Last week I lost a friend and colleague, whom they are burying today. It is echoed by the autumn colors that surround me in Boston… and I have always loved Autumn; my favorite season when there are seasonal movements. (Some earthly places have more constant, less chameleon, personalities.) This coloured beauty should clash with the tragic sorrow of losing someone so vibrant and still necessary (sorry, God) to the families and communities he belonged to, but strangely, it does not. He loved life and fun, and the Church, and others, and a good party and a worthwhile fight, too much for this to feel wrong! But we miss him; and he shall be missed.

It makes me think about life, so short and fragile… so little time to do something real. to leave a mark. It makes me wonder “if we’re on track, God. Am I missing something, a call, a need, an intuition I forgot to respond to, or didn’t want to. Let me know.”


The side of Gerard I saw was his commitment to theology as the Church’s indispensable “critical friend” in its service to the world and the reign of God. I worked with him on the executive of INSeCT, of which he was president. He worked tirelessly to get the potential of this network on the radar of its member communities and the universal church as an important for the current moment of theology… we called it kairos, but I think it was he who caught the importance of that name for the time we are in.

It was not always easy going. It is a job on top of other jobs…because of the free time academics nowadays have, right? So we walked Rome from top to bottom for meetings all day, punctuated by pasta, Prosecco and caffe correto, and then into the evening… even when exhausted. Because it was necessary. Because it was right.

But it is the genuine care, the honest vision, the clear speaking critical vision, the innumerable friends, the wicked sense of humor, the unfailing time for a nightcap’s chat that stays. And which I miss, but am grateful for, all at the same time.

For such a beautiful, beautiful life…

So today, I am sad… that kind of sadness that wells up and floods the rest of things. But that’s ok. It makes you want to live in what’s important, to love as much you can.

“Eternal light rest upon him oh Lord …”

 Sorry is not the hardest word.