Avery Cardinal Dulles, S.J. was laid to rest today at St. Pat’s. Fr. Jim Martin has the event covered in depth here. One particular piece moved me to tears.
Cardinal Egan’s warm and moving homily took as its central image an ancient crucifix he had once seen in Umbria; from one side the face of Christ appeared contorted in pain; from the other illumined by joy. This image, suggested Egan, could characterize Avery’s life, one of triumph and, towards the end, of pain…
Cardinal Egan remembered visiting Avery on his 90th birthday at Fordham Unversity–when Avery was bedridden, crippled by the recurrence of his polio–for a Mass in his honor. The cardinal wheeled Avery’s bed up the aisle of the Fordham chapel, but with difficulty, as a result of Egan’s childhood polio. “I’m afraid it’s a case of the lame pushing the lame,” said Egan to Dulles.
With that Avery broke into broad smile, and Egan was put in mind of that crucifix.
Condolences to the Dulles family and to the Jesuits of the New York province.