In Memoriam: Michael A. Hayes

Tributes to Rev Professor Michael A. Hayes, 1957-2017, from friends and colleagues.

Michael Hayes: Priest, scholar, and leader
Among the leaders I have ever served under, Michael Hayes stands tall. Charming, urbane, extremely competent, with admirable academic qualifications to his name, always well informed, and a skilful fundraiser, he made it thoroughly easy to be part of his team. And it was constantly a team gathered for a very good cause.

Long before I finished my thirty-three year stint at the Gregorian University in Rome (1973-2006), Michael had enlisted me to contribute articles to the Pastoral Review. The quality of his editorials, the standard achieved by other contributors, and the valuable service the journal offered to members of the Church and beyond made me ready to play my part. Michael's editorials were thought through biblically and theologically and always significant for those engaged with pastoral ministry in its various fields.

While still at the Roehampton Institute, Michael brought me over from Rome to speak at two excellent conferences. As he always did, Michael set himself to make such conferences convivial gatherings that encouraged important contacts and exchanges. The first produced Images of Christ Ancient and Modern, edited by Michael and two of his colleagues, published by Sheffield Academic Press in 1997, and containing wonderful chapters on Christ in literature and art. The second conference produced Resurrection, edited again by Michael and the same two colleagues, published by Sheffield Academic Press in 1999, and containing once again fascinating chapters in the arts and literature. Both books dealt, of course, with relevant theological and biblical issues. But Michael's concern to communicate successfully the truth of Jesus Christ and the impact of his resurrection was mirrored in the many chapters on Christ in film, music, novels, painting, plays, and poetry.

Thanks to Michael, I received an honorary doctorate from the University of Surrey in 2003. I remain lastingly grateful to Michael for inviting me to become a research professor at St Mary's, Strawberry Hill. For three years (2006-2009) after leaving Rome and before returning to Melbourne, Australia, St Mary's provided me with an office, a salary, very congenial colleagues, and full opportunities to write books and articles. Occasional guest lectures, meetings of a senior seminar, and some examining made for welcome and fruitful breaks from research and writing. As a charming and thoughtful host, Michael presided over those three years at St Mary's.

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