What a shock! Just the other evening I was having drinks and dinner with a Jesuit whom I was meeting for the first time at the Xavier Jesuit Community on 16th Street in New York. Fr. Caruana told me he was the Director of the Xavier Society for the Blind, and my interest immediately perked up. I told him he was successor to one of my Jesuit heroes, Fr. Tony LaBau, SJ, who had that job when I was a young Jesuit student living at Nativity Church on Second Avenue. Tony was one of the gentlest and generous men I have met.
Al told me that Tony was still alive, well into his nineties. We found we had some interests in common, including Al's advanced studies in sociology, but not having used the degree so much for academic research and writing, but organizational management. That sounded familiar. We had a delightful dinner, and even a post prandial conversation in the computer room.
I opened my email an hour ago to see his death notice. He died suddenly at St. Vincent's Hospital in New York. "We know not the day nor the hour." I can't say that Al and I were friends. We only met once. But now I have a friend in the Lord on the other side.... Requiescat in pace!