The entire Christendom College community was saddened to learn of the passing of the former Archbishop of Philadelphia, Anthony Cardinal Bevilacqua, who died in his sleep on Tuesday night, January 31. He was 88 years old.
Cardinal Bevilacqua was a good friend to Christendom College, having blessed and dedicated the college’s St. Louis the Crusader Gymnasium in 1998.
“I’ve never seen any bishop use as much holy water in a blessing as Cardinal Bevilacqua,” said College President Dr. Timothy O’Donnell, who recalls the blessing of Crusader Gymnasium with fondness. “If there were any demons lurking in the corners of that building they didn’t have chance.”
O’Donnell describes Bevilacqua as “a great man of the Church who possessed a deep love of Jesus Christ and had a tremendous devotion to the person of the Holy Father.”
Bevilacqua was also a member of the college’s 25th Anniversary Honorary Dinner Committee, which had then-Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger as the Chairman. In a letter to the college in anticipation of the college’s 25th Anniversary Gala Dinner in September 2002, Cardinal Bevilacqua wrote:
For the past twenty-five years, Christendom College has provided a great service to the Church by offering an education to our youth which is based upon ‘the splendor of the Truth,’ Who is Christ. It is my hope and prayer that this fine tradition will continue for many years to come.
“He was a great man who had a great love for family life,” said O’Donnell, who hosted the cardinal in his home in 1998. “He will be deeply missed and we will hold him in our hearts and remember him in our prayers.”
May his soul, and all the souls of the faithfully departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen.