Monthly Archives: January 2009

The Cinch Review

A few more links on RJN

Just some more things out there pertaining to the late Richard John Neuhaus that I’ve found rewarding:

In NRO, from Rabbi David Novak, this heartfelt piece: RJN and the Jews.

At the First Things blog, reflections from Stefan McDaniel: “Some giants labored in that cloud …”

From the Times of London, click here for a strong-minded obituary, from a more historical perspective, for RJN from an anonymous but seemingly well-informed author.

And this online archive of homilies by Richard John Neuhaus which he gave during masses he said at Columbia University during some spring semesters. Sound quality is mixed but there you go.

And the text of RJN’s resounding speech in July last to the convention of the National Right To Life Committee: We Shall Not Weary, We Shall Not Rest.

More links and info at First Things.

The Cinch Review

Writers remembering Richard John Neuhaus

There are many touching remembrances of Richard John Neuhaus being published far and near. In this passage from Hadley Arkes’s tribute (beginning about halfway down this page), he humorously recalls hearing the rumors that RJN was to convert from Lutheranism to Catholicism:

But before there had been any announcement, and while the benign gossip had been making its way within “the family,” I phoned: “Richard, I just wanted to tell you that I’ve heard the news, or I’ve heard versions of it, and I want to be among the first to congratulate you. For the word is that you are about to join the Lubovachers.” He said, “Hadley, I’ll never forget this conversation.” About a year or so later, we were gathered at the seminary at Dunwoodie for his ordination, and Cardinal O’Connor, with his characteristic humor, said, “Richard, you don’t deserve this ….any more than I deserve the honor of being here, ministering to you.” Richard was just lit up that afternoon, with a freshness and sparkle rare even for him, as we all gathered in the garden after the ceremony. I noted again “the family” gathered around – George Weigel, Bob Royal, David Novak, Midge Decter, Norman Podhoretz.

And I couldn’t help wondering what Cardinal O’Connor would make of it all: Who was this man, with so wide a reach, bringing in with him this contingent so varied that it included Jews? He would offer his prayers to the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob; it was the Catholicism of John Paul II, which incorporated the Jewish tradition. Were the Jews on the way to Rome? Or was it that Rome had brought the Jewish ethic to the rest of the world? As one friend put it, When you’re Catholic, you are at least Jewish. And that sense of things, nurtured by Richard, has marked the cast in which I too would find myself moving.

Continue reading Writers remembering Richard John Neuhaus

The Cinch Review

More timely reflections from Richard John Neuhaus

It is one of many of Richard John Neuhaus’s unique gifts to this world that after his death there exist countless words of his own that can strengthen those who miss him. When it came to dying and indeed his own death, he literally wrote the book on it. The book is As I Lay Dying: Meditations Upon Returning. I quoted briefly from it yesterday and here is another excerpt (and what a beautiful piece of prose this truly is, of the kind that RJN was able to conjure so often): Continue reading More timely reflections from Richard John Neuhaus

The Cinch Review

Richard John Neuhaus goes home

A note by Joseph Bottum at First Things delivers the very sad news of the loss of Richard John Neuhaus:

Fr. Richard John Neuhaus slipped away today, January 8, shortly before 10 o’clock, at the age of seventy-two. He never recovered from the weakness that sent him to the hospital the day after Christmas, caused by a series of side effects from the cancer he was suffering.

Also reprinted there is an essay Fr. Neuhaus wrote in the year 2000, a meditation on an earlier near death experience for him by way of a terrible bout with colon cancer. That later became his profound book, As I Lay Dying: Meditations Upon Returning.

My own deepest condolences are here offered to his family and all those who loved him. Continue reading Richard John Neuhaus goes home