Jacques M. GresGayer, 68 years old, of New Haven, Conn., and Washington, D.C., December 19, 2012, at Smilow Cancer Hospital, New Haven. He was born Jacques Gres in Beziers, France, February 24, 1944; his father was killed before his birth, and his mother Simone Germes married Pierre Gayer after the war. Jacques was adopted by his stepfather in 1982 and assumed his double last name.
GresGayer's precocious aptitude for languages and history led to early graduation from high school, and he entered the Pontifical Gregorian University, Rome, in 1961. He spent 1963-65 teaching at the College NotreDame de Jamhour, Beirut, and returned to Rome, where he wrote in English and German for magazines covering Vatican II, while completing degrees in philosophy and an STL. Ordained a priest of the diocese of Montpelier in 1969, he continued graduate study in Paris. First studying at the Institut d'Études Politiques, he then earned two doctorates in 1982: in history from the Université de Paris IV (Sorbonne) and in theology from the Institut Catholique. He was chaplain at Notre-Dame, Paris, 1972-77, and announced the weekly organ concerts with commentary. After postgraduate work at Harvard and Yale, he was principal translator for the Episcopal Church of the French version of the American Book of Common Prayer, published as Le Livre de la Prière Commune, New York, 1983.
After a short tenure at Georgetown University, he began his long career at Catholic University, Washington, D.C., from which he retired as full professor and department chair in August 2012. …