Thursday, November 08, 2012

The Final Gladness.

Father James V. Schall, S.J. has frequently appeared in these virtual pages, most recently in October of this year. All good things must come to an end, and Father Schall's long teaching career will end in December when he officially retires from his post as professor of political philosophy at Georgetown University. Readers within striking distance of Washington may wish to know that Father Schall will be marking his retirement with a last public lecture on the Hilltop, "The Final Gladness," scheduled to take place at 5 pm on Friday, December 7, 2012 in Gaston Hall on the Geogetown campus. I regret that I will not be able to attend, but I trust that many others will be there to bid Father Schall a fitting farewell and to hear his parting words.

Of course, it's perfectly reasonable for an 84-year-old teacher to retire from the classroom; Nunc dimittis servum tuum, Domine, and all that, even if some teachers seem to be able to go on indefinitely. Even so, I am a bit saddened by the realization that Georgetown students will no longer be able to "major in Schall," and I consider his retirement an incalculable loss; every great teacher is in some sense unique, even if the wisdom that they impart is timeless and universal. I am cheered by the sentiments of a First Thoughts commenter who described Father Schall as "an old school, bad-ass Jesuit: erudite but humble, leading the way to the good, the true and the beautiful." I'd say that's a pretty good way to be remembered. AMDG.


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