Fr. William D. Lynn, S.J., age 90, died Christmas Day, his birthday. He was my instructor in sacraments at Pontifical College Josephinum in 1979 as I was completing my last year of study at Trinity Lutheran Seminary in Ohio. We stayed in touch through the years following, both disappointed at the descent of liberal Lutherans into, um, liberal Protestantism. He was a superior teacher, a pastoral presence in every classroom where he taught, and I much regret his death. He was one of the people who kept my world orderly, knowing he was in it. He wasn’t a “Jesuit star,” not like Dulles or others; just one of those faithful priests and pastors who touch the lives of others in ways they cannot begin to count.
I made of mention of him in one of my “On the Square” essays some while back:
The class at the Josephinum that really rocked was Sacramentology. It was taught by Fr. William D. Lynn, S.J. As a teacher, pastor, and friend, he was a very gentle guy and a very good lecturer. We corresponded from time to time thereafter, and as a gift I once bought him a subscription to Forum Letter, a Lutheran publication then edited by Richard Neuhaus. I recall a post card from Lynn: “I wrote to Neuhaus. He wrote back!”
The funeral mass is 11 a.m., Wernersville Jesuit Center, Pennsylvania, January 4. As our prayer book says, “Surrounded by saints and angels, may Christ come to greet you as you go forth from this life.”