Photo Gallery






Carlow University presentation of Fr Tavard,

Class Reunion, Ocrober 2, 2006


Ordained an Assumption priest in France, Father George Tavard joined the faculty of Carlow College in 1959 as Professor of Theology and Chairman of the Theology Department. He remained at Carlow until 1966. Beyond the campus he was recognized as a scholar anf writer. On campus he was teacher, friend, and priest. His legacy to the cillege was a revitalized liturgy, an understanding of ecumenism, and the hope for Christian unity.


In those years, JUBILEE Magazine called Father Tavard "one of the most articulmate ecumenists in America." He had eight books to his credit, and his scholarly articles were regularly published in philosophical and religious hjournals in this country and abroad. He was a member of the Secretariat for the Unity of Christians, the^planning commission for the Ecumenical Council. He travelled often, serving as observer or participant at ecumenical conferences, speaking on Christian unity wherever he was asked.


At Carlow Father Tavard was a familiar and unassuming figure, recverend as a priest, compelling as a teacher. He raised the consciousness of his students and his friends. In his time, theology, ecumenism, and the liturgy became vital interests on campus. Conscious of his renown, the Carlow community nevertheless regarded him simply as one of their own, enjoyed his classes, engaged him in debate, and reveled in the challenge of his scholarship.


Father Tavard's impact on the college community persists to this day, years after the man himself moved on. He moved us from the mere absorption of religious studies into a deeply questing search for the meaning of Christianity.






Poems by Henri Wasser


The Octets


High winds wave on the pacific beach
leafy crowns of royal palm-trees
high tides splash white on jagged rocks
salt water seeps into yesterday's sand castles
no-thing stays standing at the deep inner point
but a knower's knowledge murmuring in the heart
that the being of your being
is the being of my being

Swish through the skies! a plane across the land
diagonally south-west to north-east
spring to winter, sand to snow - and there
from light to night from day to dark
at the corner of my mind where the lane curves
time meets with space and starts a spark
it is the flame of your candle
in the mirror of my eyes

Fontal fullness flowing freely
through thick mats of twigs and tongues
as in a swamp of swarming stars
the Source beyond this land over the seas
where small ships tossing back and forth
seek for light and a friendly shore
homeward bound honing near
by the glow of your eyes

Down a path between blue hedgerows
in the interior countryside
I walked and walked till I found
a stone in a secret garden
scented with briar and rose
a script ever undeciphered
oh can you read it for me?
can you tell me? can you tell?

Three angels have come and Sarah
at the entrance of her tent
laughs at their mystic foresight
the Savior enters and Miriam
carries him off in wonderment
in her womb which is yet my womb
just as your hand
stays in my hand

The five lines of a magic square
centered on a cross of light
hold the turning wheels of time
while the Savior brings into one
between alpha and omega
all the words of all the worlds
if we are two then we are one
you in me and I in you

A package has been abandoned
at the margin of my thoughts
a word echoed from long ago
hidden deep in layers of noise
of lives of tastes of memories
a word for so long forgotten
the Word unseen
heaving within

Snow slowly fell down the slopes
of a dark mountain in my soul
and I in my little house
waiting for winter cold waiting
I saw the sun's early rising
crossing over and awakening
keeping your face
close to my face

A bird black and yellow sings the gospel
while in a Greek new testament
leafing on I look for a clue
Up in the sky a cloud floats
white on dark blue as I hear
between the lines a haunting chant
of bells ringing
and glad tidings


Green leaves waving in the shadows
of overgrown untended bushes
by the overflowing pond
and the so soft and soggy sod
a crane soars up as we walk by
it carries our one soul away
on cushions of air
into the sky

We have been knotted into one
seagulls overhead in the dry crisp air
friends of my soul and angels ahead
unseen unheard unfelt while deep inside
thoughts wander in memory rooms
the only love of yesterday flowers today
and tomorrow and tomorrow
the now that is eternal

When life has died and we look back
as though eons light-years away
we will then see that all was good
the flash of hope though extinguished
the faith absorbed in the vision
timeless of boundless horizon
and all has been harvested
in the red barn of love

Snow flakes falling from mountain top
down on wide wooded valleys cabins
of hunters and tracks of beasts in the forest
grace enters my soul tenderly -
the divine touch that I long for - soft warmth
cozy solace near a glowing hearth
with the mulled wine
of God's presence

Your voice across the land over the telephone
a beam of light in the dark, a visit
as of Magi carrying gifts
the sound of a step at the threshold
that changes house into home
the divine word across eternity
from God in you
to God in me

Clouds thick and dark like the ending of day
the bared twigs of trees spread into the cold air
upwards intertwined arms and hands of orants
this is dawn in January that will not move
until night comes - but for a dream
flashing forward in the bright sun
the nude beaches
of Julys past


When I travel I think of you
and of the little peaceful room
where incense burns behind red doors
for a nameless boddhisattva
then I wish I could be back home
kneeling on the prayer rug
heart in prayer
holding your hand

Mysteries of the Beloved
when waiting for the coming word
feeling the way through the valley of love
I look and look and see nothing
but the outline of a face
slowly drawn from sunrise to sunset
within the heart
of my Beloved

Clouds form white on light blue before sunset
crisscrossing planes far overhead aim their comet-tails
darts at the target of my soul, and darkness
with the ripe citrus of the sun falls
in the triple basket of harvesting angels
and up from the other darkness down below
wild birds take flight
speeding away

My head bending over bibles at night
I read of moving continents and of time
ready to pull the black curtain of the theater
And the stars my sisters, grains thrown about
in a rhythmic semi-circle along furrows,
oh take my hand in thine and lead
where no one turns back
onward onward to go

I was baptized in the shower of grace long long ago
beams of sunshine through flowing white waters
calls crossing galaxies in millions of flights
of birds migrating high above continents
crowds walking down to the beaches toward the mirror
of the sea to find one another before the brewing storm
a lullaby in the warm air
note after note

River flows by bold and blackened
- low tide - when toward the gulf her hands
wanly bare her dingy sooty breasts
- high tide - when she pushes a salty water mix
inland leveling up for the boats to float
and sail away under the misty sun
in ripples of light
gently twinkling

Way up in the mountains beneath fir trees
ferns bend under a late snow's weight
in the bleak wind of high sierra
drifts veil the far side of an old volcano crater
behind an island clump of pines and mushy bush
white turns to gray tunnels to dark brown
as my soul walks on
toward the beloved God

At six o'clock in the morning bathing in meditation
I hear outside the love song of a turtle dove
cooing away at the warming tide of the day
and the air comes running a gauntlet of voices
alive with questions - and glistening beaming
bees dart away toward the rising sun
like a lone bird
flying into the Source

The desert swells from cold to warm to hot
as day passes by and a few white clouds
hang unmoving in the high blue above
last year at the same time life suspended
next year again whiffs of cotton threading the sky
the desert air ever the same between ice ages
as bird-like angels fill
the lonely loveliness

I loved going down to the lake, canoeing
in low waters behind a wall of reeds
as sharp wind's nettles pricked my bare arms
until slowly rowing gently moving
I ached
and my soul became the hollow shell below
crane wings flying
shuffling the shore





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