24 February 2011

Schneck on Pritzl, OP

A great living CUA professor pens a tribute to CUA professor that works for the Almighty now:

Feb 22 2011

+Father Kurt Pritzl, O.P.

Posted by Stephen Schneck at 3:22 PM
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I take my director’s privilege here to use this space to mourn the passing of Fr. Kurt Pritzl, Dean of Catholic University’s School of Philosophy.  
Kurt and I first came to know one another through our mutual friend, Professor Ingrid Merkel.  Ingrid had tapped Kurt and me to be part of her Honors Program experiment as it was developing in the ‘80s and early ‘90s.  I was part of a group organizing the social science track and Kurt was part of a similar group working up the philosophy track.  When the two groups encountered one another, I remember as if it was yesterday, sparks flew.  Kurt and I loved those sparks!  Sure we always wrangled—my philosophical worldview was rooted in Continental historicism, materialism, and philosophical anthropology.  Kurt was grounded in classical Greek philosophy and devoted to Aristotle.  Theologically, I looked out from behind Augustine.  Kurt loved Thomas—loved especially those glorious Thomistic harmonies of faith and reason.  Thanks to Ingrid, we had regular intellectual tussles that tickled us both.
We both loved opera.  We both liked beer.  We were both deeply involved with the undergraduate university experience—serving on dozens of the same committees, taking turns as faculty advisor to various student groups and honors fraternities.  We both took on more administrative work than either of us would ever have originally dreamed.  He made being dean look so easy.  He made everything look easy.
He was brilliant and devastatingly charming.  He filled rooms with his charisma.  He was a terrific teacher, one of the very best homilists I’ve ever known, a wonderfully compassionate administrator, a spirited intellectual sparring partner who loved the life of the mind, utterly incandescent with life and grace, and my friend.
In paradisum deducant eum Angeli…

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