19 November 2012

On a Good Jesuit

My classmate Michael Rozier, SJ wrote a wonderful tribute to the recently deceased John Kavanaugh, SJ.

I remember reading Fr. Kavanaugh's column in America.  He will be missed by readings, and, in reading Michael's column, by his confreres and students.

The lede:

One of John Kavanaugh‘s greatest gifts, and there were many, was the ability to take a complex, clouded issue and place his finger on its exact center.  Reading one of his essays or sifting through one of his books is rather like walking through a labyrinth: there is a peaceful rhythm to its twists and turns; you are invited to look in one way and then another as you proceed; when you arrive at the center it feels like it was… inevitable all along. 
He was a master at inviting others into the holy struggle for truth.  As undergraduates at Saint Louis University, we woke up early on registration day hoping to be one of the lucky ones who were able to grab one of the coveted spots his class.  On the first day he took pictures of each of us so that he could call on us by name, his black clerical suit smelling of cigarettes as he snapped away (imitation being the sincerest form of flattery, this is a strategy I admiringly adopted when I began teaching at SLU years later).  He paced alongside our desks, listened attentively to every word we said, and guided us into conversation with each other on topics of life and death.

Read the rest here.

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