It is with much sadness that we have learned that the Revd Canon Joe Cassidy died yesterday, 28 March, after a short illness. He was 60.
Joe was a frequent commenter on this Thinking Anglicans blog, and also a valued contributor to our ‘just thinking’ series, writing challenging and pastoral pieces from a sound scholarly position. In the wider world he was the Principal of St Chad’s College, Durham, a place where many of our clergy have trained and where he will be much missed. Before joining the Church of England he had been ordained priest in the Roman Catholic Church, and was a member of the Society of Jesus, the Jesuits, in his native Canada.
The Dean of Durham, Michael Sadgrove, was his neighbour in the city, and has written this personal reminiscence.
To his wife Gillian and to his children and family we send our condolences.
May he rest in peace!
Simon, Simon and Peter (‘Thinking Anglicans’)
Thanks to Simon Sarmiento, of ‘Thinking Anglicans’, for the above, brief; ‘In Memoriam”
“Joe had been a distinguished Catholic philosophical theologian and ethicist whose fine mind was already being recognised in his student days. His specialism was the thought of the 20th century Canadian Jesuit theologian Bernard Lonergan. Joe was a Canadian himself (and had the accent to prove it). In due course he himself joined the Society of Jesus where among a wide range of involvements he was a much valued retreat conductor and spiritual director. Accompanying others of every age on their spiritual journeys was close to his heart all his working life.” – The Dean of Durham –
This excerpt from a moving tribute from the Dean of Durham Cathedral, encapsulates the loving provenance of God in the life, ministry and witness of His servant, Fr. Joe Cassidy, whose untimely demise will have saddened those of his own community at St.Chad’s, Durham – as well as many of his admirers from around the Anglican Communion who have benefitted from his eirenic and learned articles, published on ‘Thinking Anglicans’ and in other media.
A married man, with wife and children, ‘Papa Joe’ was nevertheless interested in defending the cause for acceptance by the Church of homosexuals, and others in the community who might be considered marginalised or otherwise of little account.
His early death (aged only 60) will be mourned by more than his immediate family and friends at St. Chad’s. May he now rest in peace and rise one day with his Lord in glory!
Father Ron Smith, Christchurch, New Zealand