President Reagan and Villanova

[email protected]

June 6, 2004

Dear Editor,

With the passing of former President Ronald Reagan, there are many stories of him in the media, none of which will tell you of his kindness and thoughtfulness regarding Villanova, and in particular, the late Professor Reverend Joseph Papin, Ph.D., S.T.D., founder of the Villanova Theology Institute.

Nearly twenty-one years ago, on September 6, 1983, President Reagan wrote to me the enclosed letter lauding the world class scholarship and spirtuality of Father Papin, and the on-going work of the Villanova Theology Institute. His brief letter is one of the best examples of his recognition of the best in America who were leading the world of thinking men and women to a more profound vision in their own spiritual encounters with each other, and God. His letter is also a beautiful example of the simple style and graciousness of the man and of his presidency.

I was also very surpised and comforted by President Reagan’s most kind and unexpected letter of January 17, 1984 sending me condolences on behalf of Nancy and himself on the passing of my own beloved father, Rocco Armenti.

His kindnesses will always be remembered by me. His thoughtful words for Villanova ought to be recalled to the generations of Villanova students and faculty. What President Reagan said of Father Papin, is certainly true of his own crossing of the threshold of eternity: “Indeed, it is Earth’s loss and Heaven’s gain.”

With best wishes, I am

Very truly yours,

Dr. Joseph R. Armenti, Esquire

B.A., Class of 1972Ph.D., J.D.303 Chestnut StreetPhiladelphia, Pennsylvania 19106215-925-2020; fax 215-925-9984

[P.S. Please send me a fax number so that I can fax youa copy of President Reagan’s letter of Sepember 6, 1983 for your publication.]