In memoriam: Father Edward Matthias Robinson

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Michael Walker
Contributing Writer

On March 29, Father Edward Matthias Robinson, O.P., passed away peacefully at Heartstone Assisted Living Center in Irving, after a long life of prompt and loving service to the Catholic Church. On April 2, the Monday of Holy Week, young and old alike attended his funeral at the Church of the Incarnation, where he had celebrated Mass for decades.

Many among us will recall the short trek to the Dominican Priory, where the aged Father Matt Robinson would almost invariably answer the door to hear confessions.

As one of the celebrants noted at his funeral, “Father Robinson was always the first to answer the door of the Priory, but now Christ has opened the door for him.”

Father Robinson did not always need a “buggy” (as he called his walker) to get around, however. His nephew related how Father Robinson once owned a motorcycle, a fairly startling fact about one who lived to the ripe old age of 97.

Born in Duluth, Minn., in 1914, Father Robinson spent a happy youth there, studying biology before joining the Dominicans in 1935. He was ordained a priest of the Dominican Order on June 7, 1941, commencing nearly 71 years of ministry to all who came to him. After arriving in the Dallas area in 1966, Father Robinson assumed teaching duties at Bishop Lynch High School and Cistercian Academy, where he taught for many years. He never failed to proffer spiritual aid to the University of Dallas community, but he is most renowned for founding the pro-life movement in Dallas.
Father Robinson’s knowledge of science and a penchant for poetry both enriched his pro-life efforts. In fact, the Bishop’s Pro-Life Dinner, which was held this past weekend, annually awards the title of Pro-Life Person of the Year in his honor, and duly so, given his decades of humble solicitude on behalf of the unborn and born alike.

Father Robinson wished to be buried in Dallas so as to conclude the pro-life work he began here years ago, and he was most pleased to discover that his burial plot in Calvary Hill Cemetery would be right across from the graves of the unborn, those whom he had defended so dearly in life.

Indeed, maybe Father Robinson’s fellow Dominican, Saint Catherine of Siena, best describes this admirable conclusion to a life well lived in her section concerning the happy death of just priests: “These men possessed over and above the light of virtuous living, the light, that is, of holy science, by which science they knew more of My Truth, and he who knows more loves Me more, and he who loves Me more receives more.”

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