Laudatio

Franciscan Studies 68 (1):259-264 (2010)
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In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content:LaudatioTimothy B. Noone (bio)On Sunday, July 26, 2009, the Franciscan Institute was pleased to award to Dr. Girard J. Etzkorn its 22nd Franciscan Institute Medal in recognition of a lifetime of scholarship, editing and publication of texts on medieval philosophy and theology, with a special emphasis on the Franciscan intellectual tradition. The ceremony was held in the Trustees Room of Doyle Hall on the campus of St. Bonaventure University and attended by over 100 scholars, students, friends and members of Dr. Etzkorn's extended families. The award ceremony began with a personal appreciation by Dr. Thomas Shannon, Ph.D., emeritus of the Worcester Polytechnic Institute (Worcester, MA), former member during the 1960s with Dr. Etzkorn of the Sacred Heart Province of Friars Minor (St. Louis, MO). It was followed by the formal laudatio of the honorée presented by former colleague and friend, Dr. Timothy B. Noone, Ph.D., of the Catholic University of America, the text of which is printed here. The event concluded with personal remarks by Dr. Etzkorn on his life as a scholar of the Franciscan tradition."Let us praise men of renown and our fathers in their generation." Sirach 44:1The wisdom of Sirach, the last of the Solomonic books of the Old Testament, would seem an appropriate place to begin this evening's festivities. No doubt, Gerry is squirming a bit in his chair, thinking in his customary humility that the words of Sirach are a bit too high for him. But we must learn to acknowledge what is true and great wherever it is, even when (or to put the matter correctly, especially when) the truth and greatness are found in ourselves. So there will be [End Page 259] no holding back on the present occasion, since the text from Sirach points out our path.We should start with a brief sketch of Gerry's life. Born in Kirkwood, Missouri in 1927, Gerry received his primary and secondary education in Missouri before attending the University of Dayton in the fall of 1944. After three semesters studying chemical engineering, he was drafted into the military, serving in the U.S. Army as part of the occupation forces of Japan after the surrender of August, 1945. This seeming irrelevancy actually became quite important in Gerry's life, for it was during his service in Japan that he encountered the Franciscans and decided to enter the Order after returning to the U.S. Once he had completed his degrees in philosophy and theology and been ordained, Gerry was sent to the University of Louvain, where he took his doctorate, producing a thesis that contained a partial edition of Roger Marston's hitherto unpublished Quodlibetal questions.This work at Louvain presaged in many ways the bulk of Gerry's work: he edited and studied a Franciscan medieval text from Latin manuscripts and studied its philosophical and theological doctrines. After returning from Louvain, Gerry taught for ten years at Quincy College and Seminary before leaving the Franciscans in 1971. But the Franciscans and he were far from being through with each other. Within two years Gerry arrived here to work with Fr. Gedeon Gàl on the Ockham Edition, then in the throes of its labors. Initially working as an Associate Editor on the Ockham Edition, Gerry eventually became Chief Editor of the Scotus Project, the successor project at the Institute to the Ockham Edition.During his twenty-two years at the Institute, Gerry kept up a steady pace of editions, some connected with the Institute's research projects and others springing from his own interests. Among the former, we must note three volumes of the Opera theologica of Ockham and four volumes of the Opera philosophica of Scotus; among the latter, we find the complete edition of Roger Marston's Quodlibetal questions, the edition of John Peckham's Quodlibetal questions, numerous articles containing briefer editions of lesser figures, and a volume of manuscript descriptions, analyzing manuscripts never before described in the Vatican Library. [End Page 260]What I have mentioned so far would be enough for any one human being within the scope of one lifetime. But God had more in store for Gerry...

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Timothy Brian Noone
Catholic University of America

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