Welcome to The Society of Saint John the Evangelist

Eldridge Pendleton, SSJE

EHP Home4February 23, 1940 – August 26, 2015

With great sadness, the SSJE community announces that our brother Eldridge Pendleton died on August 26, 2015 at the Leonard Florence Center for Living, Chelsea, Massachusetts. Br. Geoffrey Tristram, SSJE’s Superior, said, “Our brother Eldridge was a gifted historian, spiritual director and writer. He was greatly loved by many people who were drawn by his gentle kindness, wisdom, and wonderful sense of humor. And he was always a Texan! May he rest in peace and rise in glory.”

Eldridge H. Pendleton met members of the Society of Saint John the Evangelist (SSJE) when he was twenty-one. Later, after teaching at several universities and directing a museum in Maine, he joined SSJE in 1984. Eldridge served in many capacities, including archivist, Senior Brother of Saint John’s House in Durham, North Carolina and Director of the Fellowship of Saint John. He was a life member of the Confraternity of the Blessed Sacrament. Despite many health challenges in recent years Eldridge remained full of vigor and in 2014 he published, “Press on the Kingdom,” a biography of Charles Chapman Grafton, one of the founders of the Society. Eldridge loved recounting stories of the founding brothers of the Society and their enthusiasm for the religious life and God in the hope of inspiring future monastics.

The Brothers invite you to share your memories and messages:

106 Comments

  1. Aaron J Paul on February 2, 2016 at 17:31

    I met dear Eldridge eons ago during my very first years in the museum field (mid 1970’s), when he was director of a museum in York, Maine. As director he was my boss, and a very good one. Yes, he was very gentle, soft-spoken, and kind, so it did not come as a surprise when, years later, when we were both in Cambridge, that I discovered he was a member of a religious community just across the Square. I came across his name just now in a footnote and decided to google him, and am sad to find out that he is no longer of this earth, but I have a feeling he is with us still. It is uplifting to read about his service to humankind throughout his life.

  2. Gregory Dale Schultz (Greg) on October 29, 2015 at 09:27

    As I read this word I was swept back to a conversation I had with Brother Eldridge on my first retreat at SSJE when he served as my director for the first time. At the time I was wrestling with various life issues and vocation questions. I remember Eldridge’s kind yet piercing eyes that seemed to see right into my soul when he said, “Greg, be at peace and always bring a heart of gratitude.” That became something of a mantra to me and remains with me to this very day.

    May he rest peacefully in the strong yet gentle arms of God.

    Gregory Dale Schultz
    Director of Liturgy and Music
    Office of Campus Ministry | Santa Clara University

  3. David Robinson on September 16, 2015 at 08:42

    Fr. Eldridge directed a retreat for me one Summer week at Emory House in 1996. At one point I commented on my lack of generosity towards others. He immediately countered, pointing out the several projects I had done to help around the building and grounds. He had a way of helping others see more clearly in the light of Christ, whom he now sees face to face, and not as a stranger!

  4. Patricia Gross on September 7, 2015 at 13:41

    Eldridge arrived to become a postulant in the SSJE community in 1984, not long after I started going to services there, and 3 years later when I started making rosaries, I ended out giving him the first one I had made, with unikite beads (a semiprecious stone that looks like a little earth). It was a wildly impractical rosary — the stones have sharp holes that grind up the bead cord, and after restring a few dozen of them I gave up and only made wood rosaries, but I still remember Eldridge’s enthusiasm for those beads in combination with a small Orthodox wood cross. Eldridge also gave me the gift of being able to acknowledge that I might not always be a rosary maker. I had for too long defined myself by what I did — editor, writer, photographer, indexer, poet (briefly), and rosary maker, but when my husband was in the late stages of cancer and I wasn’t well myself, Eldridge said maybe I didn’t need to be rosary maker any more, and that made it easier to accept (though I am still making some, I hope for a church fair this fall). Eldridge was a great cheerleader, a giver of encouragement, in many ways.

  5. Mary Fontaine on September 7, 2015 at 05:51

    My heart and soul are filled with wonderful, loving memories of our shared times with Eldridge and my eyes are filled with tears. I met Eldridge when he started to attend Christ Church in Portsmouth, NH and we soon were good friends. Our family was blessed by sharing time with Eldridge and were present as he entered the Order of SSJE. Our children were very little then but hold memories in their hearts of our special friend. We know he was especially fond of the Irish soda bread we baked for him. Know we are holding your community in our hearts and will forever hold Eldridge close. Prayers and hugs

  6. suzanne robinson on September 4, 2015 at 04:26

    Dear, dear, dear Brothers in Christ at SSJE ..My heart goes out in prayer with deepest compassion to each and all of you, his brothers, bonded through vowed lives given to God, through Christ and to one another in the transforming grace of the Holy Spirit.

    When word arrived from you of Brother Eldridge’s passing i felt the same
    swelling warmth suffuse my body as when I first witnessed the embered Presence of God’s love within this deeply gentle, humble, joyful man.
    “The life he lived he lived unto God.” Like the Icons he wrote, his life had become, through the living of it, the Eucharistic Presence Whom all true Life reveals. We journey on, our lives changed, yet mysteriously One, trusting
    in the blessed assurance of Jesus, “I am come that ye may have life and
    have it more abundantly.” Rest in Peace and may Light Perpetual fill your
    soul and light the path before you. Ever in gratitude, -suzanne

  7. Lee Snow on September 3, 2015 at 16:43

    I am a friend of Eldridge’s from his museum days in Maine. As a paintings conservator I had the honor of conserving, in 2006, a portrait of the Rev. Frederick Powell which Eldridge entrusted to me. He came to Maine for lunch several times and to my late husband’s services. A group of us museum types had the wonderful experience in 1984, of attending his joining of the SSJE in Cambridge. I will miss a dear friend and know he is in God’s loving care.

