Vann, Gerald

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Dominican moralist and spiritual writer; b. St. Mary Cray (Kent), England, Aug. 24, 1906; d. Newcastle-upon-Tyne, July 14, 1963. He entered the Order of Preachers in 1923 and was ordained in 1929, and completed his theological studies at the Collegio Angelico (as it was then called) in Rome. After returning to England in 1931 he studied modern philosophy at Oxford for three years. In 1934 he was sent to Blackfriars School at Laxton (Northhamptonshire), where he taught until 1952, and during his last years of residence there was superior of the community and headmaster of the school. In 1938 he organized the Union of Prayer for Peace. From 1952 until his death he was occupied with writing, lecturing, and giving retreats, and was stationed successively at the Cambridge, Edinburgh, and Newcastle houses of his order. After World War II he made several visits to the U.S. to give lectures, and from 1959 to 1962 he lectured each second semester at The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C.

Among his publications are On Being Human (1933), Morals Makyth Man (1937), Morality and War (1939), Of His Fullness (1939), St. Thomas Aquinas (1940), The Heart of Man (1944), The Divine Pity (1945), Eve and the Gryphon (1946), His Will is Our Peace (1947), The Pain of Christ (1947), Awake in Heaven (1948), The Two Trees (1948), The Seven Swords (1950), The High Green Hill (1951), The Water and the Fire (1953), The Temptations of Christ (with P. K. Meagher, OP, 1957), The Paradise Tree (1959), The Eagle's Word (1961), and Moral Dilemmas (posthumous, 1963). His writings blend Thomistic philosophy and theology with the humanism current in the 1920s and 1930s when he was coming to maturity. He was deeply sensitive to human values and had a delicate and compassionate understanding of human problems.

[p. k. meagher]