The Rev. William Barnaby Faherty, a prolific author and noted St. Louis historian, died today at St. Louis University Hospital.I am greatly honored to have worked with Father Faherty over the past several years, providing photos for some of his publications as well as assisting him with speaking engagements.
He was 96 and had been in declining health, friends and family said.
He taught history for many years at St. Louis University and wrote more than 40 books of history, fiction, essays and poetry.
His writings explored the Roman Catholic experience in St. Louis. One of his most recent works was “Catholic St. Louis: A Pictorial History.”
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Fr. Faherty was highly intelligent and had a prodigious memory, even in his later years. He was opinionated, as is expected of a college professor, but he was a gentleman, and I found him to be kind even under painful circumstances. Because of his long life, he had a view of history and of the Church which transcended the often simplistic opinions found in younger generations: he was simultaneously an ardent supporter and severe critic of many of the reforms promulgated since the Second Vatican Council.
Fr. Faherty speaking before the Spring Conference of the Catholic Library Association, at the Visitation Academy library, in Town and Country, Missouri. March 13th, 2010.
Fr. Faherty at Jesuit Hall, at Saint Louis University, on May 17th, 2009. We spent that afternoon driving around various historical sites in north Saint Louis County.
Father Faherty was the authority on regional ecclesiastical history, and knew many of the famous personages who made the Church in the United States what it is today. Some of his books can be found here at Amazon.
I recall what Fr. Faherty told me about the religious life. He said that you will know that you have a true vocation if you find joy in it. People who are always miserable probably don't have the right vocation. He seemed to have found joy.
Click here for his obituary at the Saint Louis Review.
Eternal rest grant unto him O Lord, and may perpetual light shine upon him. May he rest in peace.