Saturday, August 12, 2006


I heard the homilies of the Masses celebrated for him in Chile. I wasn't overly impressed. Our finely honed skills for rewriting history, understating the essential and overstating the trivial, seem to have kicked in far before the occasion to preach actually presented itself.

Some congratulate themselves for a spin well spun and perceive, perhaps, the unspoken relief of having one less pebble in their shoe. Others, MANY others, I know remember and miss this great man and exemplar priest for who he really was and what he taught us all.

Fr. Jose Maria Escribano V. A sage and a friend, he had time for everyone who needed it and never failed to put any soul back on the path to eternity. Unencumbered by the sham and the noise, his words centered, calmed and oriented. Folks felt they NEEDED to hear him.

I miss his deadpan rejoinders, his laser-sharp wit and his keen eye for the absurd - which found constant subject matter in the institution we both belong to. I'd like to think something of Fr. Jose Maria rubbed off on me in the nearly ten years we lived together, seven in our own unlikely extension of paradise. He was a mentor and a guide. He saved me from myself more times than I care to remember.

Requiescat in pace.