James Kavanaugh
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I am the new one  / Ursula Farnsworth   Read >>
I am the new one  / Ursula Farnsworth
gookerdoughboy777 https://gookerdoughboy777.blogspot.com I've learn some just right stuff here. Certainly worth bookmarking for revisiting. I wonder how so much effort you put to make any such wonderful informative web site. Close
No estoy solo, ahora lo sé  / Juan Barreto (Lector)  Read >>
No estoy solo, ahora lo sé  / Juan Barreto (Lector)
He leído muchos libros, pero ninguno de ellos refleja los sentimientos del Autor, tanto como lo hace James Kavanaugh en sus obras. A veces me identifico con uno o dos autores, de los que conozco o leído; pero jamás imaginé que Kavanaugh me haga sentir que soy su amigo, y que formo parte de él, de sus libros, de su soledad. Muchas gracias mi amigo, leerte me hace comprender que la vida, dentro de sus penalidades y sueños fallidos, vale la pena vivirse. No estoy sólo, ahora lo sé. Hasta pronto, Juan Manuel Translation: I have read many books, but none of them reflects the feelings of the Author, as much as James Kavanaugh does in his works. Sometimes I identify myself with one or two authors, of whom I know or read; but I never imagined that Kavanaugh would make me feel that I am his friend, and that I am part of him, his books, his loneliness. Thank you very much my friend, reading you makes me understand that life, within its hardships and failed dreams, is worth living. I'm not alone, now I know. See you soon, Juan Manuel Close
Remarkable feelings  / Maudie Walker (Friend)  Read >>
Remarkable feelings  / Maudie Walker (Friend)
Recently have been re-reading many of Jim's poetry books and reflecting! Jim give the eulogy at my husband's memorial service in 1978. Jim wore a bright yellow suit and indeed brought sunshine to my family during this very difficult time in our lives. Later I was fortunate to enroll in his poetry class where I learned how to express my grief as well as learning the importance of living everyday.. A good friend who touched our lives, and to whom I shall always be grateful. My remembrances of Jim and Rene very special! Close
No fear  / Larry Reemtsen (transfer-student)  Read >>
No fear  / Larry Reemtsen (transfer-student)
Even though I am 71, I vividly remember my first meeting Father K. I had just transferred from another Catholic school and we were in what turned out to be be a bonding moment for both Jim and I. There happened to be a pretty wild party and one of the students home near the school on the first day of school. Father K asked what I thought was a straight Q to the class,'who attended this party? Me being brand new didn't know his reputation of being a tough guy for a priest, I raised my hand. He looked at me a asked Who are you? He said I don't know you but I like your honesty and courage. He asked the same Q again and several other students raised their hands. Our relationship started. He asked me for help recruiting student athletes from middle schools and on and on. I did witness his toughness with the groups that were rebellious. I was shocked at his approach as he would invite the troubled to what was known as the 'little gym' and he, it is said would take off his collar and... My wife and I moved to her birth state of California and we watched the tonite show that night as we had heard Jim Kavanaugh was a featured guest. I could believe, notice I said could! He was amazing as I had always admired him and now learned things I had never known and I was not surprised at what I witnessed. That only secured my love for a man that spoke the truth as it was his guiding light, it turns out. He was a searcher! Rest in peace my friend, you deserve it! Larry Reemtsen Close
tribute / Rochelle &. Joe Blanchard (Wed by him )  Read >>
tribute / Rochelle &. Joe Blanchard (Wed by him )
James Kavanaugh married us in 1958 Nov 29 at St. JOHN vienne church in Flint michigan! We will celebrate our 56th anniversary this year. He was a wonderful counselor. Hope he found peace. Close
A Never to Late Read  / Joseph Moran (Reader)  Read >>
A Never to Late Read  / Joseph Moran (Reader)

I teach at a Catholic University. Near the library entrance is a used book sale. I was killing time before class and scanned the titles. I then came upon A Modern Priest Looks At His OutDated Church. I thought an interesting title but is surely outdated. Oh well; its only one dollar, I'll take it. While I have thought about the impact of abuses on members within the Catholic Church and my own former Morman Church quite a bit; I never considered the extent to which Church teachings impacted clergy; although it played a role in leaving my former church.  

I left my former church as a holder of the office of elder after realizing I could no longer speak in the pulpit on a (rotated) Sunday about teachings that I did not believe and bore no relationship to the real world. I continue to question whether I did the right thing while others with my views worked for change from within. I am now happily married to a faith that refects my values; but I still look back and say; what if.   

