I drove down to my Gradual School where they were Inaugurating a new President Rector this weekend. Fr Denis is one of my professors whom I love dearly because not only did he make me learn much more than I thought I was capable of learning, but he also made it amazingly fun in the process.
I had him for Early Church History. He walked in the very first day of class and announced that since he was not a historian, but rather a systematic theologian we were out of luck if we thought we were going to get some dry lecture on the history of the early church. I think that was probably when I fell in love with him. From then on what we got was the Systematic Theology of the development of the early church along with every humorous story he could think of thrown in.
To say he is a genius isn't giving him near enough credit. He has a PhD and an STD (received concurrently from Louvain. He it totally devoted to Liturgy done well. I think I may have written about the Byzantine Liturgy he did at our parish a few months ago that just blew us all away. He has a very sarcastic sense of humor that makes evryone feel welcomed and he has a knack for making everyone in a room feel as though they are the most important person to him, great skills for a man in his position. He also is a man of great vision apparently, there have been many changes already in just the little bit of time since he took his new job last June.
His only flaw (everyone has to have one ) is that he is a Newman Schollar. He quotes JH at every chance he gets whether you like it or not. Not being a fan of Newman --mostly because I find his writings to be way over my head -- it takes a lot of dumbing down to get to a place where I can actually appreciate what Newman was trying to say. I suppose if I were as intelligent as Fr. Denis I wouldn't have so many problems with Newman, so I will give him that love for Newman. Come to think of it, one of my previous spiritual directors, another priest who was also extremely intelligent, and who I also loved very much also had a great affection for Newman. Wow.
Anyway, It was a great weekend and His Inaugural Address was one of the most awe inspiring talks I have ever heard. I taped it with my little camera, but I am hoping that they put a much better copy up on the St Meinrad website. If they do I will link to it, because it is truly something that should be shared with the world.
I hope Fr. Denis has a long and illustrious career as President Rector at St. Meinrad. I hope he enjoys his new post and doesn't work too hard.