Fr. Albert Paretsky, OP
BA, Brandeis University; MA, Harvard University; STB, STL, Pontifical Faculty of the Immaculate Conception; SSB, SSL, Pontifical Biblical Commission (Rome); STD, Pontifical University of Saint Thomas Aquinas (Rome).
Fr. Albert Paretsky has spent a lifetime reconciling opposites. His upbringing was secular Jewish, his father, a Brooklyn native, being of eastern European Jewish background while his mother, a convert to Judaism, was of German and New England Puritan stock. His undergraduate interests were in comparative linguistics and his graduate studies were in Russian literature. A series of events radically reshaped Fr. Albert's life in his twenties. A profound personal experience moved him to become a Christian in his mid-twenties. While attempting to escape a life he perceived as programmed for academic work, Fr. Albert spent three years serving in the US Marine Corps in Japan and Vietnam. Entering the New York Province of Dominicans at the age of 31, he found himself drawn to the study of Sacred Scripture: his family background provided the interest in Christian origins, while previous work in language and literature provided the tools for study. Reflecting on his own coming to terms with Christianity has moved Fr. Albert to devote part of his time to preaching, that others may be helped in understanding why and what they believe.
The Dominican Order has provided Fr. Paretsky an outlet for his various interests. He taught Scripture at the Angelicum in Rome from 1982 to 2001, during which time he took three years off for rural parochial ministry in eastern Washington; during his final four years with the Angelicum he spent half the year as an itinerant preacher for the Western Dominican Preaching Band. Aside from formal academic teaching Fr. Albert has been involved with adult education for parishes, and has served since 2003 as a resource for the Smithsonian Associates, giving talks both on literature and on biblical topics. He comes to DSPT from St. Vincent Ferrer in New York, where he served a term as prior, and hopes to be able to spend a number of years teaching here while also engaged in part-time pastoral ministry at St. Mary Magdalen parish in Berkeley.
Jewish background to the New Testament, including the appropriation of creation motifs by the NT writers, the continuity between Second Temple didactic literature and the NT, and the role of the Apocalyptic in Second Temple Judaism in forming early Christian thought.