  8. Meredith S Wade on September 3, 2015 at 11:44

    Thank you, David, for that amusing anecdote. It gives me the go-ahead to write about the Eldridge I knew best, the man I met at the Canterbury House in Denton, TX, 54 years ago. Long before the Monastery, the retreats, the spiritual direction, the teaching, there were times of high hilarity and creativity and energy and he was a major player in all that. Feast Day parties were legendary and oh, the costumes he’d come up with. Yes, there were chapel services and study groups (Bible, theology, culture, the times), but we really bonded over our shared interest in music, decorative arts, food, and that fun that is unique to the college experience. He gave me my copy of the Joy of Cooking so I could make Indian Pudding for him in the House kitchen and for a wedding present, an antique side chair he found in a shop in NH. How I will miss our conversations about our shared history, our life experiences, and our beloved church. Other than his graduation from UVA, I have not been able to witness his major life events and tomorrow I will be there as before – in heart and spirit – and trust the music will be glorious and the meal a feast. Through my tears, I am rejoicing that the challenges of his physical life are over, but I will miss him and our long conversations and occasional visits for the rest of my life.

  9. David Hansen on September 3, 2015 at 09:59

    The one and only time I was blessed to meet Brother Eldridge was on a retreat at the Monastery in Cambridge during Christmas in 2012. My retreat was also a sort of Discernment Visit. Because of that purpose, I had the joy and privilege of meeting almost of all of the Brothers. After the Eucharist on Christmas morning, David Vryhof introduced me to Brother Eldridge, who was sitting quietly in his wheelchair near the sanctuary. After being introduced, I extended my hand to shake his and he very quickly pulled me into a loving hug. He said, yes, I heard you would be here, sit-let’s chat. That brief conversation with a kind, gentle, loving and honest man touched me immensely, and remains vividly with me today. A few hours later, at the lavish Christmas Reception the Brothers hosted, I noticed Brother Eldridge wearing the same quirky hat we were all wearing, and popping his “cracker” to see what gift he received. As he was leaving that afternoon, he pulled me aside, and said “I bet when you decided to come on an Inquirer’s Visit to a Monastery you didn’t think you’d be sitting with a bunch of fools wearing hats and popping Crackers, did you?!” Wasn’t that the true Eldridge Pendleton? That’s how I will always remember him, and thank God for my brief, but oh so blessed time with him. May he rest in peace, and rise in Glory+

  10. Paulette Slattery on September 2, 2015 at 15:48

    I had the good fortune to be one of Brother Eldridge’s healthcare providers for a few months, several years ago. He was a beacon of Light and a joy to be with. His courage, gentleness and kindness touched my heart deeply in the short time I knew him.

  11. Christopher Rivers on September 2, 2015 at 07:32
  12. Andrew Malcolm on September 2, 2015 at 06:09

    I never met Bro. Eldridge but was captivated and inspired by his latest book on +Grafton and the work of SSJE in America. My thoughts and prayers are with all the Community and his friends and relatives.
    May he rest in peace and rise in glory
    Andrew (FSJ:UK)

  13. Russ Snapp on September 2, 2015 at 05:13

    I was saddened to hear of Eldridge’s death. I was a grad student at Harvard when he arrived at the monastery and benefited from his support, his ministry, and his good humor. I’ll never forget his story about how he found a home in the Episcopal Church. Once, when he was speaking at St. Peter’s in Charlotte, N.C., he noted that saying the rosary was an old Southern tradition, as “Gone with the Wind” attests. May Eldridge rest in peace and rise in glory.

  14. Patti Rose on September 1, 2015 at 16:59

    I was recently telling a friend that if I got to SSJE sometime this coming year there might still be a few brothers around who would remember me — and I had I grinned ear to ear when I mentioned Eldridge! What a dear, sweet, genuine, big man. From glory to glory…with a cat on his lap.

  15. Margaret Bullitt-Jonas on September 1, 2015 at 15:02

    My prayers are with the SSJE community as you mourn Eldridge’s death and celebrate the many ways that he blessed your lives — and the lives of so many others, mine included. I loved the twinkle in his eyes, and his kindness. Blessings to you, dear Eldridge, and thank you for all the ways you manifested the love of Christ.

  16. Sylvia Robinson Corrigan on August 31, 2015 at 21:44

    During a retreat for women from the parish of Christ and Holy Trinity in Westport, Connecticut, I had a wonderful conversation with Brother Eldridge. I found myself sitting next to him at the noon meal, and I asked him about a family member who had spent time at SSJE many years ago. This person was known to him, and he shared his knowledge of him openly, quietly, and graciously. I had burned to know more about this person, whose life had been changed and reshaped as he responded to a call to priesthood. I am so thankful for that conversation, and I admired the Trinity icon that he had recently written. Now I would like to know more about Grafton. Thanks be to God for Brother Eldridge Pendleton!

  17. Bill Ditewig on August 31, 2015 at 18:31

    Eldridge reached out to us as new members of the extended SSJE family and made us feel so welcome! One of our delights on an early visit to SSJE was picking Eldridge up from the facility where he was staying and taking him out to one of his favorite restaurants. He regaled us with stories of his own life and of the history of SSJE and assured us Luke was in good hands. We will miss his winsome smile, distinctive voice and warm heart.

