September 10, 2012

David Gordon Remembers Jim Sadowsky

Upon my return from the wake for James Sadowsky, SJ, I saw an email from his (and my) long-time friend David Gordon, to which was attached the text of his tribute to him, published this morning on  I called him to thank him for the near-perfect remembrance, especially the recollection of several of "Jim's" many jokes, and for the kind insertion of links that provide David's readers immediate access to the text of almost all of Father Sadowsky's published writings. David's essay will bring them a new readership.

Most of the wake's few attendees had not a clue about the libertarian side of their fellow Jesuit, or even that, as a teenager in 1939, he had converted from Anglicanism to Roman Catholicism. James Sadowsky's influence lies mainly in the future.

As I knelt before his mortal remains (which the closed-casket funeral tomorrow morning will make impossible), the absence of the labored breathing that had recently encumbered his speaking had a calming effect. I thanked God for gracing me with a friend who was a man of great faith and intellectual integrity, both attributes enlivened by sharp wit. With the help of His grace I will never allow James Sadowsky's memory to fade.

Tony Flood

September 7, 2012

James A. Sadowsky, SJ, December 28, 1923 - September 7, 2012: R.I.P.

It is with great sadness that I must devote this post, the site's hundredth, to the passing of James A. Sadowsky, SJ. He died this morning in his room at Murray-Weigel Hall, the Jesuit infirmary on the campus of Fordham University, where he had taught philosophy from 1960 until his retirement in 1998. The time of death was called at 6:00 A.M., but it occurred at an undetermined time shortly before. 

When I visited him a few weeks ago (as I had done almost monthly since his transfer to the infirmary last fall), he had difficulty remembering who I was. "My mind is shot," he retorted that afternoon when I had to repeat a bit of information I was sure was still accessible to him. Anyone who had personally encountered that mind when it was operating on all cylinders can imagine how painful the realization of that loss must have been for him. 

Father Sadowsky and Murray Rothbard were friends and influenced each other philosophically from the early '60s until Murray's passing in 1995. I plan to share my memories of this exemplary anarcho-Catholic priest, whom it was my good fortune to call a friend since 1983, in the near future. Until then, please see earlier posts about him on this blog and many of his articles on my site. And please pray for the repose of his soul.