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Drew University Mourns the Loss of Father Gabriel Coless

Beloved adjunct professor for 47 years

February 2024  – Drew University is mourning the loss of beloved adjunct professor Fr. Gabriel Coless, who passed away on February 12, 2024. He was 93 years old.

Fr. Gabriel, as he was affectionately called, began a long and distinguished career at Drew in 1968. He taught a variety of graduate and doctoral courses in the Religious Studies program at Drew’s Caspersen School of Graduate Studies

He retired from Drew in 2015.

Known as a great educator, Fr. Gabriel taught at several other institutions, including the Delbarton School and St. Mary’s Abbey School of Theology in Morristown, New Jersey. He also led courses at Caldwell University in Caldwell, New Jersey.

“Father Gabriel’s life was marked by a passion for learning and a love of language,” said Fr. Michael Tidd at the funeral mass. “Students who were with him in his graduate seminars relate that renowned for their depth and intimacy. Fr. Gabriel’s love of words and the word was readily evident throughout his life.”

The author of many published articles, Fr. Gabriel was a herbalist, medievalist, and a member of many organizations, including the American Academy of Religion, the North American Academy of Liturgy, and the New Jersey Herb Society of America.

Fr.Gabriel studied Latin at the University of Notre Dame, completed his theological studies at St. Mary’s Abbey School of Theology, and studied Romance Philology at Columbia University. He was awarded a licentiate degree and a doctorate in liturgy from Pontificio Ateneo Sant’Anselmo in Rome. 

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