Professor John Resko's memoir narrates a religious struggle against the backdrop of the Great Depression, World War II, and Pre-Vatican II Catholicism. His dissection of the components of a religious vocation led him in a direction befitting his temperament and natural inclinations rather than the ease of their achievement. He describes his struggle to define a religious vocation and ultimately find the strength to follow his best instincts.
It was not easy for a poor boy of uneducated immigrant parents from Austria-Hungry at the turn of the twentieth century to find his way in the world. But, the solid educational foundation that was laid by him at the St. Charles Seminary proves to be the gateway to a greater purpose. He earns graduate degrees from both Marquette University and the University of Illinois where he also earns a Doctorate in Reproductive Biology. These events portend a very successful scientific career in Oregon.
The events recorded in The Gates of Saint Charles are coupled with the history of the times and the dogma and traditions of the Roman Church. A small window has been opened into the life and education of seminarians during the time covered by the memoir.