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Thursday, December 30, 2010

Rest in Peace, Fr. John Harvey

Fr. John Harvey, founder of COURAGE, died on December 27th, the feast of St. John the Beloved at age 92. Our paths crossed several times. Years ago when I was teaching Natural Family Planning at Providence Hospital in Washington, D.C. Fr. Harvey was an advisor to our group. I remember particularly one session because a local prostitute had asked about taking NFP classes. We asked Fr. Harvey about the morality of teaching her. Obviously, a method that requires much love and commitment was unlikely to be very effective in her trade. But Fr. Harvey replied that at least it would keep her off the street for a few evenings and perhaps there would be an opportunity to counsel her. He had a particularly tender heart for sinners.

We met again just a few years ago when I attended the Catholic Leadership Conference's annual meeting. I had the great pleasure of sitting next to him during several sessions and sharing a meal. He looked very frail, but was just as sharp intellectually as he ever was. I was impressed with his energy, his gentleness, and his wisdom. What a blessing that God left him with us for 92 years. Rest in peace, dear Father, I can almost hear the Lord saying, "Welcome, good and faithful servant."

See obituary here.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

May Fr. John Harvey and the souls of all the faithful departed rest in peace.