Dr. Margaret O’Gara was a doctoral candidate and Dr. Michael Vertin a professor of philosophy at St. Mike’s when the two wed at St. Basil’s Church in 1976. Over the course of 36 years of marriage not only did each become a legendary professor at the Faculty of Theology, with Dr. O’Gara known around the world for her work in ecumenism and Dr. Vertin for his expertise in Bernard Lonergan, but they amassed a remarkable – and sizeable – library.
Now in the process of downsizing following Dr. O’Gara’s death in 2012, Dr. Vertin has donated an estimated 900 books from the couple’s individual and shared collections to this year’s Friends of the Kelly Library book sale. The sale runs Sept. 24 to 28 in Carr Hall (100 St. Joseph St.).
The works donated from the couple’s library, carefully packed up by Dr. Vertin and delivered to volunteers in 40 bankers boxes, include books on everything from ecclesiology and ecumenism to scripture, patristics, and the philosophy of religion. Many of the items resided for years on simple pine book cases that Dr. O’Gara had built herself, an accomplishment, Dr. Vertin notes, that she felt quite pleased about.
When asked, Dr. Vertin notes there were some items he was unable to part with, including his 25-volume series on Lonergan, complete with its “red U of T Press binding.”
The annual used book sale, organized by the Friends of the John. M. Kelly Library, is designed to raise funds for the library, with proceeds earmarked for such projects as physical improvements, technology upgrades, and adding to collections.
Along with the Vertin/O’Gara donation, this year’s sale will feature a range of shopping options from first editions and art books through to academic works and pleasure reads.