The many e-mails and calls to offer words of condolence and the promise of prayers has meant so very much to me and to my entire family. I am especially grateful to the many priests who have offered the Mass for my grandmother's repose. My family tells me that the funeral was beautiful and my grandmother now rests under a beautiful row of cedar trees in my home parish's cemetery.
A word of congratulations to Fr. Greg Haake, CSC who this week successfully defended his MA Thesis in Paris. The thesis is on "the influence of the 15th century Italian philosopher, Marsile Ficin, and his commentary on Plato’s Symposium on the 16th century love poetry of Maurice Scève and Joachim Du Bellay." So, there. Got that? Fr. Haake will be returning to Notre Dame this Fall to begin teaching French and to apply to French PhD programs.
And congratulations to my friends Jim and Katie Spillman who are now the proud parents of Grace Cecilia Spillman. Mom and child are both doing well.
A word of congratulations also to fellow Casa priest residents who have recently defended their doctoral dissertations and can now be referred to as "Rev. Dr". Fr. Tad Oxley of the Diocese of Toledo, Ohio defended his dissertation at the Gregorian on the relation between personhood and communion. Fr. McLean Cummings of the Archdiocese of Baltimore earned his doctorate at the Regina Apostolorum University. And next week Rev. Jim Sheehan of the Archdiocese of Newark will defend his dissertation, entitled, "A New Canonical Configuration for the Pastoral Provision?" at the Pontifical University of Santa Croce. Fr. Jim has been my neighbor across the hall this year and has been quite welcoming and helpful to me during this first year of learning the ropes around the house and Rome. Last weekend, the Holy Father appointed Fr. Jim as Chaplain to His Holiness and is now a Monsignor. So, congratulations to Rev. Msgr. James Sheehan!