"In verbo veritatis" (2 Cor 6:7)

About

I am a priest of the Archdiocese of New York, ordained on December 18, 1963. After having taught nearly full-time for 45 years–three at the College of New Rochelle, ten at St. Joseph’s Seminary, Dunwoodie, and thirty-two at The Catholic University of America, I am now retired and able to devote myself to continued research, writing, and lecturing. I assist at Sunday Masses at St. John the Evangelist Church, Goshen, N.Y.

In my teaching and writing I have concentrated on ecclesiology, modern Catholic theology, the thought of John Henry Newman and of John Courtney Murray, and the history and theology of the Second Vatican Council. I am the editor of the English edition of the five-volume History of Vatican II.

18 Comments »

  1. Fr Joseph Komonshak

    Father
    I loved the selection of limericks from John O’Loughlin msc the former Bishop of Darwin. I worked as a priest in his diocese for a number of years before he died. I have copies of many of the limericks you listed. Among his papers are letters from a number of the leading bishops of the day who seem to have stayed in touch with him after the Council. I recall Fulton Sheen and the Archbishop of Westminster among others. In fact Fulton Sheen quotes a couple of John O”Loughlin’s limericks in one of his books.

    Nice to see somebody else has found this rather unique side of Vat II life.
    Regards

    Fr Tim Brennan msc -Sydney Australia

    Comment by Brennan Timothy — October 4, 2011 @ 2:38 pm

  2. Fr Joseph,

    I have often looked up your name since John Allen paid you the tribute of being the one who
    challenged his writing the most with your “manichean” charge.I hope that you enjoy your retirement and still have the
    time to pass on what little wisdom life and God have given you.As for Vatican 2, I sometimes read the documents and find some of
    them a little outdated in prose but beautiful.My own favourite piece of humour was from Ottoviani when he was asked about collegiality
    said that the first instance of it in the Gospels was when all of the Apostles acted as one in “deserting the Lord”.

    Comment by David Power — October 13, 2011 @ 4:17 pm

  3. Father Komonchak,
    Greetings. I would like to research further the role of the community in vocational discernment. It seems that much of vocation promotion today is based on the sense of one’s interior, personal feeling of a “call”. I’d like to learn more about the days when the local community decided who was best suited and put that man forth for ordination (even forcibly.) What would you recommend in English? Feel free to email me at bpinter@regis-nyc.org. I look forward to hearing from you.

    Brian B. Pinter

    Comment by Brian B. Pinter — October 19, 2011 @ 12:33 pm

  4. Dear Father Komonchak,
    A blessing to have found your site. I discovered your article in pdf form on American Bishops’ suggestions for V II. Am attempting a biography of one of those Bishops, Henry J. Grimmelsman, S. T. D., and I would be grateful to you for any information or advice you might have. What you have noted about him intrigues me–and harmonizes with what I know about him so far. Ultimately, he was called as a Father, expert in Sacred Scripture.

    Thanks for any direction you might be able to give and

    God bless you.

    Comment by TJM — March 22, 2012 @ 2:06 pm

    • I’m afraid I don’t have any other information about Bishop Grimmelsman apart from what I mentioned in my article. Did he leave any papers? Correspondence with folks back home? Etc.

      Comment by komonchak — March 22, 2012 @ 2:41 pm

  5. Fr. Komonchak, I have been trying to do some research on on Giuseppe Dossetti for a course I am teaching ,but having a very difficult time finding any of his writing in English. I have not even been able to find a quality biography. A colleague, Sr. Colleen Mallon, suggested I contact you since you’ve written on him in Italian. Any leads you might be able to offer, would be most appreciated.

    Comment by Ann Garrido — August 27, 2012 @ 1:05 pm

    • Prof. Garrido: I don’t know of any translations of Dossetti’s work into English, and not much secondary literature either. I have some information on him and his views of the Council in an article in Cristianesimo nella Storia which I will make available on this blog, if I haven’t already done so.

      Comment by komonchak — September 3, 2012 @ 11:10 am

      • I would be so grateful! Thank you.

