I received word a few days ago that my friend and ordination classmate Paul Reynolds died suddenly of a heart attack. You can read his obituary here.
Paul was a rare person. He wasn’t flashy and never called attention to himself and was often so quiet you could forget he was there. But what you didn’t know is that Paul always knew you were there. He had an uncanny ability to evaluate a situation and know what needed to be done, and he did it. We were in seminary together from 1990 to 1993 and things didn’t always go smoothly. There were about 25 of us and we were all trying to figure this priesthood thing out. There were conflicts, friendships that developed and ended, hellos and goodbyes, and painful decisions made. All through it while the rest of us were raging against this belief or that comment, Paul would stay in the background watching and listening. Later, he would quietly make sure that the kind word or reassuring affirmation happened where it needed to happen.
The last time we saw him was May of 2012 in Boston. He was navigating his work at MIT and priesthood and the difficulty of that balance clearly weighed on him, but you would never know it to talk with him. His heart was always so kind and generous, it’s no wonder that’s what eventually gave out. Rest well Paul, and enjoy the banquet feast of Heaven.