Friday, December 12, 2008

A Prince's Sendoff

In three days of rites that'll serve to highlight both the theologian-dean's prominence in the academy and the universal prestige of a cardinal that was his in recent years, the New York Jesuits have announced the funeral arrangements for Cardinal Avery Dulles.

The public farewell begins on Tuesday the 16th at his beloved Fordham's main campus in the Bronx: a 2-5pm lying in-state in the university church, followed by a Mass of the Holy Name --intended primarily for Jesuits, religious and seminarians -- at 7.30. The schedule will repeat itself on Wednesday, with a votive liturgy of the Holy Eucharist for the university community, again at 7.30.

On Thursday, the 18th, the focus turns to St Patrick's Cathedral; Dulles will lie in state at the Midtown landmark from 10am until 1pm, the Mass of Christian Burial to begin an hour later. The first and lone American cardinal to remain a simple priest, Dulles becomes the seventh member of the College to take his farewell from the 130 year-old temple... the others, however, all lived and died as archbishop of New York.

The cardinal will be buried with his confreres in the Jesuit cemetery at Auriesville, near the Shrine of the North American Martyrs. But even so, Dulles will have the last word: his whirring mind and all-systems spirit undimmed amid the paralysis that marked his last months, a final book -- his 30th, its focus on the new evangelization -- is expected to be published in the new year.