I write with great sadness. Today Chris Grady, my friend and good friend of Pray Tell, was buried. He gave us many good leads on ecclesial news stories, and he kept us entertained.
Noel Debian posted this tribute on his Facebook page: “Rest In Peace Chris Grady. So sad to hear the news of your death today [December 9] … Loved by so many of us. Larger than life. Witty. Funny. Intellectually fearsome. Loyal. Generous. Very Catholic in a Pope Francis kind of way. A great loss to the church and for our world….
And Stephen Crittenden wrote: “Our dear friend Chris Grady died in the UK today – warm-hearted, witty, brainy and fun. He was a brilliant mimic, had a prodigious memory, and was unquestionably the greatest purveyor of clerical gossip that I have ever known. It flowed and flowed from him like water from a tap.
He will be deeply missed by many. Heaven will be blessed by his presence.
Behind the sharp wit and caustic commentary was a man of deep faith. Chris Grady was completely and totally committed to the Second Vatican Council, and for him the reformed liturgy was a treasured way of celebrating his belief in the Risen Lord. In his brief and infrequent moments of tender honesty, he spoke movingly of his faith in Christ and his belief in the life to come. (And then he quickly reverted to his more comfortable mode of commentary, gossip, and biting wit.)
No one was a more careful observer of the church scene than Chris. On March 13, 2013, the day of the election of Pope Francis, many of us were caught off-guard and were struggling to make sense of what sort of change might be underway. His email to me that night was short and simple: “I’m pretty happy.” I trusted Chris’s judgment, and instantly knew that something very good had happened. He was correct!
Rest in peace, Chris Grady.