Thursday, January 8, 2009

Richard John Neuhaus

Father Richard John Neuhaus, of FIRST THINGS fame, has died in New York.
Anthony Sacramone has this tribute.

I met Fr. Neuhaus once, at one of the famous Fort Wayne Seminary symposia where he was the featured speaker. He was also the uncle of a woman in our church, and my friend Don Morrow and I approached him during a break at the symposium, thinking to bring our greetings to him from his niece. We broached the subject, using her married name, and he very politely said hello, how nice it is to meet you. As we were walking away, Don turned to me and said, "I don't think he has any idea what we were talking about!"

A few weeks later we heard that he'd contacted his niece to tell her about these two very nice young men he had met at the symposium, but he didn't realize who they were talking about until much later, when he recalled her married name. Ah well.

If you haven't been acquainted with FIRST THINGS, I recommend it. While it tends to err on the side of Roman Catholicism, it does offer up some really great articles concerning Christianity and the Public Square. Fr. Neuhaus' contribution for years has in fact been called The Public Square, a prodigious quantity of writing on all sorts of interesting topics that always was found at the back of the magazine. His voice was unique, and like the loss of WF Buckley for National Review magazine, I don't think it will be easily replaced. I'll miss his insights and intellect.


DGehne said...

As the bearer of that late-recalled last name I regret not being able to form a closer relationship with the one we affectionately called Uncle Richard. An evening in Valpo with him discussing the relationship between the LCMS and Rome must suffice as the final chance for a memorable conversation. I am heartened that you recall the story from our shared days at Living Christ and I pray that all is well.

Bruce Gee said...

Pastor Gehne! All is indeed well, God be praised! Thanks for checking in, and if I give offense in any way...

...then I guess some things just never change...!

Are you still in the fine state of Wisconsin, and if not, what fine state are you in?

DGehne said...

Still living in the fine state of Wisconsin serving the people of Trinity, Racine and learning much about this vocation. Peace to you and yours!
P.S. Offense? Never!