to attend the funeral liturgies in person. Once capacity has been reached, the faithful will be invited to access the live broadcast of the Mass, available via the parish website at and on the parish YouTube channel.

Reception of the Body, Vigil Liturgies for the Deceased, Visitation  

Monday, February 22, 2021
Saint Ann Catholic Church
4057 US Highway 70 Business West
Clayton, NC  27520 

Vigil for the Deceased at 3:00 pm in English, with Rev. Tom Duggan, Presiding

Vigil for the Deceased at 4:00 pm in Spanish, with Most Rev. Luis Rafael Zarama, Presiding

Visitation continues through the evening and night into the next day, Tuesday, February 23, 2021, concluding at 5:00 pm (see parish website for sign-up)      

Funeral Mass

Tuesday, February 23, 2021 at 7:00 pm
Rev. Peter Grace, C.P., Principal Celebrant
Saint Ann Catholic Church
4057 US Highway 70 Business West
Clayton, NC  27520 


In Mexico at a later date.

Mass Cards and Condolences

Family of Reverend J. Hector Rangel Galván, C. P. 
Saint Ann Catholic Church
4057 US Highway 70 Business West
Clayton, NC  27520 

Kindly continue to remember Father Galván among your intentions, especially at Mass, as well as his family, his Passionist confreres, the Saint Ann Parish community and all those in mourning at this time.  Through the intercession of Mary, Mother of Priests and Saint Paul of the Cross, may Our Lord grant Father Hector eternal peace this day and comfort and hope to all those who are in mourning during these difficult days.