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Armbruster, Carl J.

May 5, 2020Carl


Carl Joseph Armbruster, 90, passed away peacefully on May 5, 2020 due to complications from COVID-19. Carl is survived by his wife Carol of 46 years, his son Jeffrey of Malden; his son Steven & wife Julia, and two grandsons Andrew and Charlie, all of Greensboro, NC; his brother Paul & wife Mary Lou of Hollister, CA; sister-in-law Arlene Desrochers & husband Roland; many loving nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.
Carl was born in Cincinnati, Ohio, son of the late Harry & Mary Armbruster. He earned his Doctorate degree from the Institute Catholique de Paris, Master’s and Bachelor degrees from Loyola University, Chicago, Il. Throughout his life, he held fond memories of his high school experience at St. Xavier H.S., Cincinnati. He was a member of the Jesuit Order for 25 years. As such, he was a noted university educator, published author, and lecturer, who developed and administered programs in higher education. He had traveled extensively in Europe and the Middle East. Carl spent the last 30 years of his career as a professional in the consulting field and President of Career Development Systems in Southborough. He was a member of the first graduating class of the MetroWest Leadership Academy, President of the Southborough Business Association, and board member of the Corridor Nine Area Chamber of Commerce. Golf was a pastime that Carl long enjoyed. He loved storytelling and was a loyal fan of the Patriots, Red Sox and Boston College Eagles football team. He coached Little League Baseball for 12 years and was a former Cub Scout Master in Southborough. Carl leaves a legacy of commitment, generosity, a love for learning and devotion to his family and friends. Due to the current health crisis, services will be announced at a later date. Funeral arrangements are entrusted to the care of Philbin-Comeau Funeral Home, 176 Water St., Clinton. Online condolences may be placed at


Armbruster asks laicization

September 15, 1972
National Catholic Reporter

BOSTON Carl Armbruster, a Jesuit priest who headed the committee which produced the controversial theological study of the priesthood for the American bishops, has requested release from the priesthood and dispensation from his religious vows. Armbruster, 43, said that his decision was not based on experiences surrounding the theological study, but was a personal one "based upon a realization of how I can most authentically be true to myself and to my vocation as a Christian." The theological study, part of a $500,000
The study of the priesthood commissioned by the National Conference of Catholic Bishops, was completed almost a year ago but has not been published. The administrative board of the bishops' conference was to make a final decision on publication at a meeting in Washington, Sept. 11-12. The three options being considered were publication of the Armbruster report as is, publication of the study with a critique by the bishops, or no publication at all. Armbruster has said that he would agree to publication of a critique with the study so long as the study is not altered in publication.
The theological study emphasized the flexible nature of the ministry, and found that there were no theological barriers to the ordination of women or the marriage of priests. Material supportive of those claims was found in the scriptural study of the priesthood done by a committee headed by Father Eugene Maly of Cincinnati. The Maly study has not been published either. A summary of the theological study was obtained by N.C.R. last fall (Oct. 8, 1971). A report on the full theological and scriptural studies appeared in N.C.R May 12,1972. In a statement sent to friends and the press announcing his request for laicization, Armbruster said, "I remain firmlydedicated to the Christian faith and to my Roman Catholic heritage. I deeply respect the office of priest and the values which inspire the religious life." He noted that "when a priest is laicized, he is inevitably asked about his plans for marriage. Although my decision was not triggered by the desire to marry, I see marriage as a consistent step in my own personal growth and as an enriching form of Christian life. "The request for laicization does not substantially alter my commitment to a continuing career in theology and education. I feel I can still serve the Christian community and American society in a positive manner in these vital areas." Armbruster, who belongs to the Chicago Jesuit province, said he will continue to teach part-time at Boston college He resigned earlier this year from the faculty of the Bellarmine School of Theology at Loyola university in Chicago. Armbruster told N.C.R. that he didn't expect his laicization to have any effect on the publication of the theological study. Other members of the committee that worked on the study felt the same way, although one remarked that he felt the bishops had already decided not to publish the study and would not change their mind.

Carl joined CORPUS in 1974 and he was part of group of priests who regularly met in Southborough, MA.

His 1972 research on the priesthood