I’m all a mix of emotions today—from sadness to undying gratitude.
It’s official…the end of an era at Busted Halo. Bill McGarvey, the site’s editor-in-chief for the past five years has decided to move on to new adventures.
That’s a huge loss for Busted Halo. An irreplaceable component in the wingnut that holds together a web magazine that has spoken creatively in the Catholic landscape. I know Bill will continue to be a huge voice in many intellectual circles and I for one, am better for working with him over many years together. I added this to the comments section in his “swan song” article that was posted today on the site.
As one of the founders of Busted Halo, I feel an overwhelming sense of gratitude to what Bill McGarvey has been to Busted Halo, the Catholic Church and to me personally in our own professional endeavors and in friendship.
Bill brought the site to new and exciting places. I think I speak for everyone who writes for the site that Bill McGarvey made all of our stories more exciting, more readable and in a word, better.
Thanks, Bill for making us all just a bit better…not just as writers and creative people or even as Catholics! Rather, we are better for having known and worked with you.
Bill would’ve caught the grammatical error in my sign-off too. =)
I’ve been reminiscing about the times I spent with Bill prayerfully today and I remember the first time he walked into our offices for his interview.
It was his passion that always drew me into a deep respect that I continue to have for Bill. He has a deep concern for justice, a love of the intellectual life and a sensitivity that I often find expressed most eloquently in his music. I make it a rule to live by that I listen to one Bill McGarvey song per day. Here’s a great sampling of his music:
If you’ve never seen him play the drums live, you should get that on your bucket list.
But Bill’s music is only one creative outlet for a man of many talents and I’m glad he chose to bring his talents to Busted Halo. One of the more difficult decisions that I think I had to make was choosing to go to part-time status at Busted Halo and concentrating more on direct ministry. And a big part of that came from working with Bill and receiving the gift of Bill’s guidance and leadership. He encouraged me to continue with Busted Halo by editing the Googling God section and I’m glad that he did that because I really enjoy working with our team of online catechists. He also valued my gifts as someone who can catechize effectively and was humble enough to know that he had different gifts. Bill was also quick to point other strengths to me, supporting what he saw as gifts–for ministry, for preaching, for spiritual direction. I always thought that those were good qualities in a leader and I am again grateful for that. I hope I was able to point out his gifts to him as often.
Mostly, Bill was and is someone I consider a valued friend. We’d occasionally grab a movie or a bite to eat together and we’d often laugh half the night. Editorial board meetings were never boring, always filled with Bill’s rye wit and maximizing potential. He could take the germ of an idea and turn it into something remarkably creative.
Which is exactly what I believe that he did at Busted Halo–my germ of an idea (well, mine and Fr Brett Hoover’s)—that Bill turned into something remarkable.
And because Bill loves to bust chops, here are three things that I won’t miss about Mr. McGarvey:
1) The sound of a tennis ball hitting the wall on the other side of my office.
2) HIs bland Irish taste buds. The guy eats a lot of turkey clubs and God forbid we go for Thai food.
and 3) His gloating over the Phillies and occasionally over the success of his Georgetown Alma Mater on the basketball court as well as their academic prowess. As a Fordham guy and a lifelong New Yorker, that was a personal hell. I remember when U.S. News and World report named Georgetown as the 20th best school in the nation–a huge deal. I opined, perhaps too loudly, “That’s nuts! I can name 20 schools better than Georegtown!”
I think I just got glared at by Bill who simply said: “1) Harvard. 2) Yale. I’ll give you the other Ivies and M.I.T. and then tell me who you’d pick after that?”
I think I got to maybe 6 more before I said, “Damn.”
It takes a lot for a Fordham man to honor someone from that illustrious school in Washington, D.C., but I hope that Bill can feel honored today for a long career with us at Busted Halo. I know, I will miss his strong voice guiding us. And I pray that whatever direction Busted Halo takes into the future that we remain open to the Holy Spirit and remain open to searching for gratitude for all those who have contributed to the site for so long now.
So as Bill leaves, pray for all of us that he leaves behind and for the Paulists as they guide Busted Halo into a new direction.
I think this is how I’ll choose to remember Bill during his time at Busted Halo the most. Fun and goofy. But creative and simply remarkable. Check it out, especially, Bill with his guitar in this video. Hysterical.Thanks, Bill…for everything. Know that Marion and I wish you much love and peace for your future and that we keep you in prayer always.