Thursday, October 11, 2007

Rochester Chesterton Conference 3

I first heard of Father Leo Hetzler back in the dark ages when I was a student at St. John Fisher College.

Several friends recommended that I take a course with him. I was never able to do so, but I did attend a talk he gave on Catholic writers.

One of the writers he praised enthusiastically was G. K. Chesterton. I had recently discovered Chesterton myself through his biography of St. Francis, so I was pleased to hear him lauded by a respected and bright teacher.

What I didn’t know at the time – I discovered it later – was that Father Hetzler was a well-known Chesterton scholar and advocate. I later came across his name in The Chesterton Review, for which he wrote and served on the Editorial Board.

I wrote an article about Chesterton back when I was a Catholic journalist – and naturally I interviewed Father Hetzler. And when I’ve been able to make meetings of the Rochester Chesterton Society, I’ve always enjoyed his stories and insights.

So it was no surprise when I spotted him at the Rochester Chesterton Conference last Saturday. What did surprise me – and Father Hetzler – was when Dale Alquist presented him with the American Chesterton Society Lifetime Achievement Award.

A well-deserved award.

Even if I never took a course with him, Father Hetzler has taught me much over the years.

(And yes, there's more...)

1 comment:

rhapsody said...

Had the pleasure of speaking with him at last year's conference, & during the luncheon this year...

Thank you for the continued excellent coverage!