Surfers, Fr. Andrew Greeley passed away and although he has been out of the public eye since 2008 he will be missed. I enjoyed the works of Fr. Greeley quite a bit. The best way I knew how to honor his works was to make his homilies the first link on my blogroll. I urge you to take some time to read the works of Fr. Greeley. He lives on through us.
Many other people will offer better remembrances than I can, but Fr. Greeley was so important to me and my faith journey I thought I would give it a try.
My favorite work by Fr. Greeley is titled “Why I’m Still A Catholic.” This one article tells you all you need to know about the man.
I’m still a Catholic because of the beauty of the Catholic stories. – Fr. Andrew Greeley
Fr. Greeley spoke so eloquently of the stories he loved. He also had a gift for telling them. His homilies were all about the stories and the lessons we learn from them. His emotions were honest and real. A person couldn’t help but get caught up in the stories.
In fact 85% of those who were raised Catholics are “still” Catholics. It is those who depart who are the exception. Moreover the departure rate has not changed in the last thirty five years, despite the enormous turbulence which has shaken the Church since the end of the Second Vatican Council. – Fr. Andrew Greeley
Fr. Greeley was the man with the data. Even in the article on why he is still Catholic he reviewed the numbers. I am a numbers person, and I found his focus on the data to be refreshing. When I struggled to make sense of some recent difficult events in the Church I turned to Fr. Greeley and he brought data to bear on those issues. That is just what I needed.
I owe Fr. Greeley a lot. As I grew in faith he was a kind of mentor to me. I never met him, but his books and homilies showed me the way. I would be poorer in spirit if the works of Fr. Greeley had never been available to me. That is the legacy he left behind, because I am certain there were many others who were enriched by his words just as I was. I know that in future generations there will be even more.
Requiem aeternam dona ei, Domine,
et lux perpetua luceat ei.
Requiescant in pace. Amen.