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LA CROSSE, Wis.—Fr. Bernard McGarty, a recently retired Catholic priest from the Diocese of La Crosse, has joined the Viterbo College Department of Religious Studies as a Visiting Scholar in Ecumenical Studies.

In this position, appointed by Viterbo College President William J. Medland, Ph.D., Fr. McGarty will present a public lecture on ecumenism each semester. He will also serve as guest lecturer in theology courses and perform research and writing in various aspects of religious studies.

"We are very pleased to have Fr. McGarty join the Viterbo community. He is well-known for his scholarship and ability to bring clarity to a wide variety of issues," says Medland.

Fr. McGarty received a bachelor’s degree in philosophy from Loras College in Dubuque, Iowa in 1945 and a bachelor’s degree in theology from Kenrick Seminary, St. Louis, Mo. in 1949. In 1979, he received a licentiate in theology and, in 1989, a doctorate in sacred theology from Angelicum University in Rome, Italy.  He has additional graduate credits in education from Marquette University in Milwaukee and in English from the University of Wisconsin—Eau Claire.

Within the Diocese of La Crosse, Fr. McGarty has served as Vocation Director, Director of Communications, Times Review Editor, Director of Ecumenism and co-founder of LARC (Lutherans, Anglicans and Roman Catholics) in Wisconsin and Upper Michigan. He has been pastor of several parishes within the Diocese including: St. Patrick’s Parish in Onalaska, St. Patrick’s Parish in Eau Claire, St. Matthew’s Parish in Wausau, and most recently, Blessed Sacrament in La Crosse. He has also served as chaplain for St. Rose Convent in La Crosse.

Fr. McGarty is the author of "Meditations for Weekdays in Lent" (1985), "Biking and Canoeing in Western Wisconsin" (1988), "John Donne as a Persuasive Preacher" (1989), and is co-author of "The Encyclopedia of American Catholicism" (1997).  His essay, "The Influence of Nature on the Writings of St. John of the Cross," was published in Spiritual Life magazine in 1980. He has also written numerous articles for the Times Review.

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