My mother who was raised in this faith died of emphasema many years ago. She had been a heavy smoker until her final years. The church has (or had) a strong bias against smoking. She never felt worthy to enter the church when she smoked and after she quit it was too late. What a sad thing it is to think that a church that represented itself as the imbodiment of Christ, and should have been a source of comfort, created such shame in her.    

I am so happy I picked this book from the many and am anxious to read more about Jim Kavanaugh and his poetry, 46 years later. Eternal truths speak through the generations. The church may be outdated but Jim's indictment lives on. I fervently hope the new Catholic leadership will heed his advice.  





In great honor  / James D. Carrico (fan)  Read >>
In great honor  / James D. Carrico (fan)
I found Father K late in life[81] For a man who fought depression he has written some of the most uplifting words I have ever read. Can't wait to meet you in person in my next life.I wonder if you ever meet that other great writer Thomas Merton.If anyone has the answer please send me e-mail. Thanks PAPA Don  Close
Reminescing / Cheryl James-Golidy (student @ Sacred Heart School Flint, Mi )  Read >>
Reminescing / Cheryl James-Golidy (student @ Sacred Heart School Flint, Mi )
I remember you blessing me and making me smile, laugh and have fun being in elementary school because it was very lonely for me.   I have a few of your books and talk about you all the time.  I wish you were still here.  But maybe, if I make it I will see you in heaven.  I love you. Close
A Journey Well Taken  / Thomas (Tony) Fortino (Former student )  Read >>
A Journey Well Taken  / Thomas (Tony) Fortino (Former student )

I remember your classes in high school.


I read your book with great enthusiasm!


Our meeting several years later in Washington, D.C. was enlightening and allowed me to continue on my life's journey to happiness and meaning.


Thanks Jim.......

A great Thank for his work  / Ufer Sylvie (a fan )  Read >>
A great Thank for his work  / Ufer Sylvie (a fan )
Ich habe ihn zufällig kennengelernt....im Internet und wir haben miteinander Briefe ausgetauscht. Ich habe seine Briefe mit Begeisterung gelesen, weil ich fühlte, dass er etwas besonderes ist. Er hat mir seine Poetrie vorgestellt und sein ganzes Werk. Ich fiel vom einen Staunen ins andere über soviel Bücher. So habe ich dann sein erstes Buch - im deutschen -  aus der Bibliothek ausgeliehen und über seinen "tragischen" Schicksal erfahren. Nach und nach habe ich seine Gedichtsbände mir eingekauft und war fasziniert über seine Poesie und über die Kraft, die aus diesen Büchlein hinausgingen. Wir haben vereinbahrt, daß ich eine seinen  Gedichtsbände ins Deutsch übertrage. Die Wahl fiel auf "Men to gentle..." Die Arbeit mit diesem Werk war schön und war mir eine Zeitlang mein schönstes Hobby. Er lobte mich oft, wie schnell ich mit der Übersetzung vorankomme. Die Veröffentlichung dann klappte leider nicht, weil die Poesie sich in Deutschland jetzt schlecht verkauft, zwar hatte der Verlag meine Arbeit gelobt. Dann versuchte ich dasselbe in Ungarn. Dort ging es ebenfalls nicht. Eine zeitlang hatten wir noch miteinander korrespondiert; er hat vor mir nicht verheimlicht, dass er eine Frau sucht, die ihn auf allen Gebieten unterstützen kann....und hatte mir auch über Chaty erzählt. Wie ein guter Freund hatte er mich behandelt und bat mich manchmal in seinem Angst für ihn zu beten. Ich hatte ihm ungarische Gebete übersetzt und gesendet....Später hatte ich ihm einige ranghohe ungarische Gedichte zum Lesen geschickt, worüber wir uns auch ausgetauscht haben. Er war eine gute "Seele" und als Gottes besondere Bote für mich gewirkt. Ich wunderte mich, daß er mit meinem "unreifen" English fertig geworden ist. Irgendwann ist dann unser Korrespondenz verebbt und es war gut so... Über seinen Tod hatte ich durch googeln  - 1 Jahr später erfahren und es hat mich sehr berührt. Meine tiefste Mitgefühl für seine Familie hiermit ! Er schaut jetzt auf uns allen aus dem Himmel und weiß dabei, daß er es war, der uns so viel Kraft spendete und durch seine Schriften weiter noch spenden wird. Rest in peace - dear friend! Sylvi Close
men too gentle to live among wolves  / Chris Mccasland   Read >>
men too gentle to live among wolves  / Chris Mccasland
a friend gave me a copy of there are men too gentle to live among wolves in about 1971 and it spoke deeply to me then. I am 64 now and it has more meaning now than it ever did. There ARE men too gentle to live among wolves. Close
To the family  / Dennis Rogers   Read >>
To the family  / Dennis Rogers

