I received a very sad phone call this afternoon from our reigning Czar, Dale Alquist, at the American Chesterton Society…
One of my [our] most beloved spiritual fathers and mentors, Benedictine Father Stanley Jaki, died quietly in the company of friends, from complications following an previous major cardiac event, on 7 April 2009, at Clinica de la Conception in Madrid, Spain where he was visiting friends following a lecture series in Rome for the Master in Faith and Science of the Pontificio Ateneo Regina Apostolorum.
Father Jaki was first and foremost a faithful priest and a physicist, and had served as Distinguished Professor of Physics at Seton Hall University, New Jersey, since 1975. He was one of the premier contemporary minds in the fields of philosophy of science and theology, as well as “on issues where the two disciplines meet and diverge”. He was the writer of innumerable books, articles and essays covering everything from the metaphysics of the Eucharist, to the primacy of the Apostle Peter, to exactly where and how Charles Darwin went woefully wrong. In short, Father Jaki was one of the greatest thinkers of the 20th century and his contributions to Catholic thought and culture will be difficult to quantify.
In addition to so many other things, Father Jaki was also a beloved and much-sought after Chestertonian, and a true follower of the Rule of St. Benedict in every way imaginable; he was always teaching. He only had to be invited to speak once to the annual American Chesterton Society Conference…after that he would simply call Dale Ahlquist in advance and announce his topic! Such graceful moxie is very rare these days and those of us who have known him, learned from him, and love him have all been blessed and bettered by his initiative; it will be a palpable loss not to have this spiritual and intellectual giant in our midst any longer.
Please pass on this news and pray for the merciful repose of his soul. May our Father in Heaven receive him quickly and joyfully and may we be ever blessed for having known him! +++