Sept. 1968. Freshman year at St. Michael’s College. The 2nd student I met after my roommate was this pudgy, neurotic, talking machine with a South Boston accent named Paul. He was smart, valedictorian of his HS, and incredibly anxious about life in general and succeeding academically in specific. He was a math major and a Navy brat. Paul would take any opportunity to lecture anybody about anything, not as a know-it-all but genuinely informed about a lot of things. Fast forward to Junior Year, Paul changes major from Math to Psychology, like me. One class has us being taught by a distinguished ( I’m talking Paper Chase-type) professor for physiological psychology who also wrote the textbook. Paul threw up everyday before that class for a year. Senior Year Paul tells me he has decided to become an Edmundite priest. Graduation ’72. Paul is in my wedding. We part ways but manage to stay in touch. The day of his ordination is the same day as my graduation from MSW school. It’s a no-brainier. I attend his ordination. And then Paul begins a journey he was meant for. He is assigned as an Asst/Pastor in a series of parishes in the South working with the poorest of the poor. He was in New Orleans during Katrina and saw his parish swept away. He worked to re-build it. Other parishes got the same Fr. Paul treatment. Irish humor, dogged determinism, love for his fellow man. Rev. Paul McQuillen, S.S.E. died in January 2016. I found out months later. 48 years was swept away in a heartbeat.
– Joseph Benamati ’72