I found a copy of "Laughing Down Lonely Canyons" back in the late 80s. When I first read it. Since that time I have moved many times. each time I make sure the book stays with me. Though I do not pick it up often and read, I often think about it. His words speak to me in a way I cannot describe but also never forget. There is a rough reality and well as a gentleness that challamges me to look within. Thank you Mr. Kavanaugh. I just learned of his death when I took the book out to read and decided to Look him up on the web.

My condoances to the family.


The greatest poet  / Randy (Greatest Fan )  Read >>
The greatest poet  / Randy (Greatest Fan )
To the family of James Kavanaugh

As of today, April 28 2012, I have learned that my favorite poet had passed. I guess that it never occurred to me that a legend like James could have a expiration date. I thought, like all of his followers, GOD made an exception to his rules. He was and still is the Willie Mays and Frank Sanatra of poetry. The best that ever was and will ever be. I discovered James some 40 years ago, when I was still in my teens. I started to consume and digest his words like a hungry tiger. His humor and philosophy hit me like a Sandy Koufax fast ball! I was hooked on poetry. In times of stress, his works keep me focused in the present moment of life. To this day I can still recite most of his poems from "Will You Be My Friend". I have also shared my love for his works with my children who have also learned some of this poetry. As I write these words I have tears in my eyes, as James wrote "... nice way for tears to take their leave" in a memory who left behind a spirit that will live in perpetuity. James teaches all of us, while we are living we also need to think about the importance of what we leave behind. I am confident that in the presence of the King of Kings, James heard the words we all want to hear ... a job well done, my son! I cannot say good bye, but rather, until we meet again. I hope and try every day to earn those important words. James was GODS gift to poetry. Thank you.

Forever Grateful


(I request that you do not use my emal or last name - Thank you)

Thank you James Kavanaugh  / George F. Johnson (Fan)  Read >>
Thank you James Kavanaugh  / George F. Johnson (Fan)

I am so sorry to hear that Jim has died and and would like to give my condolences to the family, while I never knew Jim other than through his work he was a great help to me personally.  I was searching his name on Google to find a copy of Search for a gift.

I found Search at a book stand in downtown NY and studied it from cover to cover.  Search provided me with insight I sorley needed and poems I've shared with my dad.  I have given away copies of the book to close friends and used Jim's thoughts at a world wide meeting of managers to help influence them to higher levels of self reflection, purpose and leadership. 

He won't be forgotten.

Thoughts of Jim  / Maudie Walker (Friend)  Read >>
Thoughts of Jim  / Maudie Walker (Friend)
I first met Jim through mutual friends in Grass Valley when he bought property.  We became business friends and acquaintances, and when my husband died in 1978 Jim gave a most fitting and meaningful eulogy.  I attended the wedding of Jim and Rene and was awed by their love and honesty and their story of the Chalice.  The last time I saw Jim was when he did a reading at the Cultural Center in Grass Valley.  Had lost touch with him since then and so sorry to read of his death and 2009.  An absolutely wonderful poet! Close
Warm memories  / Judy Newman (Fan)  Read >>
Warm memories  / Judy Newman (Fan)
Many years ago I became completely enamored with Jim's poetry and with him, but then who wasn't? I think he was living in Northern California at the time; I in Los Angeles. I wrote a fan letter and was surprised to receive a call from him. He was going to be in the area and invited me to lunch. We met near my office and it was one of the greatest couple of hours of my life. Nothing happened except great conversation capped off with a little hug when we said good-bye. I never heard from him again and I didn't contact him as there was no point in doing so. Sometime later when he spoke in California I bought a ticket and attended but didn't make myself known to him. At the break I was standing near a group of women who were totally smitten and I couldn't help but smile a very wry smile as they could only listen to him from afar; I had listened up close. I wondered what happened to him and tonight June 2 2011 I looked him up on line to sadly learn of his passing. Sincere condolences to all who loved him I'm sure his fans number in the millions. Close
Just learned of Jim's death  / Roger Tompkins (Friend)  Read >>
Just learned of Jim's death  / Roger Tompkins (Friend)
Rene -- I've just learned of Jim's death. It's a hard time now. I loved him.

