For the gentle spirit and loving devotion to truth known as Father Richard John Neuhaus:
Some of you may have heard that Father Richard John Neuhaus, editor-in-chief of First Things, was diagnosed at Thanksgiving with a serious form of cancer (he has fought cancer once before). Over the Christmas holiday, he was hospitalized with complications:
Unfortunately, over Christmas, he was taken dangerously ill with what seems to be a systemic infection that has left him very weak. Entering the hospital the day after Christmas, he was sedated to lower an elevated heart rate and treatment was begun for the infection. Over the last few days, he has shown some signs of improvement, and there is a reasonable expectation that he will recover from this present illness—sufficiently, we hope, that he will be able to begin the chemotherapy for the cancer.
Fr. Neuhaus is not able at the moment to receive visitors or speak on the telephone or answer his mail, and he has requested that no flowers, candy, or other get-well presents be sent—just your prayers for his quick recovery.
Our prayers go out for Father Neuhaus, who has done such great work for the Church. May he be given the healing and strength to continue it.
UPDATE: The latest news is significantly more grim; Kathryn Lopez at the Corner reports that Father has deteriorated rapidly:
“His friends and family are keeping vigil and he was administered last rites shortly after midnight. Fr. George Rutler, who gave him the Catholic Sacrament, says that “he is not expected to live long” and suggests “that it is appropriate that prayers be offered for a holy death.”
For those of you unfamiliar with Father Neuhaus, go to First Things and just look around. This is a man who has devoted his life to Our Lord and his message and, in decades of reading his works, I don’t think I’ve ever come across an impatient word, let alone anything which could be construed as other than a loving admonishment when not a benediction. The world will lose a great soul and a great intellect, Our Lord will gain yet another devoted servant.