Everyone knew him simply as Monsignor. We knew him well during his twelve year tenure as president of La Roche College. Gracious to a fault and accepting of all who came along. He was everyone's friend. At the same time, he cared about the future and had the vision, courage, and energy to do something about it. Monsignor passed away suddenly on 13 May, 2009.
His most singular and enduring achievement perhaps was his founding of Pacem In Terris Institute. He wrote the mission statement:
"Widespread accessibility to education--accessibility that includes people living in rural as well as urban areas, women as well as men, and members of all ethnic, tribal, political, geographical and religious groups--hold the promise of bridging the gap between the affluent and the desperate. [Here, Monsignor recognized one to the more important root causes for terror in our times.]
Educated populations can create societies where differences are accepted, if not embraced, and where peaceful discourse replaces terror and war. And perhaps most significantly, educated populations, if they so choose, can help groups within their societies recognize in neighbors, regardless of diverse background, the common face of humanity. Education begets vision, and as the prophet Isaiah said, 'without vision, the people perish.' Vision begets hope, and the future resides in the minds and hearts of the world's young. Hope, indeed, is young." [In suggesting education as a road to peace, Monsignor anticipated our web site.]
Such vision is rare among citizens of any calling. Monsignor's creed extended beyond Catholicism. He included the world.
We know several dozen men and women whose lives were enhanced significantly by the Pacem In Terris Institute. Some have established businesses, others have become professionals of various stripes, one will soon graduate from medical school, another is preparing to follow that route, yet another is promoting wind energy as a means for relieving the energy shortage in Rwanda, and finally one is completing his PhD research and expects to enter high level government service in Rwanda. We all miss Monsignor.
We have never endorsed specific donations before. In view of the above, however, we make an exception. Although only one of us associated with this web site is Catholic, we all endorse his Mission statement.
Posted by RoadToPeace on Friday, May 29, 2009.