New England
Fr. Gurtler


This past weekend, Thomas Aquinas College, New England, said farewell to a new but dear friend, Rev. Gary M. Gurtler, S.J. A visiting priest and professor from Boston College, Fr. Gurtler spent the last six months on sabbatical at TAC’s Northfield, Massachusetts, campus, offering Masses and aiding students in their spiritual and intellectual lives.

Growing up in Rochester, New York, Fr. Gurtler felt a strong draw to the priesthood. He began journeying toward religious life when he attended St. Andrew’s Seminary in Rochester for high school. Even as a seminarian, he was bound for teaching and scholarship. His first assignment as a Jesuit scholastic was at a high school in Buffalo. He then taught at Loyola University for 12 years before moving to Boston College, where he has remained for the last 30 years — and where he sat on the dissertation panels for two TAC-New England tutors, Dr. Steven Cain and Dr. John McCarthy.

When Fr. Gurtler was considering how to spend his upcoming sabbatical year, Dr. McCarthy suggested he come to the College. The priest is glad to have heeded the suggestion. “It’s been ideal,” said Fr. Gurtler. “TAC isn’t too far away from Boston, but it’s far enough that I get a change of environment, a change of scenery. I think it’s very impressive that the students read the original Great Books here — and the method seems to be very effective, since the students are all very intelligent and well-spoken.”

At the annual St. Patrick’s Day party, Dr. Cain presented Fr. Gurtler with three parting gifts: a TAC hoodie, wine made by an alumnus, and St. Thomas Aquinas’s Exposition on the Divine Names, recently translated by tutor Dr. Michael Augros. “This is the most scholarly sabbatical I have ever had,” Fr. Gurtler warmly responded. “You have all been quite helpful for me, and I hope I’ve been helpful to all of you.”

After leaving the College, Fr. Gurtler will spend the final three months of his sabbatical in Spain before returning to Boston College in the fall.