Thank you for the inspiring news obituary on the passing of the Rev. Neil McCaulley (“Roman Catholic Priest Who Supported Ordination of Women and Married Men,” June 30). He was one of those rare persons whose quiet leadership, good humor, courageous passion for justice and deep intelligence inspired others.
In 1972 the young Father McCaulley, then a parish priest in Springdale, signed the articles of incorporation for a new ministry for justice and peace, the Thomas Merton Center. He believed in the scriptural teaching that faith without works is dead.
Inspired by Vatican II, which in the mid-1960s had moved a fortress church toward open and loving engagement in the modern world, acting in solidarity with all of God’s people, he became a leading voice in the Association of Pittsburgh Priests.
This led to the presidency of the National Federation of Priests’ Councils where, in his travels, he strongly advocated for an open and loving church actively involved in the struggle for social justice and peace, human rights and economic justice.
As a man who not only preached but constantly lived out his values, he had a deep impact on others. I experienced his pastoral compassion during his visits with my seriously ill mother.
We members of the Thomas Merton Center are grateful for the life and witness of Father Neil McCaulley. We hope through our continued work, his legacy will honor his memory.
The writer is co-founder of the Thomas Merton Center.