Rev Fr Kevin O’Rourke Passes On

Kevin David O'Rourke

Rev Fr Kevin David O'Rourke, a foremost Dominican canon lawyer and ethicist is dead. He died on the 28th of March at the age of 85. Fr O’Rourke is of the Province of St. Albert the Great in Chicago, USA.

He was born on the 4th of March, 1927 at Oak Park, Illinois. He attended Fenwick High School, Oak Park, Illinois and served in the US Navy during World War II. He attended the University of Notre Dame for a year before entering the Dominican Order in 1947. The following year, he made his first profession and at the completion of his basic formation, he was ordained a priest on the 27th of May, 1954.

In 1952, he earned a licentiate in philosophy from Aquinas Institute of Philosophy in River Forest, Illinois and another licentiate in theology from Aquinas Institute of Theology in Dubuque, Iowa in 1954. He got his doctorate in Canon Law from the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas in Rome in 1958.

Fr O’Rourke began his career as an academic bioethicist in 1958 at Aquinas Institute in Dubuque, serving as dean there, 1969-72. Since 2000 till his death, he was teaching at Neiswanger Institute for Bioethics and Health Policy at Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine. He was one of the leading Catholic voices in health care ethics in the USA. He has written several books and hundreds of articles. He was perhaps best known as the co-author, with Dominican Father Benedict Ashley and Sister Jean deBlois, of "Health Care Ethics: A Catholic Theological Analysis." May his soul rest in peace. Amen.