We lost three good men in January: Father Michael Scanlon and Nat Hentoff died on January 7, and Steven McDonald passed away three days later. Bill Donohue knew them all and offers the following remarks.
“Father Scanlon will be remembered for saving the College of Steubenville, turning it into the Franciscan University of Steubenville, a citadel of Catholic higher education. The renaming in 1985 was not a nominal change: Father Scanlon put the school on the map, making it a home for serious Catholic scholars.
“The Catholic League has had no better cheerleader over the years than Nat Hentoff, the prominent jazz critic. An atheist left-wing Jewish writer, he was not the kind of person normally drawn to us. But he was courageously pro-life. For strongly opposing abortion, he was booted from the board of directors of the ACLU and dumped from liberal newspapers as a columnist.
“Steve McDonald is a New York icon, a police officer who was mindlessly shot in Central Park in 1986, leaving him paralyzed from the neck down. A Catholic League member, he was confined to a wheelchair, using a tracheal to breathe. He is most known for his public statements on the need to forgive, a reflection on his own need to forgive his offender.
“It is doubtful these men knew each other; they would have gotten along well. They left their mark on my life, and I am grateful they did.”