Fr. Richard John Neuhaus: Former Lutheran
Born in Canada, Fr. Neuhaus was one of eight children of a Lutheran minister. When he was 14, he turned his life to Jesus Christ. Later, he moved to St. Louis, Missouri where he earned his MDiv from Concordia Seminary in 1960. Fr. Neuhaus was ordained a Lutheran minister, later serving as a pastor in a poor, predominantly black and Hispanic congregation in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. From the pulpit he addressed civil rights and social justice concerns and spoke against the Vietnam War. In the late 1960s he gained national prominence when, together with Jesuit priest Daniel Berrigan and Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel, he founded Clergy and Laymen Concerned About Vietnam. In 1990, he founded the Institute on Religion and Public Life and its journal, “First Things.” This is an ecumenical journal, whose purpose is to advance a religiously informed public philosophy for the ordering of society. He was received into the Catholic Church on September 8, 1990 and ordained a Catholic priest in 1991. He passed into the Eternal Kingdom, in New York City, on January 8, 2009.