Father Dugan's Happy Easter letter included photos from his February visit to campus
All my best at this holy time to my friends, relatives, and former students!
During this Lenten season leading to Easter, I am fortunate enough to be participating in a program for the U.S. Jesuit community entitled, “Moved to Greater Love.” I hope that this special time of the year has been, and will continue to be, meaningful and fulfilling for each of you.
In February, I made a trip to the homeland, Buffalo. The Canisius College Athletic Department invited me to attend the Sports Hall of Fame ceremony at which Dr. Keith Stube was awarded the first Rev. Paul J. Dugan, S. J. Award for his exemplary service to athletes at the college. It was not only a terrific homecoming for me, but it also gave me an opportunity to “spread the joy” to new and old friends!
En route to Buffalo, at LaGuardia Airport, I had the pleasure of running into Krissy Buongiorno, a Fordham student volunteer who has visited me at Murray-Weigel and accompanied me to basketball games. I also met a cute youngster who was spreading his own joy to me and my fellow travelers. The fact that our backgrounds are quite different – he and his parents are Muslim – did not prevent us from bonding with each other.
In Buffalo, I stayed in the Provincial’s room at Loyola Hall, the Jesuit residence at Canisius. Throughout the weekend, I was able to reconnect with many Jesuits with whom I had been fortunate to live and work for many years.
On Friday night, I enjoyed dinner at the Buffalo Club with my dear friends, the Montantes. Lunch on Saturday brought together another great group with whom I dined monthly in my Buffalo days. The joy continued on Saturday night, when I celebrated with other special friends, the Eberl family, at the Saturn Club.
On Sunday afternoon, I attended the Hall of Fame luncheon, at which I delivered the Invocation and Benediction. As usual, I did my best to spread more joy. For me, on that occasion, the joy overflowed! Later that day I was proud to sit courtside with the team at the Canisius vs. Iona basketball game, where I was introduced at half-time. The applause put an enormous strain on my humility!
“My staff,” Fr. Bill Scanlon, S.J., and Margaret Monahan from Murray-Weigel Hall, came with me on the trip and helped me to get around. Margaret took scores of pictures of me with many of the wonderful folks whom I encountered. Big thanks to both of them!
While the trip was extraordinary, my time back here in New York has continued to be stimulating. I am a fan of Fordham basketball, especially the women’s team. They won the Atlantic 10 Championship this year, and I attended their season-end celebration banquet! Being a fan of both Canisius and Fordham is a great challenge, but one that I have met, again with great joy!
I just turned 90! I am most grateful for my health, although I did have a surprise on that front last month! Good doctors decided I needed a pacemaker. It was recently implanted, and both the pacemaker and my heart just keep on ticking! The Jesuits at Murray-Weigel are all dealing with age and health issues with grace and strength. We are blessed with each other’s companionship and support.
Kudos to Tom Sear, a McQuaid Jesuit High School alum, Jay Gallagher, and Jeanne Moccia – volunteers par excellence! I should also mention that the staff here who tend to our daily needs are great!
Finally, I would like you to know how much I appreciate the wonderful response to my Christmas letter. It has been super to rekindle old relationships and sustain ongoing ones. Please keep in touch!
Peace and love in Christ,
Fr. Paul J. Dugan, S.J.
515 East Fordham Road
Bronx, NY 10458
Father Paul J. Dugan, S.J. ’45 was a campus fixture for generations of students before retiring to Murray-Weigel Residence Hall, an assisted living center for Jesuits at Fordham University in the Bronx. A Buffalo native, Dugan graduated from St. Joseph’s Collegiate Institute in 1941 and was ordained in 1956. He joined the Canisius community in 1970 as assistant chaplain to the student body. He was moderator of athletics and alumni chaplain for the college for almost 40 years. He also instituted the Last Chance Mass on Sunday nights at Canisius.