Friday, January 29, 2010

Ralph McInerny, resquiescat in pace

I am sad to report the death of Ralph McInerny, a man that I had the privilege to get to know last year while I was on the faculty of the University of Notre Dame. Here is a portion of a note I received today from a friend in South Bend, Indiana:
Ralph died early this morning at 7:45... It was, from what I can discern, a happy death, serene and full of the acceptance that comes from a sure and strong faith. I know that for me, I never expect to know another like him in this life. He was outstanding in all the important roles of life: husband and father, friend and teacher, inspirer and witness, in love with God and truly love by God. Has there ever been a happier man, a man more able to make all around him smile?

Ralph was the sort of intellectual giant that becomes more rather than less formidable when one attempts to explain to those outside the guild the scope and influence of his work, the generosity of his spirit, and the habits of Christian virtue and philosophical rigor that he imparted to his students and colleagues in both word and deed. Although I did not have the privilege to study under Professor McInerny, I am one of literally tens of thousands, both inside and outside the academy, who has been deeply influenced by his work and example.

Eternal rest grant unto him O Lord and let perpetual light shine upon him. May Ralph's soul and all the souls of the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen.

3 comments:

alaiyo said...

No more Father Dowling books. :(

May the Lord grant comfort and peace to those Dr. McInerny has left behind.

kkollwitz said...

"He was outstanding in all the important roles of life: husband and father, friend and teacher, inspirer and witness, in love with God and truly love by God. Has there ever been a happier man, a man more able to make all around him smile?"

Who among us wouldn't want to be so remembered?

Allan Wafkowski said...

Early on, I knew of him only through his Fr. Dowling books which I discovered when looking for "clean" mystery books written in the new century. I had forsaken contemporary fiction as useless for my purposes of entertainment and insight into the better parts of mankind.

McInerny's books opened up to me a number of new Catholic writers I had not known. Later I discovered his more important work, which very much suited me as a Latin Mass attendee.

McInerny's fictional work always reminded me of the late Catholic writer Bruce Marshall. Not in style, but by similar instincts about human nature.

Had McInerny written nothing moe than his Fr. Dowling mysteries, he would have been a blessing for me. God bless him.