You were the girl he spoke of so often so passionately in the late 70's after I bought American Home Services from him. We spent a lot of time together and you were always on his mind.

I went to his house -- your house -- once and no one was there. At the moment I forget the town but it was in California to the northeast of the City. I didn't stay. I forget even why I was there. I'll think of it in a minute.

This is a great loss. One of my best friends ever.

I called my ex-wife a few minutes ago to tell her what I'd learned and completely broke down during the conversation. I did not think I would do that. She - Elaine - had some correspondence with Jim without my knowledge in 1986.

I had written a book of poetry and she sent a copy to him and asked him to read it and if possible write a blurb for the jacket. I didn't know she had done that. She showed me the letter from Jim that came in response along with the blurb a few months later. He had never endorsed a book before.

Rene I very much remember you though I'm not sure we ever met. Jim loved you. About that there is no question.

I've been thinking of him quite a lot over the past year or so which led to my decision tonight to try to get back in touch. So I hit the web. Only to discover what I discovered which breaks my heart.

Now I'm not a religious person not even a spiritual person but there is something going on here. He's been on my mind so often over the past many months it's ridiculous. I think he's close.

I believe the house I was referring to earlier was in Walnut Creek. I remember part of the inside of the house but not much more. I believe you guys were living way to the east bay.

In any case I love you too. Jim loved you so of course.

All the best --


One Year Anniversary of your death  / Rene Reid (Former wife )  Read >>
One Year Anniversary of your death  / Rene Reid (Former wife )

Dear Jamie

It has been one year today since you left this earth to move on to your next life. How appropriate that I called you on that very day only to learn that you had passed away - just passed away a couple of hours before I called. I think about you often. I suspect there are countless people around the world who still read your poetry and think about you and appreciate your insights and reflections. I doubt that anyone ever knew you as well as I - your anxiety in the mornings your loneliness when you wandered your Irish laughter with friends around a bar your priestliness that you often hid but not well from me.

I remember your writing in your most recent edition of Men Too Gentle "I will probably be a searcher until I die and hopefully death itself will only be another adventure." Sometimes I wonder what you would be writing about if you could share the adventure you are experiencing now. One thing about which I feel sure - your not searching anymore. You have found . . . peace . . . love . . . understanding . . . oneness with humanity . . . and oneness with God who is Love. 

It is snowing outside today. I am cozy inside our home - the one we bought and remodeled together thirty years ago. I updated it again in 2003- the year that Mom and Lin both passed away. It was how I dealt with losing them both just weeks apart.

I call on you from time to time - when I'm not sure what to do or where to turn. I often feel your presence and talk to you as if you were right here with me. I look forward to reuniting with you one day soul to soul. But not yet! I hope to live a long life on this earth. I still have so much I want to do. I miss you but I do love my life. I have wonderful friends  some of whom were ours together a long time ago. One of your friends contacted me a few months ago and we chat about you occasionally via email. I know you must be enjoying the attention of having us reminisce about the "you" we each knew.

I talked to several of our old friends shortly after your passing. I reconnected with Phil Ryan with Toby Anderson and Darrell Fetty with Nancy Spilker and even Van Zannis Jr. He sent some pictures of you that I posted on this site.

You were a crazy man - so full of the unexpected. You were completely unpredictable except in your unpredictableness. I never knew when you were leaving or when you would return. It took me years to finally come to know that you would return. If I had understood that earlier in our life together it could have spared me many many tears.

Almost every Friday night Chris and I get together for dinner. We always begin the evening with a toast: "It's Friday night in the City. The singles bars explode to welcome the weekend for which the week was made. Slow down. Monday will never come tonight." You wrote me a poem once: "It's in the mornings that I miss you most of all." Well I miss you all the time. No one particular time. Just moments that hit me and I realize that I won't be able to reach out and touch your hand or see the fear - or the twinkle - in your eyes.

For now I must content myself to live the life given me. I have many things in which I'm involved. I have a book that is being converted to a screen play at the moment. I remember when you had Coward for Them All converted to a screenplay. It was an exciting time when the book first came out . . . and then the screenplay. And then your heartache when the script didn't sell. Actually it did sell as a movie made for television but you wanted to hold out for a feature film. And that never happened.

We did have our moments of agony that we shared and our moments of ecstasy. You remain the most significant person in my life. I hold out hope that I will meet another who will love me and I him with the depth of the love we shared . . . and without so many unexpectected and unplanned spaces in our togetherness.