  18. Kai Torkelson on August 31, 2015 at 14:56

    Blessings to you Brothers,
    I share in your sadness in saying farewell to Brother Eldridge and rejoice in the accomplishments he made through his life and work in The Lord. I remember well his “straight shooter” approach, something I cherished during my brief 2 year acquaintance in 2003-2005.

    In Christ,
    Kai

  19. Bob McMath on August 31, 2015 at 11:45

    I was saddened to hear of Br. Eldridge’s death but very grateful for his life and for his ministry through SSJE. He and I discovered a few years ago that we grew up about 40 miles from each other in rural Texas, graduated from the same university (twice), and were both raised as Baptists. My thoughts and prayers are with his brothers.

    Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord;
    even so saith the Spirit, for they rest from their labors.

  20. Valerie Isaacs on August 30, 2015 at 09:29

    Eldridge was such fun to talk with- he knew countless interesting stories about art and history, and told them with great charm and wit. A month ago I took in a book of John Singer Sargent portraits, and he had stories about practically every person depicted.
    Eldridge was the toughest person I have known. As he declined physically, he never once exhibited self pity, but seemed truly grateful for every day. Whenever we spoke he focused on the positive aspects of the present day. He had joy in his heart and knew how to live in joy, even under difficult circumstances. And what a great conversationalist! I miss him dearly.

  21. Lila Farrar on August 29, 2015 at 22:02

    My friendship with Eldridge goes back 40 years to the summer he spent at Old Sturbridge Village. There would be periods, sometimes of several months when we weren’t in touch, but it was one of those remarkable friendships that always picked up right where we left off, never feeling it was in jeopardy for any reason. He was truly a very best friend. I miss him dreadfully, but at the same time treasure the love that endures, and reminds one of what is possible in this world.

  22. Gene LeCouteur on August 29, 2015 at 13:39

    Br. Eldridge was a gift to all that he met. I recall our first meeting in 2001 when I was on silent retreat at Emery House. We had a mutual friend and he reached out to me for a private conversation during my retreat. It was emblematic to me of the warmth and generosity of spirit that I witnessed on other occasions since.

    I take comfort in the scripture, “The souls of the righteous are in the hand of God.” If it applies to anyone it certainly applies to Br. Eldridge.

  23. elizabeth wright on August 29, 2015 at 10:03

    I didn’t get to say goodbye to you. Goodbye dear Brother Eldridge. I pray for all left in sadness now to be visited by that great big smile, mischievous and sunlit by turns, irrepressible, genuine balm.

  24. Margot Dunnachie on August 29, 2015 at 07:14

    I was saddened to read of the death of Br Eldridge. I never had the privilege of meeting him, knowing him only through my online encounters with SSJE, but through reading the tributes to him by those who knew him I realise, to some extent, how deep a loss he will be. My prayers are with you Brothers and with all who are mourning his absence.

    “May the absences in your life grow full of eternal echo.”
    John O’Donohue

  25. Irene Dygas on August 29, 2015 at 06:28

    Such a sweet man! Such a sense of humor! Such talents God gave him! His work on earth was done and God wanted him back. May he rest in eternal peace–

  26. Walter Brownridge on August 29, 2015 at 01:08

    I forgot to mention my great joy to have been at the monastery at his ordination to the priesthood. a great occasion.

  27. Walter Brownridge on August 29, 2015 at 01:05

    Brother Eldridge Pendleton, SSJE was a friend, a dear man, a fine priest and a truly holy monk. He was my first SSJE Spiritual Director in 1993 – the old St. John’s House in Durham. I so enjoyed my chats when I started to visit the Monastery in 1993. I last saw him in 2014 and missed him this year as he was in the hospital. So sorry I didn’t get another chance to sit in his presence and talk of God, theology, literature, history and our common southern heritage. I am currently reading his book on Bishop Grafton – a fine read and tribute to Eldridge the scholar and writer. Requiescat en Pace Brother Eldridge.

  28. Sr. Greta Ronningen, cdl on August 28, 2015 at 16:34

    My love for him is the deepest I have ever known. When I met Br. Eldridge I was in the darkest of times and he dispelled this darkness – which is what a GURU does. He is and always will be my teacher and my guru. He introduced me to Jesus who healed me and now I am His. My utter transformation is all due to the light that shown through this man, and the wisdom. I will spend the rest of my life trying to live up to the qualities of humanness that Eldridge possessed. There would be no Community of Divine Love without Br. Eldridge, and I would not be a chaplain to the incarcerated. My love and prayers to all who are grieving and see many of you next week.

  29. Sheila Long on August 28, 2015 at 16:33

    Dear Brothers,
    Leith and and another friend sent me the sad news. I’ve lost a brother and a dear friend – well, not lost, exactly, but now our communion has entered another dimension, until we meet again in God’s own time, and in the meantime I am grieving his passing. I’m in Ireland at tedious moment, due to arrive back just before the funeral, so I may make it by the end of the service. In any case, I shall be with you in spirit.

  30. Canon Joe Asselin on August 28, 2015 at 15:37

    Will remember his joy, kindness and humour when visiting SSJE on my annual retreat. I also remember one retreat when he was the brother reading a novel during meals. What a treat to have him read with such skill. Resurrection peace Brother Eldridge. Put in a word for us!

