Priest’s battle with terminal cancer serves as his ‘last homily’
NEW YORK – From his perch on K Street at the Catholic Information Center (CIC), Father Arne Panula shepherded some of the nation’s power brokers into the Catholic Church. Yet the oft-quiet, cerebral Opus Dei priest, who died last year after a long and public battle with cancer, is remembered by those closest to him not for his influential connections, but for his selfless and tireless sacrificial work behind the scenes.
In the final months of his illness, noted author and cultural commentator Mary Eberstadt spent time with her long-time friend, chronicling his thoughts on everything from classical music to the clerical sexual abuse crisis.
In Eberstadt’s new book, The Last Homily: Conversations with Fr. Arne Panula, she captures the mind of a dying man who seemingly has never had a clearer picture of life’s priorities and purpose.