Fr Gabriel Rochelle, MA, MDiv, ThM, PhD, is a man of consistent, long-term interests. For decades he has been a birder, a baker, a bicyclist, and a calligrapher.
Because of his personal family background and a love for the tradition, Fr Gabriel is deeply interested in Celtic Christian spirituality and has written extensively in that area. His MA in Celtic Studies from University of Wales Trinity Saint David focused on the Welsh tradition, but he also explores other areas, especially the richness of the Irish traditions.
His interest spills over beyond Christianity, moreover, into areas of mythology and folklore. He is delighted with the Arthurian traditions and the treasury of Welsh folklore that is the Mabinogion. He is as much at home with them as with figures like St Melangell, St David and, of course, St Patrick.
Fr Gabriel serves as pastor of St Anthony of the Desert Orthodox Mission, Las Cruces, New Mexico. He teaches biblical studies at St. Sophia Orthodox Theological Seminary, South Bound Brook, New Jersey, and in the Honors College of New Mexico State University. He leads workshops on Celtic spirituality and Celtic calligraphy. Fr Gabriel has served in parish and university ministry and seminary teaching for half a century. He is married to Susan Steinhaus; their adult children and grandchildren live all over the world.
In Fr Gabriel’s latest work, A Staff to the Pilgrim, he combines his pastor’s heart for people with his love for Celtic spirituality. In this devotional treasure, he introduces us to nine Celtic saints (five women and four men) who embody nine spiritual themes: simplicity, silence, solitude, a sense of place, spirit, supplication, spiritual friendship, a sense of mission, and sanctity. Each chapter includes an introduction to the saint, heart-felt devotional essays that support each theme, the saint’s tropar (prayer), and an original pen-and-ink drawing.