22 February 2011

When Heroes Die

From a statement issued by CUA President John Garvey:

It saddens me greatly to report the death last night of a beloved member of our university community. Rev. Kurt J. Pritzl, O.P., Dean and Associate Professor of the School of Philosophy, passed away after a long illness.

I'm crying right now.  Another one of my heroes has passed away before we would have liked to let him go.  Fr. Pritzl taught me philosophy my freshman year of college -- modern philosophy -- and then agreed to be my spiritual director in the time immediately preceding my entrance to the Capuchins.  I still remember his lessons on Kant, Hume and Nietzsche.  I can still hear his stories about the hijinks of the "old" Dominicans at their House of Studies across Michigan Avenue.  I can still recall the calming effect his counsel in spiritual direction had  on me.  And I can still remember the joy in his face when I told him I had made the decisions to apply to the Capuchins.  

One day before spiritual direction, Fr. Pritzl told me that he had been diagnosed with cancer, but the prognosis was good.  Each time I went to see him, I would ask about his health and he always pushed it off.  He was tired, but treatment was going well and he would be fine.  

I guess you could say that I'm one of Kurt Pritzl's spiritual children.  I began my journey when the end of his journey was beginning.  I've learned that in religious life there are entirely too many good-byes -- and too many of those are premature.  But, if any of this at all -- death, religious life, cancer -- are to make any sense at all, it is in the Communion of Saints.  

In other words, Fr. Pritzl: I'll see you when I get there.


wayhip said...

It is always sad to let go of those that have inspired and formed us. Thankfully, their legacy lives on within us and is very much alive in the inspiration we pass on to future generations.

Prayers, my friend...

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry for your loss...

Chris J

Brother Charles said...

He interviewed me for the apostolic seminary visitation. Requiescat in pace.

mtjofmcap said...

Thanks for your kind words, they are very appreciated.