Seminary to offer Online Course in Patristic Reading

advisory council

The Byzantine Catholic Seminary of Saints Cyril and Methodius in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania announces the launch of a new course in the Certificate in Eastern Christian Studies online program. The next online course, Introduction to Patristic Reading, will start on Monday, May 16, 2011 and will serve both as an introduction to the writers of the ancient Church and as a stimulus for students to become more familiar with their writings.

Fr. George Gallaro, professor of Canon Law and Ecumenical Theology at the Seminary will be teaching the Patristic Reading online course and will aim to take students through directed readings of various early Church Fathers including Ignatius of Antioch, Ambrose of Milan, John Chrysostom and Isidore of Seville, among others.

Says Fr. Gallaro: “The Fathers have always been prominent in the life of the Church. They are famous but not well known. Like so many famous people, they are cited and alluded to, but few go to the effort of exploring their thought.”

The Church Fathers provide invaluable insight into the historic, orthodox Christianity. Their understanding of the overall message of Scripture provides exegetical guideposts outside of which believers dare not venture. They also supply some of the essential terminology for theological thought and reflection.

“Our study of the Christian past should therefore energize us to ministry and exhort us to faithfulness,” says Fr. Gallaro. “It should give us a sense that we are part of something grand and magnificent, that we must fight the good fight in our own generation like those who went before us.”

Father George D. Gallaro has been a faculty member at Byzantine Catholic Seminary since 1997 and has previously served as Instructor of Catechetics for the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, Lecturer of Canon Law at Boston Theological Institute and Director of the Diaconate Formation Program and Coordinator of Continuing Formation of Clergy for the (Melkite) Eparchy of Newton and Rector of St. Gregory the Theologian Seminary in Newton, MA.

Ordained to the Presbyterate in 1972, Fr. George earned his doctorate from the Pontifical Oriental Institute in Rome as well as degrees in Ecumenical Theology from the Pontifical University of St. Thomas (Angelicum) and in Liturgy from the Pontifical Liturgical Institute of St. Anselm, all in Rome. Additionally, Fr. George is a member of the Canon Law Society of America and the Society for the Law of the Eastern Churches in Vienna, Austria.

For information on registering for Byzantine Online’s Introduction to Patristic Reading course - or for more information on any of our course offerings including group registration and future courses - visit

Questions may also be directed to Dr. Sandra Collins, Director of Online Learning, at