Farewell Fr. Shanley

May 2, 2005 § Leave a comment

Fr. Brian Shanley Posted by Hello

Okay, so last night was the farewell Mass for Fr. Shanley. Afterwards there was a little reception outside. Fr. Shanley's homily was very moving; he hardly talked about himself, instead deferring to Christ as the Teacher. He gave me a bow of acknowledgement at the sign of peace (it was very kind of him). At the end of Mass we gave him a standing ovation, and it was at this point that he started to lose his composure. He had tears in his eyes during the homily, but one could see that he was really struggling at this point. After roughly three minutes of clapping, he stood up and yelled for us to stop. Lashing out, he choked at his current class (mine): "This won't raise your grades!" I couldn't help crying. The whole school is going to miss him sorely.

My feelings at the final hug goodbye, so dreaded on my part, are best described by a passage from Beowulf. The unknown author beautifully describes the farewell of King Hrothgar to Beowulf, who has had a very short friendship with the king (Lines 1876-1881):

“And such was his affection
that he could not help being overcome:
his fondness for the man was do deep-founded,
it warmed his heart and wound the heartstrings
tight in his breast.
The embrace ended.”

This is precisely how I felt. Though most likely I will not be able to speak with him again, I thank God for blessing me with the short time that I knew and was taught by Fr. Brian Shanley. He will be missed terribly.

Before our last day of classes, my class put the following together for Fr. Shanley, a tribute heartfelt though entertaining for those who know him:

Father Brian Shanley is too cool for this school. He's heading off to be the awesome President of Providence College, leaving us poor students to wallow in Philosophy without his guiding presence and love for Boston's Sports Teams.

• Father Shanley runs the Vatican-based Omega Force, the last line of defense against Vampires.
• Father Shanley argued Aristotle’s philosophy with Aristotle… and won.
• Father Shanley once defeated John Stuart Mill in a caged wrestling match dressed as Batman.
• Father Shanley led the Philosophy School in a destructive victory over the Architecture School in an explosive game of kick-ball.
Father Shanley is the Leviathan.
• Father Shanley is the foundation of Aristotle’s seventh form of government, “Shanlestocracy,” used only once throughout history to bring man out of the Stone Age.
• Father Shanley wrote one of the first Christian texts, “The Gospel of Brian.” It was rejected because the Council of Nicea was made up of Yankee fans.
• The exploits of Shanley, Noone, McKay, Druart, Gorman, and Pritzl are what inspired Stan Lee to create X-Men.
• Father Shanley starred in Martin Scorsese’s “The Last Temptation of Shanley.” It consisted entirely of Father Shanley sitting at a kitchen table staring at a cheesecake for two hours.
• Father Shanley was Jackie Chan and Bruce Lee’s mentor.

Farewell Fr. Shanley. :::sob::: No – I can't lose it now; I cried enough last night…

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