I hardly knew Fr. Rudy before June 2018. Just two and a half years later, I wish I had met him earlier in my life. I would have learned so much from his vast store of knowledge, his wisdom, his practical sense and example of simplicity and humility. If I were to write his biography, it would have been titled “The Saint of Small things”.
He might have been small in stature or the way he considered himself in comparison with others, but he was really BIG in unassuming holiness, virtue and unstinted service to others. Most of us have to die to go to heaven. Not so Rudy. He quite lived it while he spent his life on earth, doing missionary and pastoral work in the districts … with three stints as Socius to the Novice Master. And in all of these, concern, care, dedication and service to all those under his charge – novices, parishioners, pilgrims and the simple poor who came to him for help. He continued his ministries at the Shrine – confessions, bible study groups and meeting people after Mass, right up to lockdown times. Really, a saint in small things.
He was an avid reader – books, newspapers, magazines and anything printed he could lay his hands on. He had a good memory for all he read, sharing from his store of information many items that we may not even have wanted to know! His last words were: “Give the community my best wishes”. He said this thrice… He was a simple man and a wonderful Jesuit; had a great love for the Society and a burning desire to meet the early Fathers. His wish has now been granted. We will miss him and his always-there striped sling bag, and his walking stick that had the habit of regularly falling down with a bang in the middle of our evening prayer.
- Terence Quadros, SJ