Saturday, 22 November 2008

My father

Today is the 20th anniversary of my father's death. He died at the age of 77, five years after his retirement as a judge. As he lay dying his second wife and his children were with him constantly. He died quietly, courageously and uncomplainingly. There are worse ways of dying than being surrounded by those you love. 

My father was a good and most admirable person,  eminent in the law, and in Catholic Action in Melbourne. He was one of the founders of the Campion Society, which he and a group of friends formed in the early 1930s, and which led to the publication of The Catholic Worker.   This small journal achieved a wide circulation for many years until it became a major critic of B A Santamaria's The Movement. This courage and intellectual honesty led to the Catholic Worker and its contributors being ostracised to a considerable extent in many Catholic circles, but my father never lost sight of the essential nature of Christianity.

He was a decent, honourable and generous man, with a formidable intellect and learning  and a very wide range of interests. He bore no grudges. He loved his wife and family of seven children.  We remember him with love, respect and admiration of all his abilities, achievements and above all for his fine character. I remember his great support and love for me in my time of greatest need.

2 comments:

Isabelle said...

Oh dear, hope it was ok to tell Stomper! I assumed she'd persuaded you into it.

What a lovely tribute to your father. Mine died in April last year and my feelings for him, though fond in many ways, are much more mixed. I think I deliberately chose a husband who was very different from him.

persiflage said...

Yes, Isabelle, of course it was ok.
I have mixed feelings too, as my father was very strict, but he was able in his old age to show his softer side and his love for us all.