"TQ has been one of the hidden treasures of the Catholic Church over so many years. Many have not understood his approach to pastoral ministry, but it has been invaluable in many respects. His new book, A Reluctant Malachi, introduces the reader to some of the wisdom he has shared with many Catholics and others over the years. I heartily recommend the book."
Richard P. McBrien, Crowley-O'Brien Professor of Theology, University of Notre Dame.
" . . .loved the cover choice; I have kept that memorial card in my office book - Danny was also a great friend. What a family! I recall Marie, TQ's much loved mother: she was visiting, as well as babysitting some of the little ones, TQ was on the telephone, deep in some theological conversation and one precocious little one was engrossed in twisting the telephone cord around his feet. The "reluctant Malachi" was annoyed and tried to swoop the baby out of the way. Marie winked at me and said: "They should all be married for about six months and see what life is really all about!" She was some lady! His wit came naturally...loved by many, he and his followers will be thrilled with what you have produced. Honest and forthright, as is he, but also professional -- really a master job . . .we thank you! Stephanie M. Bennett, sfcc
From the Book
February 11, 2009
H. THOMAS PADRICK. JR., JUDGE
To: Most Rev. Francis X. di Lorenzo Bishop of Richmond
Re: Father Thomas Quinlan
Dear Bishop di Lorenzo:
I am an adjunct law professor at a local Law School, and I am writing to you in that capacity. One of the courses I teach is "Judges and the Judicial Process." I invited Father Quinlan to speak about Canon Law and Biblical History in January. He spent three hours, speaking non-stop on the topics. Much to my dismay, a student, who was not part of the class, has written you a letter claiming that Father Quinlan acted inappropriately and committed heresy. This is totally inaccurate. When he was not speaking about Canon Law, he spoke about Fundamentalism, mostly in the context of Muslims, Jews, Mormons and other religions. In regard to the Bible, his comments about the Book of Genesis, were pointing out that much of the Old Testament was not written until much later than the events Scripture reported, and much of it based on oral histories.
In looking at the totality of the circumstances, it appears that the student took offense at, among other things, her fundamentalist Catholic view of the lecture, the very thing Father Quinlan was discussing. As a practicing Catholic I found his lecture to be intellectually stimulating, and not the least bit disrespectful to the Catholic Church or any other religion. My class thoroughly enjoyed Father Quinlan's appearance. This is significant because it is a Christian university. The student's letter takes the matter totally out of context and engages in hyperbole. I respectfully request that in the event you take the student's letter seriously, that you, or one of your staff, contact me to discuss the matter. Father Quinlan did absolutely nothing wrong.
Very truly yours,
H. Thomas Padrick, Jr.
CHAPTER 22 : “The Wonderful Church And The Day The "Magic Died" Letter From a Parishioner
I remember the wonderful church and the day the "magic" died. But I'd rather remember when it was there!
Father Tom Quinlan was the pastor of Good Shepherd. He insisted on being called Tom. Tom came to a parish made up of affluent, over-mortgaged society people: made up of colonels, generals, congressmen and senators. Then there were those that were God fearing and God loving, set in traditional Catholic ways, that gave the community a balance of social, economic and education levels that few other parishes elsewhere in the country could claim.
We often prayed together as a new parish, in a little old white brick building that was called a church, hall, school, community building, and parish house. The room was large and usually not too crowded, except on special days. The sliding doors often would be pulled closed to give the privacy needed for Sunday Masses. Even with the doors closed, parishioners filled in the back seats first and as the hall filled, additional areas were opened.
Little was available but a lot seemed to be possible. Tom's ideas transformed things so easily! We would work together, plan together, talk together, laugh together, pray together and often be chastised together through Tom's homilies. We understood everything with a clarity that eludes me now.
The hymnal booklets were the first to go. Then the altar rail... then the kneelers...though each had its replacement in the new liturgy. The word that reached the parishioners was involvement. All aspects of the church came under the guise of involvement. Tom was always around. He challenged those saying the rosary during Mass. He stared at those not singing during the entrance hymn or during the liturgy. He chastised those that left Mass early. Tom was often critical of the Pope, Bishop, parishioners, or any of his peer
professionals that were not living up to the decisions of Vatican II. He was often critical of the old traditional ways but always showing initiative toward the new. Many could not tolerate his abusive language during the homily, or his lack of tact in letting the pieces fail where they may in personal, frank discussions. Many wrote letters to the Bishop. Many walked out of Mass during his homilies and there were those that left the parish.
Meaningful involvement and innovation was the word of God through the New Liturgy, NOT through Tom. Family learning teams were initiated. Lay male and female ministers were appointed to distribute communion. A parish council was formed. Communion was taken in the hand. The Liturgy became meaningful through a lay committee. The Social Affairs committee worked on meaningful civic projects. The ward involvement touched the lives of all parishioners and even those of the protestant faith that had their own parishes within our church community. The name of Good Shepherd Pariah reached across the United States whenever and wherever church people gathered to talk about the new Christian ways of worship!
But I remember the day the "magic" died. A new diocese was formed. Tom was transferred to a new parish. A new Bishop was named, and a new pastor appointed at Good Shepherd. The Bishop and the new pastor gave new rules to follow. We missed Tom at first SWIFTLY and then subtly, our highly successful children's religious program was questioned, the adult speaker's lecture series was nearly cancelled, women were no longer given equal status as lay ministers, the plans for the new community center came under scrutiny, and the voice of the parish council was toned down by the new spiritual leadership.
But I remembered Tom and his "magic." I remembered his costume participation in the Octoberfest. I remembered the stagecoach and carousel at Christmastime. Who could forget the orange Volkswagon driven into church at Eastertime? I missed his calling us by our first names at Communion time. I missed the "magic" of his homilies...I missed Tom!
I hoped and prayed the "magic" Tom gave us would begin again...but it never did. Gradually I saw ourselves as we started drifting back into our old ways. I never asked anyone else if the "magic" died for them, I really didn't want to know. I'd rather remember when the "magic" was there, and I was just a small part of it.