We have now entered the second year of the pandemic. With active vaccination programs in place around much of the world, there is finally some light at the end of the tunnel. Yet, we are still far from returning to normal. In concrete terms, it remains unclear when Regis College will be able to safely reopen for public events. Just this afternoon, the provincial government announced new restrictions aimed at curbing a third wave here in Ontario. Moreover, the last projections that I heard suggest that it will be June before all Ontarians receive even our first dose. I would love to be able to resume in-person events in the Fall Term, but as always community safety must be our priority. The need to be responsible as well as attentive, intelligent, and reasonable has perhaps never seemed quite so imperative as it does today.
Later this week, we have the privilege of welcoming Brian Bajzek “back” to deliver a graduate seminar on “Lonergan, Girard, and Trumpism: Unmasking a Crisis of Idolatry.” Please contact me if you would like access to the Zoom link. Dr. Bajzek is a graduate of the doctoral program here at Regis College, and served the LRI faithfully as a graduate assistant for several years. He currently teaches at Marquette University, and we are honoured that he has taken the time to prepare and deliver this paper. Dr. Bajzek is also a former student of Robert M. Doran, who passed away back in January. As such, this seminar is a wonderful way of recognizing Fr. Doran’s legacy.
I want to add a few words about Fr. Doran. News of his passing came just as I was preparing to distribute the LSN back in January. Frankly, the grief was too strong at that time to really do more than to acknowledge his passing. As such, I want to here take the opportunity to say that Fr. Doran was a wonderful man, whose legacy in Lonergan scholarship and indeed theology more generally will continue for decades—perhaps even centuries—to come. Next to Lonergan himself and select scholars from my own primary discipline—New Testament studies—probably no scholar has influenced my thought as deeply as did Bob Doran. He was also very much a pastor. I was deeply moved at his virtual wake by the memories shared of his ministry during an earlier pandemic, that of HIV/AIDS. In many ways he embodied the “suffering servant” motif that played such a role in his thought. I was honoured that he considered me a friend.