Fr. Bartholomew Ruben de la Torre, O.P.
Fr. Bart was born in 1940 in Los Angeles of Mexican immigrant parents. After seven years in Los Angeles seminaries, he entered the Order of Preachers, known also as the Dominicans since they were founded, in 1216 A.D., by Dominic de Guzman, later St. Dominic. Once in the order, Father earned his Bachelor's Degree, majoring in Thomistic Philosophy, followed by a Master of Arts in both Thomistic Philosophy and Thomistic Theology, and a Master of Divinity in Thomistic Theology, all from the only institutional presence in Berkeley’s Graduate Theological Union that is Thomistic: the Dominican School of Philosophy and Theology.
Ordained a priest in 1967, Father then spent a year as a hospital chaplain in Houston, Texas, earning a diploma in Clinical Pastoral Education. Thereafter he received his Licentiate in Medieval Studies from the Pontifical Institute of Medieval Studies in Toronto, Canada. This was followed by a Ph.D. in Medieval Studies from the University of Toronto, focusing on the history of medieval theology and philosophy, and on Latin paleography, which encompasses the disciplines of reading ancient Latin shorthand and of editing medieval manuscripts.
Upon receiving his second doctorate, Father served for a year in Italy, and then taught for eight years in the philosophy department at the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. Throughout both assignments, he prepared for publication the medieval manuscripts of his fellow Dominican priest, Thomas Aquinas.
During the course of 50 happy years as a priest, Fr. Bart also served as associate pastor in Toronto and Scarborough, Canada; Benicia and Los Angeles, California; and Portland, Oregon, teaching elementary, high school, and CCD religion and conducting adult seminars on Aquinas' Summa Contra Gentiles. He was also chaplain at Thomas Aquinas College in the mountains above Santa Paula, just east of Ventura, California. In 2005, Father returned to his parents’ Mexican roots to serve as a member of our mission team at Santa Maria de Guadalupe Parish in Mexicali.