The purpose behind an award given each year to former Dominican University students uniquely summarizes the life mission of one of its recipients.
The River Forest-based school states on its website: “The Caritas Veritas Award is presented to an [alumna] whose life reflects Dominican University’s motto, ‘Caritas Veritas,’ a search for truth through charity or service.”
There is no doubt that everyone who receives this award exemplifies this concept.
This is particularly true of Pat Somers Cronin, a 1948 graduate of the school (then Rosary College) who received the award in 2003. She pursued truth as a vocation and served others as an outreach of her personal beliefs.
I came to know Pat when I began working for The Beverly Review in 1989. She was a longtime columnist and feature writer for the paper. She impressed me with her devotion to her religious faith and commitment to live out her principles.
What endeared Pat most to me, however, was her passion for journalism. She previously worked for the legendary Chicago Daily News and seemed to know everyone who had any affiliation with the paper. She was proud of the fact that she was one of the first women to serve as copygirls for the publication; she went on to work on the paper’s city desk.
Pat loved being a writer and understood the value of community journalism. Although originally from South Shore, she embraced the Beverly/Morgan Park area and promoted it like an ambassador. Given her intelligence, talent and charm, we couldn’t have asked for anyone better suited to the task.
I was saddened to read in The Beverly Review that Pat died Nov. 14 at the age of 91. I lost touch with her after moving from the Chicago area a few years ago.
However, I’ve never forgotten the life lessons Pat imparted to me during the years we worked together. Whatever concerns she was dealing with, she always approached everything with such a joyous spirit.
This is because Pat had confidence in her convictions. They served as the wellspring of her loving personality. She used her beliefs to lift others up rather them tear them down.
It was a privilege to know Pat and be included in her large circle of friends and acquaintances. I was honored that she invited me one year to accompany her to a journalism event in downtown Chicago. She was truly in her element.
Pat and I shared a sincere appreciation for C.S. Lewis. From time to time, she would bring me a clip from some publication pertaining to the renowned author, academic and Christian apologist.
I’m certain that Lewis appealed to Pat because they both had an unmistakable authenticity. They drew on their deep religious faith to live according to their principles as honestly and devotedly as possible.
I have missed Pat’s company, her insights and her wise counsel. But, my life will continue to be blessed to have known her, and I know I’m not alone.
Editor’s note: Jerry Moore is a former editor of The Beverly Review who now works as a journalist in northern New York. Readers may send emails to email@example.com.