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Fr. Gerald S. Sloyan's 100th Birthday is today, December 13, 2019!

12/13/2019 12:23 PM | Anonymous

Fr. Gerard S. Sloyan, distinguished Biblical scholar, teacher, author, and activist in liturgical reform turns 100 years old Dec. 13, 2019! Gerard S. Sloyan, Professor Emeritus of Temple University, was President of the Catholic Theological Society of America (CTSA), from 1993-94. His presidential address to the CTSA was entitled “The Jesus in Whom the Churches of the Apostolic Age Believed.” CTSA Proceedings,49(1994) 65-70.   Fr. Sloyan celebrated the 75th anniversary of his priesthood June 5, 2019.

We invite you to help post memories, congratulatory comments, and meditations on how Fr. Sloyan’s work and person has influenced you.  

Here is a brief account my relationship Fr. Sloyan:

My name is Elizabeth Adams-Eilers. When I moved to Philadelphia to pursue a Ph.D. in Religious Studies at Temple University, I sought a place to live.  As it so happens, Fr. Gerard Sloyan had to leave Temple that year because he had reached Temple’s mandatory retirement age.  As he prepared to leave Temple to move to the Washington, DC area, Fr. Sloyan looked for someone to rent his house. For two years, I was delighted to lease Fr Sloyan’s house on Sansom Street in Center City, Philadelphia.   In 1991 “snail mail” was a preferred method of communication, and we wrote quite often to one another.   While employed as an adjunct by Holy Family University in Philadelphia, I used two of his books as textbooks for a course on Catholic doctrine: Catholic Morality Revisited and Why Jesus Died.

Ten years later, the University of Notre Dame Press published a chapter from my dissertation, and Fr. Sloyan was a peer reviewer for this essay.   He sent me scores of notes and notecards in his meticulous handwriting, his wisdom transmitted to this reader through perfectly-formed tiny script.  I have kept some of these notecards as a fond remembrance of our work together.

When my husband, Bob, and I married in 2004, Fr. Sloyan officiated at our wedding, which was held at St. Matthew’s Cathedral, St. Anthony’s Chapel.   Fr. Sloyan generously invited us to marry there where he had served the parish for many years. 

I am so grateful for Fr. Sloyan’s generosity, guidance, and love extended to me and to my family in the 29 years we have known him!  Blessings to him on his 100th!!!

Please respond with your own stories!

Peace and every good,

Elizabeth Adams-Eilers, ofs, Ph.D.

P.S. For an approved version of his life story see


CTSA Proceedings' links to Fr. Sloyan's work:

Presidential Address: The Jesus in Whom the Churches of the Apostolic Age Believed

Gerard S. Sloyan


Orthodoxy and heterodoxy: the situation in the Church today

Gerard S. Sloyan


The Age of First Confession

Gerard S. Sloyan


Faith and modern subjective thought

Gerard S. Sloyan




  • 12/13/2019 1:30 PM | Dr Francis P Fiorenza
    I have always been extremely grateful to Gerald Sloyan for his influence on me. Decades ago, I went to him for advice whether it was possible to become a theologian without become a priest because I was much more interested in the former rather than the latter. We spoke at length and he advised me to follow my interests and go to Germany where I wanted to study with Karl Rahner and Metz. That I went to Germany and there met Elisabeth Schüssler (in addition to Rahner and Metz) is to no small degree influenced by his advice. We always think of him with extreme gratitude. Francis Schüssler Fiorenza
    Link  •  Reply
  • 12/13/2019 1:47 PM | Dr Robert M Friday
    Happy Birthday, Gerry! We were so happy to have you at Catholic U., especially for Masses in Caldwell Hall. More importantly, throughout your years you moved your students and the Church toward a fuller, more hopeful realization of the Gospel. I’m sure God blesses you for that. Celebrate your new year of life!
    Link  •  Reply
  • 12/13/2019 2:31 PM | John F Haught
    Happy Birthday, Gerry. I first met you in the Fall of 1966 when I enrolled in the doctoral program, then called Religious Education, that you had wisely established in the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences at Catholic University. Things at CU have changed a lot since then, but I will always remember the breath of fresh air our department was immediately after Vatican II. Thank you for your kind encouragement both then and ever since. I was delighted to have you teaching at Georgetown after many years had passed. Evelyn and I are most grateful for your abiding service and friendship. John F. Haught
    Link  •  Reply
  • 12/13/2019 9:15 PM | Judith M Kubicki CSSF
    A very happy birthday and celebration of the gift of life. You have been a gift to all who know you!
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  • 12/16/2019 8:47 AM | Mary E Hines
    A very happy birthday, Gerry! You have made such significant contributions to theology in so many areas, as well as being personally unfailingly congenial and generous.
    Link  •  Reply
  • 01/16/2020 11:04 AM | Anonymous member
    On March 4, 2020 the Catholic University Department of Theology and Religious Studies holds a symposium honoring Fr. Sloyan's 100th year. He will most likely attend briefly to greet participants. After the symposium, interested parties meet to discuss a Festschrift for publication this year. Anyone reading this blog is welcome to participate in the symposium, meeting, and Festschrift publication.

    "Scripture, Catechesis, Dialogue: The Legacy of Fr. Gerard Sloyan at 100"

    The date of the symposium is Wednesday, March 4th, 2020.

    Elizabeth Adams-Eilers, Ph.D.
    Link  •  Reply

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