VATICAN CITY -- When Msgr. Daniel B. Gallagher
was a microbiology major at the University of Michigan, his growing curiosity about the "deep questions" led the pre-med student to take philosophy and other humanities courses on the side.
By the time he graduated, he had discerned his vocation to the priesthood. He had also discovered the appeal of Latin.
"I had this thirst both for the language and what it conveyed, meaning the whole tradition of the West," he said.
Today, at 42, Gallagher is able to follow both of his callings as the only American on a seven-man team in the Vatican's Office of Latin Letters, which translates the most important Vatican documents into the church's official language. Among other challenges, his job entails concocting Latin words for modern inventions, such as discus rigidus for "hard drive" or aerinavis celerrima for "jet."
Hmmm...why not just invent new words like "hardrivus" or "jetus"?