I got the phone call the morning that he died. His passing has affected me to the point where I have tried several times for over a week to write a story about Father Andy, but I can’t. I can’t do it. It’s almost as if he was too special a person and I am unable to put it into words. He was laid to rest this past Saturday.
Father Andrew Fabian was extraordinary. He taught philosophy at Saint Mary’s University for nearly fifty years. He was brilliant, determined – he was fierce. When I visited him on his own turf in Winona, Minnesota, I got to experience up close and personal what an amazing man he was. He was completely devoted to his faith and his students. He was hard core. Invincible.
He saved each and every card and photo given to him over decades and those cards and photos lined the walls of the rooms in his office at Saint Mary’s. I’ll never forget the moment I saw all of those cards and photos that went nearly floor to ceiling. He even stuck them onto doors. He was loved by many. He inspired me and will continue to do so, quietly. He was a legend.
Rest in peace, Father Andy. Thank you for all of the handwritten notes and cards you sent for birthdays, Christmas, anniversaries. Thank you for the random phone calls checking in to make sure everyone was fine and doing well. We always knew you cared. When my time comes to leave this world, I’ll look you up and we will have a manhattan together and continue that discussion about existentialism.
Rev. Cyril Andrew Fabian, OP, AFSC
November 27, 1926 – July 14, 2017