Fr. Don Driscoll, SJ – RIP 2007
It’s ten years today since Don died suddenly of a heart attack. He had served as chaplain to the College of Pharmacy at Creighton University for a number of years before. So many of his colleagues and students and friends and family and Jesuits remember him today with a huge sense of loss. Especially his book club in Omaha.
Driscoll was an inveterate practical joker. He was always up to something. He is part of a special trinity of Jesuit practical jokers including Danny Jo Kenny and JJ O’Leary. His wake went 50 minutes chocked full of stories about his ‘doings’. One after the other.
Here are two.
1. The last speaker, a doctor from Milwaukee, shared the following: Don was a member of the Marquette University High School community back when. At the last minute, he realized he had not signed out a car to take to a town north of Milwaukee for confessions and Masses that weekend. He called this friend and asked to borrow a car for the weekend.
“Sure, you can borrow the Cadillac convertible, that’s all we have available.” Grateful and unfazed, Don drove to whatever little town he was heading to. Late as usual. The pastor was standing at the door of the church and glancing disapprovingly at his watch as he watched Driscoll drive up in the Caddy.
“I suppose all you Jesuits get Cadillac convertibles to drive.” To which Don immediately shot back, “No, only those of us who haven’t had an impure thought this past year. Where’s yours?”
2. My story. During summer of 2006, Driscoll told me that he was ‘talking me up’ to be the next rector at the Creighton University Jesuit Community. I told him to cool it.
As the wheels of divine providence worked their cogs into place, I received a phone call 12/15/06 telling me I would indeed be the next rector, taking office the next August. Fast forward. Driscoll died 3/22/07. The next fall I was invited to give an invocation at the dinner for Pharmacy faculty & students. After several told stories about Don, I shared this:
“Fr. Don was supposed to have been around to share his wisdom, humor, and support with me since he promoted my service as rector to the provincial. So, every morning since he died, I wake up, turn my thoughts to God and Don, raise my hand and pray, “DAMN YOU DRISCOLL!”
Well, the faculty loved it. The students who didn’t know him were horrified.
God bless you, DD. I miss you as do so many others. Hope to see you someday. –roc,sj