Related to an earlier post about the feast of Our Lady of Lourdes, I’m thinking a lot of John Moorehouse today. He was my editor on The Year with the Mystics, and he died just after Thanksgiving. We had spoken the day before, catching up and talking about future book projects. The very last thing he said to me was that he would be praying for my friend Andrew Walther, who had died earlier in the month, and his family. Andrew was just a little younger than he was, and with a family just a little younger too. He had told me that he was more tired than usual, which was strange. The next day a heart attack left his wife, Robin, and their five children, the oldest having just started college, without her beloved husband and their devoted father. I want to pay tribute to him because work was not transactional to him — nothing in life could be — because he was a Christian. He couldn’t have been kinder or more patient with me, including when Kate O’Beirne died when I was supposed to be handing in the book I was late on.
Everyone at St. Benedict’s Press was devastated over John’s death. As I said to a friend whose father suddenly died of COVID-19 this week: We are born to die, but it is still devastating. I don’t know how people face it without faith. I pray for you the most because I can’t imagine the pain when the pain for believers is great.
We want to provide and be productive. But as people of faith. As people of virtue. The first time I was late, I said: But are you going to be harmed by this? “Kathryn, there are more important things. We’ll move some things around. We will be fine. Just let me know when you’re ready,” he said. During one of my panics over finishing, he told me about how detached his mother was about the things of this world as she neared death. He had something similar.
You and I both know people who could have gone into a rage over such a thing. I know people who have been docked pay. And maybe that’s right and just on contract. But what are the things that matter in the end? Did we love one another? Even when dealing with delinquent authors.
God rest the repose of the soul of John Moorehouse and help and protect his family. (There’s a donation site for them here, which includes wonderful photos, too.)
By the way, I was recently over with Andrew Walther’s widow, Maureen, and their children. It was their youngest’s birthday — she’s now one year old, and she’s my goddaughter. At night prayer, the three boys pray for the Moorehouse family.
God bless all those who suffer. There are more than we know or realize or frequently consider. On my better days, I pray for those most in need of prayers — those whom perhaps no one thinks to pray for.
Note: The title of this post was changed after posting.