Appreciation: Gene Kennedy was direct, honest. The world of the clergy is sick, and the church would never heal from the abuse crisis until the entire culture was cleansed.
Appreciation: In his vision, the Divine imbued all matter, and the sacraments were aids to open our eyes to the richness of God's all-embracing love.
Appreciation: Sr. Mary Ann Walsh was a quiet nun with a keen wit who led a very public life as a journalist and a longtime spokeswoman for the USCCB.
Appreciation: Robert McClory made me laugh from the first time I saw him. I'm talking about shoulder-shaking, body-convulsing laughter.
Appreciation: St. Joseph Sr. Bette Moslander was intimately involved in helping religious orders align with the teachings of Vatican II.
Appreciation: These two priests were astonishingly gifted leaders who transformed the wider American church from the perch of their beloved Notre Dame.
Appreciation: Holy Cross Fr. Ted Hesburgh was as close to a saint as anyone I have ever known.
Appreciation: I still remember my very first class with Fr. Richard McBrien. Two insights from that day in 1997 have stayed with me.
Appreciation: So many of us saw in Dick McBrien a genuine spokesman for our ideas and aspirations about a church styled with Second Vatican Council ideals.
Appreciation: Actor Edward Herrmann was an incredibly kind and decent man who was willing to help others right up until he died on Dec. 31.