Sometimes when I am missing you I just sit by the fire and pick up one of your poetry books. All I have to do is read a few pages and I am reminded instantly by the poem of a moment we shared once - either one when you were angry with me or one when you were longing for me and hoping to come back. Well sweetheart the next time it will be I who comes home to you  . . . to share eternity with you.

Be at peace and know that I still love you and miss you.



Always in My Heart  / Rene Reid (wife/partner/lover from 1974 to 1986 )  Read >>
Always in My Heart  / Rene Reid (wife/partner/lover from 1974 to 1986 )


                                                    September 16 2010

Dearest Jamie,

Today is your birthday. You would be 82 today. I've thought of you a thousand times since your passing. I can't begin to tell you how much I miss you. And I'm not alone. I'm sure you're reading the many messages from this site and are learning how much you are missed by so many.

Sometimes I can't help but wonder how it is you didn't know this during your lifetime. You struggled with life more than anyone I know. You often questioned whether you should even go on living. You never stopped searching for life's meaning and I'm not sure that you found it while you walked this earth. But I know with absolute certainty that you have found it now. While there are so many of us that miss you the good news is that you are finally at peace. We had our moments of serenity and happiness. But they were here at one moment and gone the next. As were you my darling ... here with me one moment and gone the next. It took me years to understand that your leavng and returning was something of which was outside of your control.

It was not your choice to leave. It was a compulsion that overtook you. During one of your leavetakings I was angry at you and wrote a poem that expressed my feelings better than any prose every could. I never gave it to you but I will share it with you now. At the time I was afraid you would take offense. But I know that you can understand so much more now.

I would like to feel like you
loving when I want it
loning when I need it
sharing when I choose it
running to diffuse it
while the world you peruse it

Why am I frightened so easily
of displaying my tears
of revealing my fears
of letting you see my pain
when it’s all so in vain
and dreading your disdain

Unable to forget the anguish
of goodbye letters left in an empty house
as courageous as a mouse
of being kept secret from your admiring fans
who only adore you and make no demands
of being the lover — dependable and straight
while you the beloved can only vacillate
of your coming home — such sincerity you feign
only to fill your need and leave again

How ironic —
you the controller fearful of being bound
you the searcher unable to find or be found
you the wanderer cursed to go it alone
you the child unwilling to father your own
— too much responsibility you moan

I would like to feel like you
to take you or leave you
never to grieve you
with no fear of rejection
taking any deflection
whenever the impulse strikes you

But for now I must content myself to feel as I do
choosing faithfulness over desertion
offering commitment without accusation
preferring everlasting love to interim encounters
because I have found what truly matters

I would like to feel like you
until I realize that the give and take
is not worth the heartache
that for all your would-be freedom
it is not your will to go or come
it is a catalyst controlling your actions
an anxiety impeding your reactions
the consolation of my life
is that which causes your strife

Finally I realize it is I who am free
and you who roams in search of feeling like me.

I have regretted the final demand I put on you that infamous day in 1986. Had I been able to put your pain ahead of my own I would have let you stay without setting conditions. In my need to stop the insanity of your leaving and returning I pushed you away. And in that very act I lost you forever. I'm sorry that I caused you so much anguish. I know of the suffering you endured as you wandered the earth without a home to come back to.

It was in 1996 that I wandered into Tadish Bookstore in San Francisco and stumbled upon your latest book of poetry. As I scanned the pages I found the poem you had written for me. There was no doubt it was for me. As I stood reading it tears ran down my cheeks.

You have never left my heart
From that first moment you smiled
So many years ago.
What was it I instantly loved?
I was looking deep within myself
And possessed you as my own
In the flash of a single glance.

All these years have passed
And nothing has changed.
You married another because
I was still locked in celibate vows
But just the sound of your voice
Brings back all the memories
When we were as one and still are.

How guileless we were and innocent!
How pure and loyal to
The only God we knew!
Hardly a dozen years later
You would have been all mine
But it was not in heaven’s plan.
So we remained at a painful distance
As was demanded by man’s insane laws.

But you have never left my heart
And never will!

Nor did you ever leave my heart, my dearest Jamie. You told me once that home for you was wherever I was. How I have wished that I had understood then that my foolish demands left you wandering aimlessly without a home for years afterwards. I'm glad you finally found a home with the woman who cared enough to take you in and love you to the end. But, sweet Jamie, I can't help but wish that it was in my arms that you had died. Please forgive me and know that I loved you then and will love you until we meet again one day.

Always your "Angel Wings,"


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