  31. Robert Stewart on August 28, 2015 at 15:14

    This quotation from Br. Eldridge’s sermon of August 15, 2012, reflects the enduring message of his faith::
    ” At every celebration of the Eucharist with those we see and know, there is also a great cloud of witnesses, men and women who have testified with their lives to the Truth in past ages and are now a part of the Communion of Saints, standing around the altar with us. Love is our reason for being, and in the sacrament of the Eucharist we are caught up in an interchange of love with God that is ongoing and unending.”

  32. Clare Keller on August 28, 2015 at 14:57

    He could turn the briefest conversation into an act of love. He so allowed the spirit of God to pass through him that even small suggestions twinkle with that love long after they were made. These include the recommendation to read Wolf Hall when it was just out, and to enjoy the mystery stories by C. J. Sansom. I shall miss him but am glad he is free in the nearer presence of the one he followed so fully.

  33. Brian Murdoch on August 28, 2015 at 12:36

    The years teach what the days don’t always tell. Br. Eldridge you lived for love & were ever lovely in your tall drink of water being. 75 times 4 seasons is well & good. So glad they grow-em big in Texas,you gave me sweet delight often over these years,especially on the high feast days. Your friendship abides with blessing. Thanks for sharing the Life.Pax. Give Br John Mathis my love…

  34. Prataap Patrose on August 28, 2015 at 11:46

    Br Geoffrey and all the brothers
    It is with a very sad heart that we heard of Br Eldridge’s passing on into the hands of God. I understand that the last few months in particular had been very hard for Br Eldridge.
    We will all miss his ever ready sunshine like smile, unassuming wit and wisdom along with his radiant grace.
    And may his soul rest in eternal peace.
    Mrs Patrose and Prataap

  35. Cate on August 28, 2015 at 10:58

    Thank you for letting us know of Br. Eldridge’s death. He was very kind and hospitable – in both action and spirit, and I valued even brief conversations with him.
    May he rest in peace and rise in glory.
    +cate waynick

  36. Joan Rasch on August 28, 2015 at 10:53

    I recall hearing Eldridge talking about his visit to Lourdes, in which he said that while healing of his physical infirmities would be welcome, he was most hoping to get to know Mary better. (I’m probably paraphrasing, but that was the gist).

    My thoughts are with you all in the community.

  37. Polly Chatfield on August 28, 2015 at 10:52

    Dear Brothers,
    How we will all miss Eldridge! He had such strength beneath that Texan urbanity and gentleness, such understanding beneath his humor. Going to see him was one of the high spots of my week. He was, perhaps, the wisest teacher i ever had. My heart, my prayers, are with you all.

  38. Mary Coogan on August 28, 2015 at 09:48

    I have fond memories of being with Eldridge on retreats at both Newbury and Cambridge. In addition to hearing Eldridge’s gentle and unique perspectives about Scripture and its relationships to our lives, Jack and I shared warm conversations with this wise, compassionate Brother. He will be sorely missed.

  39. Jack H Haney on August 28, 2015 at 09:40

    Compassionate wisdom and welcoming. He always led me to a deeper truth and understanding when we met in spiritual direction at Emery House. Rest In peace dear Eldridge. You were and are the best.

  40. Christopher Rivers on August 28, 2015 at 08:00

    Five years or so ago, I was on retreat at the monastery. On Sunday morning, the day of my departure, I was finishing up cleaning my cell, just a few minutes before the 9:00 Mass. I happened to look out the window, onto Memorial Drive, and I saw a taxi pulling up. Br. Eldridge got out, with some difficulty. The taxi driver took his walker out of the trunk and Br. Eldridge slowly made his way, alone, to the chapel door. There was nothing particularly remarkable about any of this but I was transfixed by the scene. There was something about Br. Eldridge’s movements that touched me deeply. He was slow and cautious but not at all fearful and, more important, an almost tangible gentleness seem to emanate from his person– it was almost as if you could see the loveliness of his soul in every physical gesture. It is nearly impossible to put this kind of thing into words but words did come to my mind at that moment, simple but compelling words that I heard over and over: “The Body of Christ.” I did not know, and still do not know, exactly what those words meant in that moment but they somehow articulated what I was seeing. I knew who Br. Eldridge was at that point and had seen him many times but had never spoken with him. Given what I had seen and heard, I knew that I needed to meet him. Some months later, after an e-mail exchange, I went to visit him at Jeanne Jugan for the first time and we began a friendship that was, for me at least, deeply meaningful. I wish I had met him much earlier and that I had spent more time with him, but I am nonetheless grateful for the privilege and the blessing of having known him at all.

    • Sr. Greta Ronningen, cdl on August 28, 2015 at 16:25

      Thank you so much for this reflection. I can feel into what you are saying – incarnational…. not even a word… but what I experienced too.

      • Christopher Rivers on August 28, 2015 at 18:33

        Yes, Sister, “incarnational”: that’s exactly what it was. Thank you so much for sharing the fact that you experienced it too.

  41. Dr. Hellen Dayton on August 28, 2015 at 05:16

    I remember him well. His kindness smoothed out his faults in iconography and music. Well, he tried his best. Once he characterized the iconography of “Jesus, the Blessed Silence” as “Jesus, the Master of Reika”, which shocked the professor in Byzantine Studies of Harvard FAS, Dr. Ioli Kalavrezou, who said after all: “If he is not an Orthodox but Anglican monk, he is forgiven.”

