"As kingfishers catch fire, dragonflies draw flame; / [ . . . ] Each mortal thing does one thing and the same: / Deals out that being indoors each one dwells; / Selves -- goes itself; 'myself' it speaks and spells, / Crying 'What I do is me; for that I came'." --Gerard Manley Hopkins

07 January 2009

Richard John Neuhaus

Richard John Neuhaus, whom I have mentioned in a number of posts, has apparently had a relapse (or perhaps a new form) of cancer; I understand he was hospitalized late last week. Katherine Jean Lopez updates us, saying that the last rites were administered to Father Neuhaus last night at midnight.

I am sure prayers would be treasured in heaven. Father Neuhaus has had a tremendous influence on the world over many years. He is currently editor of First Things.

UPDATE: Here is some background information I found at beliefnet. Apparently the cancer was diagnosed last year and this hospitalization was for a severe infection:

"Fr. Neuhaus is in the hospital here in New York. Over Thanksgiving, he was diagnosed with a serious cancer. The long-term prognosis for this particular cancer is not good, but it is not hopeless, either, and there is a possibility that it will respond to the recommended out-patient chemotherapy.

"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."

It is odd, but I feel very much as though a family member is at death's door. His work has changed my life and I am grieved to think there may be no more of it to come.

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