Fordham's own Avery Cardinal Dulles
celebrated his ninetieth birthday today in the company of family, friends and brother Jesuits. As I mentioned in a previous post
, I had the good fortune of taking part in the final seminar that Cardinal Dulles offered as Fordham's McGinley Professor of Religion and Society; wanting to pay my respects to a great theologian and a fine teacher, I made a point of attending the Mass of Thanksgiving offered today in celebration of the Cardinal's nine decades of life. At an outdoor reception following the Mass, New York Archbishop Edward Cardinal Egan offered tribute to Dulles and led the assembled company in a birthday toast. As you can see in the second photo from the top, the ordinary also took the lead in cutting the birthday cake. I like the fourth photo because it appears to show Cardinal Egan pointing at the camera; in fact, the Archbishop of New York was pointing to lend emphasis to something he was saying as part of a humorous anecdote regarding his personal history with Cardinal Dulles - an anecdote that Dulles and the audience seem to have appreciated, given their smiles and laughter.
Though worsening paralysis has robbed Cardinal Dulles of the ability to speak, in written remarks read on his behalf at the conclusion of the Mass he expressed his gratitude for God's many gifts to him and mentioned how his growing infirmity has brought him closer to God. As I pray in thanksgiving for the gift of Cardinal Dulles' life and his contributions to the Church, I also pray that he may continue to find comfort and consolation in a time of suffering and weakness. Today and in the coming days, I hope that my readers will join me in praying for these intentions. AMDG.