  42. Ayla Lepine on August 28, 2015 at 04:39

    Br. Eldridge generously shared his knowledge about the early history of SSJE with me when I came to visit from London a couple of summers ago. His gentle manner, sharp wit, and warm humour came through immediately, and as a fellow historian he was full of as much wisdom about methods of communicating about the past as he was about SSJE and Grafton. My memory of his intellectual and spiritual hospitality is a very fond one. Prayers for him and for all in the SSJE community near and far.

  43. Ciarán Anthony DellaFera, BSG, M.D. on August 27, 2015 at 23:22

    Br. Eldridge was my spiritual director for over 15 years. He was, and in many ways still is, such a bright light. A beautiful and gentle soul, who was a special part of my life, and my spiritual guide in my journey to medicine. In 2004 I told him I was pondering going to medical school or going to seminary. He looked at me and said, “If you truly want to care for souls, become a doctor.” He was right. In June of 2012 I had the honor of his presence at my med school graduation.

  44. Meg Smith on August 27, 2015 at 22:32

    Bro. Eldridge was Guestmaster when I first started visiting in the later ’80’s. I came to appreciate him and his humor in the course of shared silences, and only the occasional remark. “The golden evening brightens in the west; soon, soon to faithful warriors cometh rest. Sweet is the calm of Paradise the blest. Alleluia, Alleluia!” (Hymn 287)

  45. Susan Charle on August 27, 2015 at 21:58

    I had the privilege of having Br. Eldridge as a retreat director several years ago. He was such a wise and compassionate man. He knew what questions to ask, how to get right to the heart of the matter. It is difficult how to convey just how much Br. Eldridge helped me in my own discernment, in my own walk with God. I feel so thankful and blessed to have known Br. Eldridge.

  46. Daphne B Noyes on August 27, 2015 at 21:45

    I remember Eldridge’s profession (or some other momentous occasion) – his sisters brought him cowboy boots as gift, and he was aptly described as “a lover of souls” in the sermon, given by M. Thomas Shaw SSJE. Those words remained true and grew in depth (or I grew in my understanding of them) during the many years he was my spiritual director, in Cambridge and at Emery House. A dear man, a wise friend, a trusted companion, and yes lover of souls. Now gone home to his Creator, wrapped in the light that was from the beginning.

  47. Rev. Donna Mayfield on August 27, 2015 at 21:25

    Brother Eldridge was one of my spiritual directors on a retreat I made years ago. I remember thinking that Jesus must be a lot like him. He embodied for me the essence of Christ, his loving gaze, his gentleness, his understanding, an his humor! I now pray for you his brothers. It is always so hard to loose a loved one, even though we know they are with God. Blessings be to all of you.
    Donna

  48. June on August 27, 2015 at 21:13

    When I think of Br. Eldridge, my first thought is his gentleness. I recall when his heart condition meant he could no longer use the stairs at Emery House, so the Brothers had a stairlift put in, so that Br. Eldridge would not miss out on being in chapel. I loved all the Brothers for that, and for the subsequent presence of Br. Eldridge among us. We were so blessed that Br. Eldridge received good care and lived so long, to guide us by kindness, humility and loveliness. My heart and prayers are full and I am holding all the dear Brothers in the Light of God’s Love.

  49. Judy Krumme on August 27, 2015 at 20:02

    As a brand new priest from New York in 1990, Eldridge was the first person I encountered at SSJE! He became my spiritual friend, and guided me along the priestly path with love and patience. His warm smile and deep faith, his remarkable ability to truly listen, his wise counsel, his humility and endearing sense of humor, were gifts to me. I saw him last year at the Nursing Home and we had a wonderful visit. He was so proud that he completed his book and that it was soon to be published. I will miss his wisdom and gentle ways, and treasure always his friendship.

  50. Sylvia Gilman on August 27, 2015 at 19:43

    Brother Eldridge was a dear friend and mentor. I shall miss his warm smile, engaging wit, and pithy sermons. My thoughts and prayers go with the SSJE community and his family.

    • Sylvia Gilman on August 27, 2015 at 19:45

      Brother Eldridge was a dear friend and mentor. I shall miss his warm smile, engaging wit, and pithy sermons. My thoughts and prayers go with the SSJE community and his family.

  51. Barbara Cooke on August 27, 2015 at 19:30

    I always benefited from the grace-filled presence of Eldridge during my retreats at SSJE. He was a ‘lover of souls’, and I especially benefitted from his Monastic Wisdom piece on The Eucharist. It is a treasure.

  52. Kathryn Henderson on August 27, 2015 at 19:24

    My condolences for the loss of your dear Brother Eldridge. I feel blessed to have known him and shared stories about many things, including Durham, my home town. You are all in my heart and prayers.

  53. Liz Vizza on August 27, 2015 at 19:21

    What incredibly sad news to learn of Eldridge’s passing. Our next date was to go to the Rose Art Museum at Brandeis, sharing our love of art. I regret not to have done that before his death. Never one to give in to his disability, he was such an inspiration to me whenever I visited him. Our last visit together, I took him out to lunch and a freak snow storm came up while we were out. He forged out to the car with his walker, the snow driving down – and I thought, the nuns will kill me! His wry wit and wise humor were in full form that day. I was his first directee and he my first director, in the mid 80s. We learned and prayed together, and it was such a rich experience – I grieved when he went south to seminary, but happy for him. I send my love to all of your brothers, Eldridge, and to you as you head to God’s loving arms. Liz

  54. gwedhen nicholas on August 27, 2015 at 19:15

    Dear Brothers,
    So sad to hear of the death of Br Eldridge. I knew him only through his sermons, and on video during the Lenten exercises. I could tell he was truly a gentle man. I’m sorry that I never had the chance to meet him. My condolences brothers. May he rest in peace and rise in glory!

