Wednesday, April 15, 2009

A Day of Tears

We spent quite a bit of our day today tuned into EWTN to watch Archbishop Dolan become Archbishop of New York City. By tuning in a bit early, we also saw his wonderful little interview with Raymond Arroyo. He will be great for this job - he's so humble and so filled with confidence in the truth of the Gospel message.

It's a bittersweet moment too, because it *is* hard to say goodbye, though having these weeks to prepare for this moment have certainly helped - kind of like what he says in "Farewell, Milwaukee". Our prayers and thanks go with him for all that he's done for us. We don't know him personally, but he's made a huge difference even to our own family, just because of the way he manifests God's love and the joy of the Christian message to others. His influence on vocations in the diocese will make a difference for generations!

Though it's hard to say goodbye, it is a wonderful thing to see him take on his new role with so much faith and joy. God Bless him!

On a sadder note, my niece called me this afternoon with tragic news from my alma mater. Thomas Aquinas College's beloved president, Dr. Thomas Dillon, was killed in a car accident this morning. He was in Ireland with his wife for some sort of Catholic educational conference. She was injured, but not seriously. Please pray for him and his family and the entire TAC community. We are all devastated by this loss.

Dr. Dillon has had an amazing fatherly influence on TAC students for decades. Particularly in the years before he became president, he was well-known for his love of playing basketball with the students (somewhere around here I believe I have a photo taken by my husband of Dr. Dillon on the basketball court) and he was an incredible tutor. I only had him for one year - for Junior Philosophy, in which we studied Aristotle's Ethics. It was a crazy year as he was in the process of taking over the presidency of the college and another tutor had to substitute often, but the chaos was totally worth it. I had many fine tutors at TAC, but I never experienced another tutor who was so interested in each and every student and what they thought or wanted to say about a particular topic. He was down to earth and funny and I really loved that class!

When he was taking over the presidency from founding president Dr. McArthur, I had my doubts. McArthur had huge shoes to fill after all! It was a few years ago, when I saw Dr. Dillon and his wife at a fundraising event in Milwaukee that I truly understood the genius of the choice of Dillon as president. He was incredibly humble and completely dedicated to the idea of the college and to *the* truth. He was a man who spent his life building up the Church by preparing young people to live the truth and share it with others.

He had a genuine love for and interest in each of the alumni and what they were up to after TAC. I've always loved the fact that he and his wife made a special effort to attend all the ordinations of alumni priests (there are over 40 now).

My sincerest condolences and love and prayers go out to dear Mrs. Dillon, to the entire Dillon family and to all who are mourning his death.


Diane said...

This is a beautiful tribute, Dear. He sounds like an amazing man. I will be praying for him and his family.

Kristen said...

We are still shedding tears over here. I keep meaning to post something, but I have no words yet. Dr. Dillon was an incredibly humble and virtuous man. We are devastated for his family.