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Faith in Action Blog

Faith in Action Blog

Fred Arthur (’96) Fred Arthur (’96)

Friends and loved ones gathered today at Santa Clara Church in Oxnard, California, for the funeral Mass of an alumnus of Thomas Aquinas College, Fred Arthur (’96). Serving as principal celebrant at the Mass was one of Mr. Arthur’s TAC classmates, Rev. Ramon Decaen (’96), a priest of the Diocese of Lincoln, Nebraska.  Audio of Fr. Decaen’s homily (recorded on a cell phone, thus the uneven quality) is available in the player at the bottom of this post.

Rev. Ramon Decaen (’96) Rev. Ramon Decaen (’96)“Today we pray in a special way for our brother Fred, whose gentle smile illuminated the campus at Thomas Aquinas College,” said Fr. Decaen in his homily.  “He had a great love for people, a great love for everyone. … He was always generous, very giving of himself.”

Fr. Decaen noted that he was “maybe the first person that Fred met at the College,” as they were freshman roommates.  The two became fast friends and, he added, “It’s when Christ unites us in friendship that we help each other on the road to heaven.”

The priest also joked about some cultural differences that the two had to work through — Fr. Decaen being a lifelong Californian, and Mr. Arthur a citizen of Ghana — mostly relating to the temperature of the room and who slept on which bunk. “We come from many different backgrounds, many different countries, many different beginnings, but we are all united together as one body, the Body of Christ,” Father said. “United in love, united in conviction, united in respect for the dignity of the human person, we are reminded that God is here with us.”

Due to COVID-19 restrictions, only a limited number of friends were permitted in the church, but among them were several alumni of the College. Fr. Decaen urged all those gathered — and, by extension, Mr. Arthur’s friends everywhere — to pray for the repose of his soul and the consolation of his wife, Nana, and their four children. “That’s our goal today,” Father said. “We pray that he may go to the heavenly kingdom, and through the grace of this most powerful prayer that we celebrate today, we call upon God’s grace to give him rest in eternal life.”


Nanna and Fred Arthur (’96) with their children Fred Arthur (’96)

Rev. Ramon Decaen (’96) reports that his friend and onetime roommate, Fred Arthur (’96), succumbed to cancer this afternoon in California, just as Fr. Decaen was offering a Mass for him on the vigil of Corpus Christi in Lincoln, Nebraska. “Please pray for his wife (Nana) and their four children, ages 7 to 14,” writes Fr. Decaen. Funeral arrangements are pending. Pray for his eternal rest; may he rest in peace.”

Eternal rest grant unto him, O Lord
and let perpetual light shine upon him.
May his soul and all the souls of the faithful departed rest in peace.


An illustration from Tomie dePaola’s The Legend of the Poinsettia An illustration from Tomie dePaola’s The Legend of the Poinsettia

Sean Fitzpatrick (’02)Sean Fitzpatrick (’02)Late in Lent, Tomie dePaola, a longtime children’s author beloved by many Catholic families, died following a fall at his studio in New Hampshire. The news of his passing was largely lost amidst COVID-19 reporting, but alumnus author Sean Fitzpatrick (’02) has now penned an appropriately prayerful Easter tribute to Mr. dePaola in Crisis.

“It is at this time of resurrection that Catholics may …  remember those who have passed away in the hope of rising again, and especially those whose memory might be seasoned with the brightness they brought to life by their lives — how they participated in Christ’s work to make all things new,” writes Mr. Fitzpatrick. “Tomie dePaola may not have been religious, but he was certainly reverent. Though he lost the Faith, he never lost his love for the goodness, beauty, and perhaps truth of what he had once believed.”

Mr. Fitzpatrick continues:

DePaola saw the splendor of the Catholic Faith with its enduring power, its charm, its sacred mystery, and the mystical way it lent itself to lore and legend. As a writer and illustrator of children’s books, he famously presented the Faith, the heroes of the Faith, and the traditions of the Church with a vitality that is all but unmatched in the modern children’s library. ...

[His] hard lines, soft brushstrokes, and bright palette, coupled with his straightforward writing style, made the invisible aspects of sainthood and sanctity visible, tangible, and attractive, giving the heroes of the Church, and even the stories of Christ, a dimension that goes beyond stuffy histories or plain catechisms. 

“This Easter, Catholics should remember this storyteller and painter who thought it his vocation to bring children to God by bringing old things to new life,” Mr. Fitzpatrick concludes. “May his soul, like the soul of his Clown of God, rest in the hands of the Christ Child, and there find the glorious vibrancy he searched for and praised in his painting.”


crucifix in Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity Chapel

Please pray for the repose of the soul of Dr. Ken J. Kaiser (’78), who died this morning. Dr. Kaiser was the brother of Associate Dean Thomas Kaiser (’75), Kathy (Eubanks ’77), and David (’79), and the father of Will (’03) and John (’07). Please also pray for the consolation of his wife, Patti (Grimm ’79), and their entire family. 

Eternal rest grant unto him, O Lord
and let perpetual light shine upon him.
May his soul and all the souls of the faithful departed rest in peace.


February
20, 2020

The family of Patrice and Stephen Atchley

Please pray for the repose of the soul of Stephen Atchley, who died of complications from a heart attack on February 16. Please also pray for the consolation of his family, including his wife, Patrice (Ford ’81), and their eight children: Liam (’14), Clare (’12), Angelique (Cotugno ’14), Gabrielle, Juliet (’18), Sophia, Dominique (’22), and Lisette. A 9:30 a.m. Rosary and 10:00 am Funeral Mass are scheduled for Saturday, February 22 at San Segundo d’Asti Church in Ontario, California.