  55. jane goldring on August 27, 2015 at 19:10

    My prayers and thoughts are with all of you brothers and i will certainly let john know. i will run this off for john. i know his prayers will be with all of you. i always had a nice visit with eldrige when i came over. jane

  56. Patricia on August 27, 2015 at 18:29

    I remember Br. Eldridge from his days in Durham. St. John’s House was so welcoming and I still feel the loss when the brothers moved back to Cambridge. He was such a gift to the Triangle area — these days I feel as though I am grieving all the time.

    • Sister ChristineSSM on August 27, 2015 at 21:13

      I remember when he came to the convent in Roxbury to continue writing. Always a gentle, kind soul. He will be missed
      My prayers are with all of the brothers.
      May he rest in peace. and rise with Christ in Glory

  57. Ginger on August 27, 2015 at 18:26

    Eldridge offered me the most kind, truly Christ-like, loving vs. judgemental response at a time when I could have been seriously judged. He showed a pure example of how the SSJE Briothers are to us all on a daily basis.

  58. M Chanta Bhan on August 27, 2015 at 18:23

    Br Eldridge shared his repository of wisdom with me and he was a faithful encourager in this last year of his life. He had a unique ability to create a space of hospitality in his shared room of care whenever I visited; and we shared many Tex-Mex meals of his preference. I am grateful that Br Eldridge is in the presence of the Almighty, accompanied by faithful saints, free from physical limitation. I will always appreciate his spiritual investment in me, wishing that I had been as faithful a spiritual companion to him as he was to me. May Br Eldridge rejoice eternally in the presence of the risen Christ!

  59. Sam Tallman on August 27, 2015 at 18:18

    I will be eternally grateful for Eldridge. He nursed my call to the priesthood and was my companion through to ordination. The gleam in his eye and his wonderful joy magnified my joy of such a call coming once again so late in life. He was my brother too as well as of the Society.

  60. Alinda Stanley, SCHC on August 27, 2015 at 18:13

    What a wise and gentle soul! He was a good friend to the SCHC and to many Companions, and we were honored to have him lead a retreat at Adelynrood and celebrate in our chapel. He is greatly missed.

    Alinda Stanley, Companion-in-Charge
    Society of the Companions of the Holy Cross

  61. Silvia Gosnell on August 27, 2015 at 18:09

    Dear Brothers of the SSJE,

    I received with deep sadness the news of Br. Eldridge’s death. I didn’t know him well, and yet I felt very clearly the impact of his quiet & bright presence – even while he was ill – whenever I encountered him. I have a copy of his biography of Charles Chapman Grafton (founder of the Sisters of the Holy Nativity), which struck me as unflinchingly real & balanced & compassionate… all clues, I bet, to the kind of mind & soul that produced it.

    My love and prayers abide with him and with you all, as ever,

    Silvia

  62. Dee Dee on August 27, 2015 at 17:56

    Prayers for Br. Eldridge and all the brothers at SSJE.
    “Let light perpetual shine upon him.”

  63. Alan Rollins on August 27, 2015 at 17:55

    My thoughts and prayers to all at SSJE, and to all of the lives he touched through his ministries, his teachings, and his fellowship. His absence will be felt for a time, but the memories of Br. Pendleton will live throughout this time and beyond.

    God Bless you all.

  64. Gary Jones on August 27, 2015 at 17:22

    Just a very brief comment here. I’ve booked my flight to Boston for the service on September 4. Eldridge has been spiritual director and friend for almost thirty years, and he is beloved godfather to our daughter, Caroline. This news saddens and surprises me. I talked with Eldridge just a few days ago, and he seemed confident that he would be able to speak about his new book at Church of the Advent at the end of September. For now, I simply want to thank the brothers of SSJE. You have shown us, once again, how to take care of each other, as you have loved and cared for Eldridge so tenderly for many years now. His physical decline has been long and drawn out, wearying him at times, understandably. But you all have loved him through the hard times with a grace that inspires me. I probably shouldn’t single out anyone in particular, but Jonathan was heroic in his efforts to make Eldridge comfortable and to bring him the Sacrament, which was so important to Eldridge. And during my visits to Jeanne Jugan, Marist Hill, and Leonard Florence, I would either run into or hear Eldridge talk about brothers Curtis, David, Geoffrey…. You all have been wonderful to your brother and our dear friend and mentor, Eldridge. Thanks to all of you.

  65. Suzanne Colburn on August 27, 2015 at 17:06

    Dear Brothers,
    I am saddened by yet another loss for SSJE. It was Brother Eldridge who welcomed The Rev Judith Krumme and me into the Fellowship of SSJE many years ago. I will remember the wonderful kindness in Brother Eldridge’s voice always; that and his laugh; such lovely reminders of who he is in glory. My prayers are with you all. Suzanne

  66. Mary Ann Mello on August 27, 2015 at 16:59

    Prayers ascending for Br. Eldridge and for his loved ones and community. He was very kind when I went on my first retreat and his icons are beautiful.

