As Remembered by Rev. Fr. Mickey Danyluk
Where can I begin? I first met Richard at Dignity/Hartford in January, 1983. Through the years until his death, we shared deeply in each other's lives. I am an Independent Catholic priest in the historic Old Catholic tradition reaching out to the unchurched today because of Christ's call and Richard's encouragement and support. We attended numerous protests together, worked for the civil rights of gay & lesbian persons in Connecticut through the 1980's and 90's. Some red-letter events: meeting with Archbishop John Whealon in February, 1985 with dialogue for ministry to gay Roman Catholics in the archdiocese; the church shift with the Halloween Letter of October, 1987; his chapter in Grammick's book on homosexuality and the priesthood; sharing his heartbreak over censure and excommincation; the struggle to decide to be RC and not a priest or a priest and not be RC; discovery of Independent catholicism; his discovery of Jonathan Daniels, Episcopal saint and our pilgrimage to his grave; our joining the Order of Jonathan Daniels and his taking the name of Jonathan; his entry into the Episcopal Church; Hartford memorial to Matthew Shepard. I have a number of his photo albums--he always took lots of pictures. Richard was thoughtful, patient, kind, generous to a fault, totally selfless, Traditional, Progressive, a Christ-figure in our midst. He was the best that any of us could possibly be. I cannot imagine him not here with us--and could only suggest that he might be another Therese of Lusieux--spending his heaven time aiding us here on earth. He once told me that he would like the word, "BE CREATIVE" on his headstone. He laughed deeply, smiled widely, offered his heart to another living life to its fullest! Everyone was family and friend. We shared a love of Dark Shadows (television soap opera) and attended fan club festivals in New York City--meeting the actors and reminiscing. (Special note here to Marie Wallace for her personal touch.) He as shining star will illumine our life experience of this long and blessed night of holy darkness. I don't know if he ever had a sense of how many lives he touched or even of how much people loved him--he was that humble. I am at a loss, except for that loss which I share now with so many, many people who also knew and loved him.
June 25, 2012