Originally published on February 17, 2017 on Hildebrand Project
On Friday, February 17, the world lost one of its great lights, and the Hildebrand Project lost a dear friend.
It is hard to overstate the decades-long impact that Michael Novak had on the world; his ideas have challenged, changed, and informed myriads of people, from high school students to Pope St. John Paul II. His ideas literally saved lives, playing a vital role in ending communism in central Europe.
But he would surely say the he was a lover, not a fighter—and anyone who knew him would agree. That is why the participants at our 2015 Summer Seminar awarded him an honorary degree of Doctor Amoris. Michael received over 75 real honorary degrees in his lifetime, but apparently ours was a favorite.
"Ambassador Novak," as he was often called by his friends (and also the name of his signature cocktail), was a frequent guest at Hildebrand Project events. His mirth was matched only by his wisdom and his humility.
We are eternally grateful for his friendship, and join with the many many people around the world in offering our prayers for Michael and his family.
May he rest in peace, and may perpetual light shine upon him.