Eternal rest grant unto him, O Lord
and let perpetual light shine upon him.
May his soul and all the souls of the faithful departed rest in peace.


Patricia Kessler (’87)Please pray for the repose of the soul of Patricia Kessler (’87). A senior attorney at the U.S. Department of Justice, on assignment at the U.S. Embassy in Tanzania, she had taken a short vacation to do some scuba diving in the Red Sea. On November 1, when fire broke out on the boat, it appears that she helped other passengers to escape, but did not make it off herself. Her family presumes that she died in the ordeal.

After her graduation from the College in 1987, Patty earned her juris doctorate from the University of Notre Dame. She then joined the U.S. Navy’s Judge Advocate General’s Corps, where she served as senior defense counsel, department head, and advisor to the Judge Advocate General. For the next seven years she worked as an assistant U.S. attorney at the U.S. Department of Justice, followed by eight years in private practice. She returned to the Justice Department in 2015 as a senior trial attorney in the Asset Forfeiture Section of the Criminal Division.

A lifelong friend has paid tribute to Patty saying,

I have poignant memories of long, philosophical conversations with Patty during college. She studied TRUTH. It gave her pleasure to examine: “What is Truth? How do we know the truth about anything? What does it mean to seek truth? Why should we seek truth? Should we seek truth for truth’s sake? What if the truth does not change the outcome of a situation?” She concluded that seeking the truth, speaking the truth and acting on the truth, and constantly wrestling with the truth is what we all must do to achieve a happy life, or our world will devolve into the Hobbesian description, which is “nasty, brutish and short.”

Please keep Patty in your prayers, and please pray for the consolation of her family, especially for her two daughters.

 

Eternal rest, grant unto her O Lord and let perpetual light shine upon her. May her soul and all the souls of the faithful departed rest in peace.


crucifix from Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity Chapel

Please pray for the repose of the soul of John Kaiser (’07),  who, after a long illness, passed away on June 20, surrounded by his loving family. Please pray also for the consolation of his parents, Patti (Grimm ’79) and Ken (’78), his brother Will (’03), and all the members of the Kaiser and Grimm families.

Saints of God, come to his aid!
Come to meet him, angels of the Lord!
Receive his soul and present him to God the Most High.

May Christ, Who called him, take him to Himself;
may angels lead him to Abraham's side.
Receive his soul and present him to God the Most High.

Give him eternal rest, O Lord,
and may Your light shine upon him forever.
Receive his soul and present him to God the Most High.

We commend our brother John to you, Lord.
Now that he has passed from this life,
may he live on in Your presence.
In Your mercy and love, forgive whatever sins he
may have committed through human weakness.
We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.


Crucifix in Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity Chapel

Please pray for the repose of the soul of alumnus Douglas Alexander (’77), who died on May 18. Please also pray for the consolation of his wife, Leslie, and their six children.

A member of Thomas Aquinas College’s third graduating class, Mr. Alexander was a convert to Catholicism, entering the Church at the Easter Vigil of his Freshman Year. After his graduation in 1977, he went on to earn a master’s degree in political philosophy from the Claremont University Graduate School. Throughout his life he held numerous positions in organizations dedicated to Catholic education and education policy, including the Free Congress Foundation, Seton Home Study School, and the Catholic Schools Textbook Project, where he served as executive editor.

Eternal rest, grant unto him O Lord
and let perpetual light shine upon him.
May his soul and all the souls of the faithful departed rest in pea
ce.


Crucifix in Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity Chapel

 

Please pray for the repose of the soul of Andrew Baird (’04) and for the consolation of the his family. Andrew passed away yesterday after a courageous battle with cancer. “I am told that he was very grateful for our prayers over the last two years, especially yesterday,” reports Alumni Relations Coordinator Aaron Dunkel (’06). “His passing was peaceful.”

Saints of God, come to his aid!
Come to meet him, angels of the Lord!
Receive his soul and present him to God the Most High.

May Christ, Who called him, take him to Himself;
may angels lead him to Abraham's side.
Receive his soul and present him to God the Most High.

Give him eternal rest, O Lord,
and may Your light shine upon him forever.
Receive his soul and present him to God the Most High.

We commend our brother, Andrew, to you, Lord.
Now that he has passed from this life,
may he live on in Your presence.
In Your mercy and love, forgive whatever sins he
may have committed through human weakness.
We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen


Weston Roseberry (’18) with fellow Thomas Aquinas College students at the 2015 Walk for Life West Coast Weston Roseberry (’18) with fellow Thomas Aquinas College students at the 2015 Walk for Life West CoastPlease pray for the repose of the soul of Weston Roseberry (’18), who died Friday as the result of an automobile accident in Longmont, Colorado. Please also pray for the consolation of Weston’s family, friends, and classmates.

Eternal rest, grant unto him O Lord
and let perpetual light shine upon him.
May his soul and all the souls of the faithful departed rest in peace.


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Isaac Cross (’19) -- quote 2

“There’s a joy for life here you don’t get in most places, a sense of purpose, a sense of love and fellowship bound up in our common cause of seeking the truth.”

– Isaac Cross (’19)

Leominster, Massachusetts

NEWS FROM THE COLLEGE

“I am full of admiration for what the College, its founders, its leadership, its faculty and staff, and its students and alumni have achieved.”

– George Cardinal Pell

Archbishop of Sydney