  67. Rev. Gregory s. Neal on August 27, 2015 at 16:54

    Br. Eldridge has been a dear friend of mine since our days together in seminary. His gentle soul, his keen spirit, his bright smile, his sharp mind, his deep faith — all of these things about him, and more, were amazing means of God’s grace for my life and ministry. His passing hurts to the core, but I rejoice in knowing that I will see him again when we gather together around the Holy Altar of God and join with the Saints Eternal at the Marriage Supper of the Lamb.

    God less you, Eldridge. May Light Perpetual shine upon you.

  68. Thomas Alton on August 27, 2015 at 16:54

    May the Angels lead Eldridge to Paradise.

  69. Nancy Barnard Starr on August 27, 2015 at 16:49

    I remember arriving at the door of SSJE’s Southern outpost on Cobb Street in Durham, NC, and meeting Eldridge for the first time. It was around 1989. We spoke, and soon discovered such connection in our lives! Eldridge was lovely and transparent, quick to claim a poem I gave to the brothers for his bedroom wall. I last said Eldridge’s name at Sewanee this July (near a street named Texas). Through souls like his, Christ was speaking, too. Rest in peace, friend.

  70. Marjorie Cull on August 27, 2015 at 16:38

    It was with great sadness I heard of Brother Eldridge Pennington. He was my contact when I joined the Fellowship of SSJE and his kind, caring, compassionate letters to me greatly helped me on my spiritual journey. My condolences to all in SSJE and all of his friends.
    In Christ’s love, Marge Cull, SCHC

  71. Patricia Moynihan on August 27, 2015 at 16:18

    I remember Brother Eldridge reading during lunch on several occasions. He had a lovely speaking voice and was very kind to me during my visits.
    I enjoyed speaking with him.

  72. Priscilla Bates on August 27, 2015 at 16:05

    Br. Eldridge was a lovely man and fine monk with a great sense of humor. I will never forget his comment on the day after Tom Shaw’s election: “I wonder what it will be like to be the collective wife of a bishop.”

    Rest in peace and rise in glory, dear brother.

  73. James Dunford on August 27, 2015 at 15:46

    I am so sorry to hear of Brother Eldridge’s passing. I never got to meet him, but I felt like I did through the funny and loving anecdotes I heard during my internship at SSJE, as well as through Eldridge’s sermons and contributions through “Brother Give Us Word.” There are many times when his words comforted and touched my soul. His passion for God and God’s mission for the Society was clear and tangible through his writing. My prayers for the Brothers in the coming days and weeks as the say goodbye to this wonderful man and celebrate his life.

  74. Clarke French on August 27, 2015 at 15:40

    I’m so grateful that Br. Eldridge shared with me his devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. That ignited a lasting prayer practice for me. Rest in peace.

  75. Father David J. Addington SSC on August 27, 2015 at 15:34

    When in 2008 I returned with my family to live permanently in the UK(although I am still a member of the Bermuda clergy and have for the last month been looking after old St. Peter’s and St. David’s Chapel of Ease on the Island) I went, rather sadly to see Brother Eldridge. I said “Oh well, I suppose I could always go to your House in England!” “No” he said “You must come here – it’s only a ‘plane ride!” He also said that everything would be alright. He was right on both counts! I hope to be over your side of the Pond and see you before too long!
    Resquiescat in pace. Fr. David Addington SSC. Associate.

  76. Gary W. Dozier on August 27, 2015 at 15:33

    As a “Cradle Episcopalian” who had the good fortune of being a member of the parish in which Br. Eldridge became a member when he moved to the Seacoast NH area, I became acquainted with a gentle, introverted Texan who was very committed to his faith. It may seem highly contradictory to juxtapose “introverted” and “Texan” beside one another, but Br. Eldridge’s nature was exemplary of and compatible with both. There aren’t too many born-in-the-Lone Star State-Texans in this part of the country, let alone in our parish, but there were three in our parish, one was my dad, the other a since-retired USAF officer, and finally, the third was Br. Eldridge.

    Although Br. Eldridge wasn’t deep into dialogue, when he did talk, we all listened intently. Part of the reason was to hear his southern/Texan drawl, but it was his thoughts and wisdom, his expression of his faith, and his gracious eloquence that stuck with us.

    Sadly for us, but with a joy for his commitment to his faith, we “lost” Br. Eldridge to SSJE, but in his stalwart dedication to our parish we realized that in losing Eldridge, we were actually gaining a Brother! My own life journey, solidly ensconced in my Anglo-Catholic faith, steered me to become an Associate at SSJE, a rather joyous occasion for me, in spite of the fact that I knew barely a handful of folks at the ceremony. I did, however, have the good fortune to meet up with Br. Eldridge a few years ago at a retreat in Ipswich, where we broke bread and conversed at lunch. It was then he shared his medical status, and that inspired me to pray for his life journey to be without pain or suffering.

    Brother Eldridge was, in my mind, not only a Brother of the Society of Saint John the Evangelist, but also a historian, a theologian, a gentle, but dedicated man of Christ, a charming conversationalist and, certainly not in the very least, a proud Texan. Over the period of time I knew and conversed with Br. Eldridge, my life has been truly enriched, and for that I am most grateful. Thanks, Eldridge, and may you be surrounded by our Creator’s love for all eternity.

    Gary W. Dozier, Associate
    Society of Saint John the Evangelist
    Lifelong (so far — 69 years) member,
    Christ Episcopal Church, Portsmouth, NH

    • Bob Malm on August 28, 2015 at 11:12

      Gary, thanks for your message…..I’m glad Christ Church helped Eldridge find his true vocation at SSJE. He always loved Christ Church….