        Comment by Ann Garrido — September 5, 2012 @ 11:05 pm

  6. Dear Father Komonchak,

    Thank you for providing a translation of Humanae Salutis. I am a newly ordained priest who is preparing for the year of faith and I am glad that I got to read the English translation. Thank you for the work you have done in your priesthood. May God grant you many years.

    Comment by Anthony Urban — August 29, 2012 @ 4:04 pm

  7. Joe:
    Is there any source which lists all the official religious members of the Council?
    Also, is there any way to tell where the meeting of national bishops took place during the council.
    I am thinking of doing some research on the role of Salvatorians (bishops, periti, etc.) at the Council and also
    where our Motherhouse in Rome near the Vatican at the top of the Via Conciliazione was the scene of any
    gatherings of the German bishops or other groups during the council.
    Thanks
    Bob Nugent, SDS

    Comment by Robert Nugent, SDS — October 10, 2012 @ 4:02 pm

  8. Dear Father JAK,
    I read your piece on Tracy Rowland with great interest, and found it very helpful.
    Do you have more work on the RO movement?
    Very happy to have found this site of yours.
    Merry Xmas
    Jude, Singapore

    Comment by judechua — December 18, 2012 @ 1:45 am

  9. What a blessing to have discovered the West Nyack Fire Siren, quite by chance, this Veterans Day. Thank you for posting your father’s work. I grew up in West Nyack and heard much about the Komonchaks from my older brother Laurens “Goldie” Goldsmith. He died 10 years ago. How he would have loved reading about these men he knew and loved. I have sent a link to this to my other brother, David, who, I am sure, will also enjoy it. Many thanks. Merrilee Goldsmith Brown (my Dec. ’44 birth is noted in the Jan. ’45 Siren!)

    Comment by Merrilee Brown — November 11, 2014 @ 11:48 pm

    • Thanks for the note, Merrilee. I’m glad that you found the newsletters so interesting. They offer a series of “snapshots” of life in the little town during the Second World War, and for that reason help us understand a little bit of history. Tell your friends about them.

      And I’d love to hear what other people think of them.

      Joe Komonchak

      Comment by komonchak — November 12, 2014 @ 11:32 am

  10. Dear Father: How might one contact you regarding permissions for some of your translations? Thank you in advance!

    Comment by James Vogel — August 27, 2015 @ 2:29 pm

    • Mr. Vogel: I am preparing an edition of these texts, with introductions, to be published next year.

      Comment by komonchak — September 5, 2015 @ 9:59 am

  11. Dear Father Komonchak,
    I have noticed with interest your translations of the preparatory schemas for Vatican II which were rejected by the council fathers in favor of more modern and flexible frameworks which better represented the state-of-the-art in Catholic theological circles at that time. The schemas encapsulate the conclusions drawn by the Curia using the Manualist Methods that predominated in the Church’s official doctrinal expressions up to that point. As such they are a window into the mind of the most conservative elements in the Church prior to the council.

    I am an interested layman and I have sought translations of these schemas over the last 30 years to gain some insight into the actual theological developments that occurred as a result of VCII. I found the Schema on the Blessed Virgin to be most helpful with its large catena of references to the Papal writings outlining the view of the BVM at that time.

    In the places where your translations are current on display on the web, it indicates that you are planning to complete translations of all of the schemas which is to be published soon. Is there a date when we may expect to see this publication made available? What is the title of the book and which publisher will produce it. This is a book I await very eagerly.

    Sincerely,
    Arthur C. Sippo MD, MPH
    artsippo@aol.com

    Comment by Arthur C. Sippo MD, MPH — April 20, 2017 @ 11:32 am

    • Dr. Sippo: Thanks for your kind post and for your interest in my translations of the preparatory schemas. I have been working on introductions to the texts, and have to resist the temptation to provide so extensive a background for them that the introductions will be far longer than the schemas themselves! The work is bogged down at the moment, but I hope to get back to them soon so that the book can appear next year. Your interest is motivating me!

      Comment by komonchak — April 21, 2017 @ 3:53 pm

  12. Dear Fr. Joseph, I am trying to reach you by email about your translation of Chenu’s “Une école de théologie”; would you please send me a quick email at christophe.chalamet@unige.ch? Thank you! Christophe

    Comment by Christophe Chalamet — June 21, 2017 @ 4:13 am


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