I was intending to write a post before Christmas on how much I enjoyed Fr. Neuhaus's commentary in "The Public Square" portion of his magazine, First Things. I have been reading First Things for several years now, and I have always thought of Neuhaus's commentary as the precursor to blogs.
After coming back from Christmas vacation, my wife informed me, by way of Mark Shea's blog (of which she is a devout reader), that Fr. Neuhaus was diagnosed with cancer about a year ago (which I was not aware of) and that the day after Christmas he had been admitted to the hospital for some illness. It looked as if he would recover from the illness and be able to receive chemotherapy to fight the cancer. I was distressed to hear the news and the past week I have been praying for his recovery.
About a half hour ago my wife was reading Mark Shea's blog and told me that Fr. Neuhaus had passed away. I was shocked. My wife asked me if I was okay after hearing the news and my response was, "No, I'm not okay." I couldn't help but weep for the loss of such a wonderful and faithful priest. The Church and the world have suffered a tremendous loss. May we keep Fr. Neuhaus in our prayers and pray for the repose of his soul. Would that we had many more priests in the Church who had such devotion and love of Christ. My life has been enriched by his writings. Knowing the sadness I feel for his death, I can't even imagine the sadness felt by those who knew and were close to him. May eternal rest be granted unto him.