Fr. King was my theology professor, in the mandatory theology course I took as a freshman at Georgetown. He’d had throat surgery of some kind, and his voice was soft and ghostly—lost in the hum whenever the air-conditioner in White-Gravenor Hall would come on.
I saw him far more rarely than I wanted, in later years: a few UFL meetings, and Tim took me by to visit him in the Quad on a trip to Washington.
But I remember the midnight Masses he would say in Dahlgren Chapel when we were undergraduates: candlelit and subdued, and as mystical as any services I’ve ever experienced—except perhaps for the Mass he would say every year in the crypt underneath the chapel in Copley Hall on the anniversary of the ordination of Teilhard de Chardin.
Fr. King loved Teilhard, and he devoted himself over the last thirty years to two of the most quixotic projects anyone can imagine: the organization of college professors across the country into “University Faculty for Life” and the canonization of Teilhard de Chardin. Neither is close to completion, but they kept Fr. King young and active and alive. He was a great man, and his loss hurts in this long year of losses.