Gatterer, Michael

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Jesuit pastoral theologian; b. Oberrasen (south Tirol), Sept. 21, 1862; d. Innsbruck, June 6, 1944. He studied theology at Innsbruck as a disciple of Josef Jungmann and was ordained in 1885. After three years of experience in pastoral work, he entered the Society of Jesus in 1888 and began his teaching career at Innsbruck in 1892, where he became professor of moral theology, homiletics, and catechetics. His writings include: Katechetik (Innsbruck 1909); Die Erstkommunion der Kinder (Innsbruck 1911); Elementarkatechesen (Innsbruck 1923), a work in collaboration with A. Gruber; and Das Religionsbuch der Kirche (4 v. Innsbruck 192830). Establishing this Augustinian goal for himself, Gatterer held that love of God is the beginning, middle, and end of every religious inquiry. In keeping, however, with the declaration on faith of Vatican Council I, he maintained that the authority of the Church is the point of departure for every investigation. During the famous dispute about catechetical methods that arose about 1900, Gatterer insisted that catechesis should begin with the actual concerns of the child about his soul and should teach him to live devoutly.

Bibliography: Bibliotèque de la Compagnie de Jésus 3:126568. j. a. jungmann, Lexicon der Pädagogik 2:214215. w. croce, Lexicon für Theologie und Kirche 4:529530.

[f. c. lehner]