Richard John Neuhaus is dead. We’ve lost some big ones in the last year. Many of you will not realize how big this one was. I pray Jody Bottum and some of the others in the First Things (Neuhaus’ hugely influential journal) world can carry on his legacy. Though Neuhaus’ death leaves a chasm to be filled, I think Dr. Bottum is the right man for it.
Anthony Sacramone is a former managing editor of First Things. He is also one of my favorite writers. So, I’m happy to bring you his wonderful tribute to Neuhaus. Here’s a taste:
Woody Allen said that 90% of life is just showing up. Richard John Neuhaus showed up. Whether it was at civil-rights marches in the 1960s or pro-life marches of the 1980s, Richard John Neuhaus showed up. Whether it was at the altar as a parish priest or at the bedside of a dying friend, Richard John Neuhaus showed up. As writer, lecturer, editor, raconteur, counselor, teacher — Richard John Neuhaus showed up. Every day. Until today.
And by the way, the New York Times didn’t do badly, either. I give them credit, particularly since Father Neuhaus spent part of his last column writing about how his desire to read the NYT had continued to slip.