One of the century’s greatest Catholic intellectuals, Ralph McInerny died on January 29.


McInerny received the College’s Pro Deo et Patria Medal for Distinguished Service to God and Country in 2008.

“Ralph was a good man and a real hero who stood in the breach during a difficult period in history,” College President Dr. Timothy O’Donnell said. “He had a real love for the permanent things and a great devotion to the Angelic Doctor, St. Thomas Aquinas.”

McInerny, the Michael P. Grace professor of medieval studies at Notre Dame University, directed the Jacques Maritain Center from 1979 to 2006. A specialist in the philosophy of St. Thomas Aquinas, he wrote and edited 22 books about Thomistic and other medieval philosophies. In addition, he wrote more than 60 novels, including the well-known Father Dowling mystery series. He also published several books on Catholic spiritual topics, including What Went Wrong With Vatican II.

McInerny was a good friend of the College giving the keynote address at the College’s 2008 Commencement Exercises where he received the Pro Deo et Patria Medal for Distinguished Service to God and Country.

You can listen to his 2008 address at Christendom on iTunes U.

“He led a life filled with scholarly labor in faithful service to Christ and His Church,” O’Donnell said. “Ralph’s presence, intelligence, and Irish wit will be sorely missed. I join with everyone here at Christendom and everyone across the country in praying for the repose of his soul and for the members of his family.”

Eternal rest grant unto Ralph McInerny, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon him.  May his soul and the souls of all the faithful departed rest in peace. Amen.

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