Category Archives: Avery Cardinal Dulles, SJ

Avery Dulles’ 3rd anniversary

Card. Avery Dulles SJ.jpgToday is the 3rd anniversary of the Jesuit Avery Robert Cardinal Dulles‘ entrance into life eternal. I pray for a friend’s solicitude but now from a different perch.

O God, who chose your servant John Patrick Cardinal Foley from among your priests and endowed him pontifical dignity in the apostolic priesthood, grant, we pray, that he may also be admitted to their company for ever.

If you are interested in reading, Avery Cardinal Dulles, SJ: A Model Theologian, 1918-2008 is worth picking up and spending lots of time with it. Patrick W. Carey does a good job teasing out the key themes of a very prominent Catholic theologian in the USA.

Remembering Avery Dulles before God

University Church Fordham Univ Dec 12 2009.jpg

Yesterday, about 50 friends of Avery Cardinal Dulles met at
Fordham University Church to remember him before God on the occasion of his first anniversary of death.

Sister Anne-Marie Kirmse,
O.P., the Cardinal’s friend and administrative assistant, gathered us for Mass
celebrated by Jesuit Father Joseph McShane with the homily delivered by Jesuit
Father Joseph Leinhard. There were 17 concelebrants; three of whom were secular
priests (friends of Dulles’) and the balance were old Jesuits. Five of the
Cardinal’s Fairfield County Communio group (myself included) were present as the faithful remnant. As
was recognized, we all miss the Cardinal’s wisdom, affection and much
understated humor.

In his homily Father Leinhard focused our attention on the
moment by recalling Saint Augustine’s 9th book of the Confessions where Augustine tells us of his mother’s passing
unto eternal life. In between her various states of consciousness and
unconsciousness Monica came to a see life anew. She called her sons together
telling them when she died to bury her body anywhere
but to remember her before the Lord, wherever they may be.
As for Monica, so for Avery.

Avery Dulles SJ.jpg

Why remember? Our thinking of Cardinal Dulles
is, as Fr. Leinhard said, wholly different than what went before. Remembering
Avery before God is not quite the same as reminding God who Avery was, just in
case God may have forgotten. What is important about Avery is not his
prestigious family, his education, his conversion to Catholicism, his entrance
into the Society of Jesus nor his ordination to the priesthood, not even his
ministry as a theologian nor his acceptance of the dignity of the Cardinalate.
What is important about Avery is encapsulated in the motto he assumed with the
coat of arms when given the cardinal’s hat by Pope John Paul II,
Cui Credidi
, I know whom I have believed.

Cardinal Avery Dulles SJ.jpg

reading from 2 Timothy 1 can be taken as Saint Paul’s last will and testament
as it is his answer to a question of belief: Christ has resurrected from the
dead and I have preached his gospel. For both Saint Paul and Cardinal Dulles
their lives deeply changed in making an act of faith in Christ for Christ
became the key to all understanding. 
In Dulles’
Craft of Theology,
the last sentence of chapter 1 speaks to his belief in Christ where he recounts
a vision of Christ in which we look past the “now” and look to Christ as the
center of all things.

At the altar of the Lord we pray for the dead following
the ancient Christian practice. In the Roman Canon of the Mass we pray that the
Lord will remember “those who have gone before us marked with the sign of
faith” granting them the blessedness (happiness) of light and peace. Our
liturgical prayer places hope in our hearts that those who sleep in the Lord
will have the victory over sin and death. Our confidence relies on the sign of
faith received in baptism, that which marks each person not with a pious sign
but with indelible mark.

Our remembrance of Avery and of
every one of our beloved dead therefore, is brought home in the consideration
that not to remember is to consign our family and friends to oblivion is awful.
The Christian proposal is
lux perpetua: light for the blind, peace for the will.

Eternal rest grant unto
Avery Cardinal Dulles, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon him. May his
soul and the souls of the faithful departed rest in rest. Amen.

Dulles' hat Fordham Univ church.jpg

A sentimental
remembrance of Cardinal Dulles was the hanging of a cardinal’s red hat and
tassels. No longer given by the Pope to cardinals, the red hat is occasionally
made for a cardinal and hung in his church by his family and friends. In New York’s Saint Patrick’s
Cathedral there are 4 cardinal hats hanging (but none since Cardinal Spellmen
are hanging there). The Archdiocese of Chicago did the same for Cardinal Joseph
Bernardin back in 1997. 

Avery Dulles: 1st anniv of death

Dulles10.jpgO God, Who was pleased to raise They servant Avery Robert Dulles to the dignity of the cardinalate, we beseech Thee, vouchsafe to admit him to the fellowship of Thine Apostles forevermore. Amen.

A noon Mass is being celebrated at Fordham University for the soul of His Eminence, Avery Cardinal Dulles. Pray for him.

Avery Dulles’ NEW book due: Evangelization for the Third Millennium

Evangelization for the 3rd Millennium.jpgCardinal Avery Dulles is still producing intellectual stimulation. Due to be released next week is Evangelization for the Third Millennium (Paulist Press), the final work that he had already in progress during what became the Cardinal’s final months.

In her Preface to this anthology, Cardinal Dulles’ longtime colleague, administrative & research assistant and former student, Sister Ann-Marie Kirmse, says that Dulles’ work explores the theme of evangelization based on the seminal work of Pope Paul VI and later on the work Pope John Paul II on the same topic.
Avery Cardinal Dulles, SJ, died on December 12, 2008. 

Avery Dulles’ treasures archived

Dulles exhibit.jpgRecently, Fordham University’s Walsh Library, in collaboration
with one of Cardinal Avery Dulles‘ closest collaborators, Dominican Sister
Ann-Marie Kirmse, displayed many of the cardinal’s possessions. It brings together the many intimate things of Avery Dulles who died 12 December.

The exhibit
gives us
another testimony to the great American Jesuit priest, theologian,
cardinal and friend. As Sister Ann-Marie observed: “At that [at the cardinal’s burial] moment, I
realized that the love Cardinal Dulles had for God, his family, his friends and
colleagues, his Jesuit community, his students, and his country are an
important part of his legacy as well.”

The cardinal would’ve been 91 on the 24th and it’s hard to believe that in year since his celebratory birthday party that he’s gone to God and now we are viewing the various elements of grace. The Fordham exhibit is a tribute to genteelness and greatness. The exhibit closes December 23.

About the author

Paul A. Zalonski is from New Haven, CT. He is a member of the Fraternity of Communion and Liberation, a Catholic ecclesial movement, and an Oblate of Saint Benedict. Contact Paul at paulzalonski[at]
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