One of my heroes in the Dominican Order died today. He had been battling cancer for some time now, so it was not unforeseen – but it was a shock, as I had thought that he was in recovery. Fr. Kurt Pritzl was a genius philosopher and a very holy, humble man. I knew him as a philosophy professor at Catholic University, where he was the chair of the department. He taught my senior seminar and was both very kind and challenging to his students. I remember one guy in that class who had been a business major – after one class with Fr. Kurt, he changed his major to philosophy!
Fr. Kurt could certainly grow on people, and I took him personally as someone I looked to as a living example of what a Dominican should be: humble, intelligent, willing to see the good in the other person’s view and life, heavily active in saving souls, intensely holy, and someone who preached first through love but also was not slow in preaching the Gospel when the occasion arose.
Last night, I had not heard of his death before I went to bed. I had a very interesting dream, however, that Fr. Pritzl (whom I have not seen personally in about 2 years) came to me and gave me a hug. It was very simple – after that, he just disappeared into light. I cannot but, having now heard of his death, take this to mean that he is in Paradise. I encourage you, personally, to both say a prayer for his happy repose and – even more so – to also pray to him, as I’m sure he wouldn’t disappoint.
He gave a talk very recently before his death that was video-taped – a homily on the feast of St. Thomas Aquinas. I recommend you watch and listen to him, as the talk itself is both enlightening and an example of holiness:
The full homily can’t be embedded, but it’s at: http://vodpod.com/watch/3522492-fr-kurt-pritzl-op-on-the-feast-of-st-thomas
Here is an embedded copy of excepts from that homily:
Here’s his CUA bio, to get an idea of all he did:
Yours in Christ,
Br. James Dominic, OP