For years yours truly watched this saint, in his Boston Red Socks ball cap, walking to and from papal events at the Vatican.
I first met him in front of the Angelicum. He was very informal and unassuming. He often walked alone. Always had a warm smile.
He walked everywhere and took the bus. I can still see him with his hands in his pockets, praying as he walked. He was a loyal son of the Church.
Fr. Flanagan had been a Notre Dame football star and a WWII Navy "Frog Man." He was ordained priest by Cardinal Cushing in 1952. In 1958 he set out to start his own religious order. I first met SOLT religious members when I did mission work in Siberia in 2001. They had a presence in Irkutsk, near the Mongolian border.
The Church rejoices in her saints. In your charity pray for the repose of the soul of this saintly American priest.
Thank you, Fr. Flanagan. You taught us so much. May your memory be eternal!