By CHRISTOPHER MANION
On September 22, The Wanderer family lost a brother in arms. After a long and valiant battle with cancer, Paul Likoudis, surrounded by his family, breathed his last.
Paul’s Wanderer friends were with him every painful step of the way, cheering him up, getting his advice, hearing him muse about what he’d found lately in his extensive library — and sustaining his body as well as his spirit with truly sacrificial charity, donating generously to allay the monumental medical bills that came during his treatment.
That spirit of charity was especially dear to Paul because he realized many of his supporters had serious medical issues of their own. One of them was the late Chicago Cardinal Francis George, OMI, who called Paul to share some fellowship and prayer in the midst of their illnesses.
Some of Paul’s fans told him that they were offering up their suffering for him — bearing witness that, over the years, many readers had become his friends, spiritually and intellectually, through his writing.
And what writing it was!
Paul began writing full-time for The Wanderer in 1986. Immediately his skills went to work with his coverage of the news that Catholics needed to know, even if some folks didn’t want them to. The American bishops’ confrontation with the sexual revolution was uneasy and, all too often, suffered simply from abdication. The post-Vatican II bishops were probably the weakest in American history, but Paul always treated them respectfully in his reporting on their perorations and peregrinations.
Simply put, today’s Catholic scratching her head and trying to understand how the Church got into this mess could do no better than to start with Paul Likoudis’ decades of contributions to The Wanderer. But that’s not all: In addition to his news reporting, he contributed a brilliant weekly dose of incisive analysis in From the Mail (and he got lots of it). His fascinating collection of those columns and his history of The Wanderer’s first 60 years are both available in electronic form. (And oh, how he longed to live long enough to celebrate The Wanderer’s sesquicentennial next year!)
In 2002, AmChurch Comes Out appeared. Paul’s prophetic exposé of the infestation of homosexuality into the Church was devastating, and, curiously, his assessment was once (and only once) affirmed by Bishop Wilton Gregory, then-president of the USCCB. Alas, AmChurch also identified many of those who had planted the seeds of the “Clerical Sexual Abuse and Coverup Scandals” that have plagued the Church for the past 15 years.
Paul represents everything the Catholic media need today. He was devoted to his family, his Church, his profession, and, profoundly, to The Wanderer and its readers. As a crack journalist, he worked off a lot of Purgatory plowing through the files, trials, and guiles of the heretical Left, both its cooperators inside the Church and its fulminating Catholic-haters that foment today’s hostile and secular Culture of Death.
Writing came effortlessly to Paul. Tell him a stack of facts and he’d say, “Start with this, work through it until your point in the third par.” Our readers knew his style so well that they took it for granted — that’s why we hold our nose so tightly when we see what passes for “news” these days.
In these difficult days for Paul and his wife Paulette, The Wanderer family’s financial support not only kept Paul alive, it also kept a roof over his family’s head. That need is as pressing now as it was during his illness. As he wrote our readers in July, “I would like to emphasize once again that your support is crucial. As I have previously told you, your support has kept my wife and me in our home. Without it, I don’t know how we could stay in our home of 23 years.”
Please consider putting your generous gift to Paul’s family on your early Christmas list and mail your much-needed check to Mrs. Paul Likoudis, P.O. Box 236, Hector, NY, 14841.
Paul, our brother and friend, may you rest in peace and welcome us when it’s our turn to cross the river.