This is truly a sad loss, not only for me and his former students, but for the Catholic world and the world in general. He was a solid, orthodox Catholic priest, a great scholar, a world-class expert on the thought of Edmund Burke, and exceptionally humble. As former associate editor of America magazine, and through his writings and later books, he attacked liberalism in all its trappings, and was firm defender of life.
Besides changing my life for the better, there were two reletively recent events that gave some of the recognition he deserved. The first was a celebration at Christendom College where scholarly papers were given in his honor and a dinner was held for him and his 50th anniversary as a priest. The second was that my youngest son asked Father Canavan to come down and be the celebrant at his wedding, which he did. This was the last time I saw Father.
But even though we who knew him are greatly saddened, he, on the other hand, I am sure, is rejoicing as Our Blessed Lord says to him: "Welcome, Oh good and faithful servant; enter the joy of your Lord!"
What a gift he was! Let us thank God for his presence among us.