Time at The Catholic University of America


Msgr. Quasten in his office, among his many books! 

Returning to his home country, Msgr. Quasten taught at his alma mater, the University of Muenster, from 1931 to 1938. Archaeology was the specialty of Msgr. Quasten and his adventures brought him all over Italy, North Africa, France, Switzerland, Germany, Austria, Holland, and Croatia. It took an archaeological dig in North Africa for Msgr. Quasten to join the Catholic Cardinal family. 

Beginning in 1938, Msgr. Quasten joined the School of Sacred Theology as a professor of Christian Archaeology. It was during his time as a member of the Catholic University of America’s faculty that Msgr. Quasten taught early Christian history, liturgy, and patristics. He had a reputation for being an inspiring teacher who expected the best from his students. A former student reflected on his time learning from the priest and scholar at Quasten’s Golden Jubilee of Ordination. Rev. Walter J. Burghardt described how “It was a thrilling experience. Sworn enemy of the fast degree, he was a demanding teacher. Under him you learned, like him, to be intolerant only of superficiality and to eschew the glittering generality…You began to believe and to live his quotation from Harnack: ‘You will achieve as much as you are willing to sacrifice for.’ Under such a master I lived to learn.”[1] This confidence that he placed in his students and his dedication to his craft as a researcher of the early Church propelled him to the position of the Dean of the School of Sacred Theology in November 1945, where he served until October 1949.

[1] Willoughby, W. F. (1976, April 17). Is He the Unflappable Man? Washington Star, The American Catholic History Research Center and University Archives, The Catholic University of America, Washington, D.C.