Gerry Turcotte

Gerry Turcotte

Gerry Turcotte is president of Corpus Christi and St. Mark’s Colleges in Vancouver.

On a recent visit to Rome as a member of the Canadian Chapter of the Patrons of the Arts of the Vatican Museums, I had the opportunity to visit a number of galleries and historic art projects, many of which were completed through the generosity and the work of the patrons and their supporters. This included the Hall of the Liberal Arts, the Scala Sancta or Holy Stairs and the Bramante Courtyard. The artistic and cultural artefacts owned by the Vatican are so numerous that they can only be accommodated in 54 museums, ranging from the Gallery of Maps to the Gregorian Egyptian Museum and the Gallery of Statues.

As a bilingual kid with a father who couldn’t speak English and a mother who couldn’t speak French, language always seemed to be a battleground. With parents always comically mangling each other’s language I often struggled in school to remember what was grammatically accurate versus what was commonly used at home. Franglais wasn’t in any dictionary I knew of.

As a member of the Canadian Chapter of the Patrons of the Arts of the Vatican Museums, I have had the opportunity to visit the Vatican Galleries many times over, including the famed Sistine Chapel, usually after hours once the tourists have left.

For now we see only a reflection, as in a mirror.

1 Corinthians 13: 12

I had the pleasure recently of attending an international conference for Catholic post-secondary presidents, and I was inspired by the range and reach of the work we do to bring the joy of faith to the community through the critical lens of education. 

Recently, I noticed a height chart next to the exit door of my local wine shop. This isn’t the first time I’ve shopped there, but it’s the first time I’ve notice the 7-foot ruler, conspicuously glued to the door frame. 

The passing of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI on Dec. 31, 2022 marks a sad close to a tumultuous year, and the end to his life-long commitment to the Catholic Church.

Advent has always had a special importance to me, a type of monumental weight signalling what is unquestionably the most consequential moment for humanity: the arrival of Jesus. It is a time of waiting and preparation, marked by the gradual lighting of the candles on the Advent wreath.

Remembrance Day is a powerful time for many, one where we are called on to honour those who made the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom. As a long-time volunteer at Remembrance events, one of the minor, and comical, issues I have dealt with is the disappearing poppy.

If a change is as good as a holiday, then I have been on vacation lately, big time. After deciding to retire as president of a university, I found myself called back to the role in a different city and context. Not as big a change as when I left Australia to return to Canada, but still different.

I have indulged in a passion for puns throughout my career. Despite feeling gleeful about this on one level, I also remember an army of English literature professors intoning that puns were the lowest form of wit. While there are legions of people who deeply oppose puns on principle, there is an equally vast array of fans that believe in them at all costs.

Page 1 of 7