Paul J. Philibert, OP, has died

Paul-J-Philibert-237x300The Dominican Friars of the Province of St. Martin de Porres have announced the death of Fr. Paul J. Philibert, OP (1936-2016). A noted scholar and teacher, Fr. Philibert was a senior fellow at the Aquinas Institute in St. Louis at the time of his death.

It is with great sadness that we announce the death of our brother, Fr. Paul J. Philibert, O.P. Fr. Paul died this morning (Thursday, April 14, 2016) in St. Louis, Missouri. Fr. Paul was the third Prior Provincial of the Province of St. Martin de Porres. He entered the Order of Preachers in August of 1956, professed solemn vows four years later, and was ordained to the priesthood of Jesus Christ on June 13, 1963.

Fr. Philibert’s long and distinguished career is detailed on his community’s website. His authorship includes books on religious life, priestly spirituality, and the arts in worship. He also translated works by Marie-Dominique Chenu (Aquinas and His Role in Theology), and Yves Congar (At the Heart of Liturgical Worship: Liturgical Essays of Yves Congar, and True and False Reform in the Church). Readers of Pray Tell may also remember his 2011 article in America magazine, “For You and Who Else?,” which gave a searing critique of the new English translation of “pro multis” in the Roman Missal.

Funeral services for Fr. Philibert, on Monday April 25 and Tuesday May 3, are open to all who would like to attend. Details can be found here.

May he rest in peace.


  1. A great mind that fueled homilies that would get you moving and thinking. I had the opportunity to work with him for 5 years and was grateful for his way of loving the Church and yet constantly encouraging realistic and creative thinking about how God really works. A great Dominican mind and the preaching expectations of the OP behind his name were always met.

    A loss of thinking in the Church.

  2. I came to appreciate the writing of Fr Paul Philibert OP via his illuminating chapter on Readiness for RItual (and symbolic competence) in “Alternative Futures for Worship”, Vol. 1. ed. Regis Duffy OFM (The Liturgical Press, 1987) and his moving commentaries on the art work of Frank Kacmarcik, published as “Seeing and Believing” (The Liturgical Press, 1995). I was struck by Paul’s clarity of thought, his interdisciplinary facility and his passionate, pastoral concern for liturgical renewal and a revitalised living of the Christian life. He was generous, affirming, hospitable, and preached the word through both his Dominican ministries and his committed Christian discipleship. May he rest in the peace of Christ whom he served so faithfully.

  3. Father Philibert was my faculty advisor at The Catholic University of America when I was working I’m on my PhD. He was a great teacher and advisor, providing wise counsel and encouragement. He was “fully alive” in the Holy Spirit, a great lover of learning, life, and culture.

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