Home Page Home Page
Front Page News Digest Cardinal George Observations The Interview Classifieds
Learn more about our publication and our policies
Send us your comments and requests
Subscribe to our print edition
Advertise in our print edition or on this site
Search past online issues
Link to other Catholic Web sites
Site Map
New World Publications
Periódieo oficial en Español de la Arquidióesis de Chicago
Archdiocesan Directory
Order Directory Online
Link to the Archdiocese of Chicago's official Web site.
The Catholic New World
Archidiocese on the Radio
Observations - by Tom Sheridan, Editor
Send your comments to the Editor


Missed wisdom

Jack Egan (he was always “Jack,” despite his respect for the church which named him “monsignor”) called me quite a few weeks ago, before his latest, and last, health woe. He wanted to get together, and we made a date.

He had to reschedule, and we did. But I made the mistake of picking a date I couldn’t keep and we had to cancel. He never said what he wanted; that he had some wisdom to impart to me was enough. He was hardly shy about offering advice, encouragement or, when necessary, criticism.

Now I’ll never know just what he wanted.

Jack Egan died May 19. He was, because of that honest, take-it-at-face-value behavior, a Chicago Catholic icon. Egan’s story—it’s certainly more than an obituary—appears elsewhere in this issue.

There is no lack of Jack Egan stories. Certainly no one in this town’s media crew should be without one. He was always available with wisdom, an insider’s view, a challenge for a reporter to follow up on, a good story waiting to be told.

I can’t recall when I first ran into the good monsignor. Our paths certainly crossed numerous times over the nearly three decades I’ve been writing Chicago stories. While I knew the background—you’d have to be living in Chicago’s Deep Tunnel not to know the background—I didn’t truly appreciate it until I came to work for the church, and saw him from that perspective.

Jack Egan did it all.

Yes, he marched for racial equality, decades before his church became even marginally comfortable with it. For the effort he did not gain personal honor, only epithets and a label that still applies: liberal. Unabashedly liberal is more like it. And rightly proud of it.

Beyond racism, which would have been for a lesser person more than enough for one lifetime, there were any number of social justice crusades: concern for the poor, the marginalized, the disenfranchised, the outcasts, the left-behinds.

Though he never told me so in so many words, I suspect he would have simply said that was the Gospel was for.

This column could go on, but I think you get the picture. Egan was an original: priest, prophet and never, never the pollyanna.

I only wish I knew what he wanted to tell me.

Tom Sheridan
Editor and General Manager

Send your comments to Tom Sheridan


Front Page | Digest | Cardinal | Observations | Interview  
Classifieds | About Us | Write Us | Subscribe | Advertise 
Archive | Catholic Sites
New World Publications | Católico | Directory Site Map