  77. Ann-Marie Montague on August 27, 2015 at 15:28

    I remember Brother Eldridge as one of the kind brothers at the monastery while I was studying at EDS. As all the brothers did, he made me feel welcome while I shared your monastic hospitality and beautiful liturgies. May he be blessed and enjoying the heavenly kingdom he deserves!

  78. Sue Perkinson on August 27, 2015 at 15:27

    We are so sad to hear of Eldridge’s passing. He was so kind and smart and funny. I will never forget his sermon about the Good Shepherd in which he referred to being “hip deep in sheep”….what an image.
    Blessings to you all. Sue and Ed

  79. Marla J Briggle on August 27, 2015 at 15:26

    My first retreat to our beloved brothers at SSJE was in 2004 following the death of my husband. I was finally able to begin my process of grieving and finding peace with my loss. Br. Eldridge was our spiritual leader during our stay and I shall never forget his gentle and tender guidance for each of us seeking a period of solitude and acceptance as we all sought healing guidance through our personal travails and a renewal of our faith and love for each other and for ourselves and for our God. I shall always think of Br. Eldridge when I think of SSJE. May he rest in full health in the arms of our Savior. Marla Briggle

  80. Lawrence H. Bradner on August 27, 2015 at 15:23

    I am very sorry to hear of the death of Eldridge.We had a warm friendship for many years. In particular we shared a strong interest in the history of the Society; he gave strong encouragement to a project that has just now come to completion. He was in many ways a quiet man, yet every word was deliberate and full of generosity. I share with the Society feeling the loss.
    With my affectionate greetings,
    Larry

  81. Katherine Johnson on August 27, 2015 at 15:21

    I knew Eldridge in Durham at St. John’s House, where I grew to love SSJE and become fond of several brothers, including Eldridge and Paul Wessinger. Eldridge was my spiritual director on a few later occasions when I was on retreat at the Monastery. He was a dear soul who was always kind. He also had a sharp mind, a keen wit, and a sparkling sense of humor. I haven’t seen him for many years, but I always feel his presence, which will continue to be true now that he’s among the saints in glory. The world is a better place for his having lived, and many of us owe what grace we have to his contributions of wisdom and friendship. I look forward to a joyous reunion at the resurrection.

  82. Mim Oman on August 27, 2015 at 15:20

    I am so sorry. What a delightful, gentle, kind person he was. My heart breaks for all who loved him.

  83. Christopher Rivers on August 27, 2015 at 15:19

    In loving memory of the wise and gentle Br. Eldridge:

    May the shining company of all the angels meet him;
    May all the saints surround him and lift him up;
    May the Blessed Virgin Mary graciously turn her eyes toward him;
    May the face of Jesus Christ appear to him gentle and joyful;
    May the Sacred Heart of Jesus receive his soul.

    • Christopher Rivers on August 28, 2015 at 11:01

      From Saint Augustine’s Prayer Book (2014 edition), p. 342. (The final line, with its reference to the Sacred Heart, added as an homage to Br. Eldridge.)

  84. Paul Antenore on August 27, 2015 at 15:18

    My prayers go to all the Brothers at the passing of Br. Eldridge. He, and you are in my prayers this afternoon.

  85. Holly Antolini on August 27, 2015 at 15:16

    Yet another deep loss, dear brothers! Much as I appreciate him as a fellow history buff, I’m going to keep Eldridge’s wonderful twinkle in the eye as my special keepsake. Thank God for his presence with us, and his unassuming presence to God.

  86. Jeffrey Gill on August 27, 2015 at 15:15

    Br. Elderidge was a gentle and wise person. I have always noticed and valued his kindness, his warmth, and his ready smile. He embodied God’s love, and I will miss him!

  87. Amy Fallon on August 27, 2015 at 15:15

    Br. Eldridge was one of the first brothers I met when I started seminary in 1985. As a historian by training, I always appreciated the stories he would tell about the early years of the Society. My condolences to all of on this loss. May he rest in peace and rise in glorym

  88. Jack Zamboni on August 27, 2015 at 15:13

    Eldridge was my director for an individual retreat at Emery House many years ago. What I most remember was him inviting me to spend time in mindful walking through the neighboring State Park– walking very slowly with my attention as fully focused as possible on the physical process of my movement and the environment in which I was moving. Being someone whose mind routinely woolgathers as I walk (and at other times), I found it enormously challenging — but fruitful. Now in a season in my spiritual life when I’m feeling invited into a more contemplative way of being, this memory, long buried, is a gift. At some point in the days to come, I will endeavor to walk mindfully in honor and in grateful memory of Br. Eldridge.

  89. Roy Cockrum on August 27, 2015 at 15:07

    Br. Eldridge has been such a true friend. While my heart is broken he is a worthy addition to the “Cloud of Witnesses” upon whom we depend.

  90. Friar Joshua Musiyambiri CZM on August 27, 2015 at 15:07

    I am very sorry for brother Eldridge’s passing on. May the Lord grant his soul eternal rest and joyous resurrection. Go well my brother, we shall follow as time tells.
    You will be sadly missed.

  91. William Flagg Magee on August 27, 2015 at 15:05

    Brother, your cousin George Pendleton said very nice things about you.. I saw George at the Dallas Petroleum Club where he had lunch every day until recent bad heal, getting too old, slowed him down.
    You had a positive affect on me when I come on retreat.
    In Christ,
    Bill

  92. Sheryl Kujawa-Holbrook on August 27, 2015 at 15:01

    Thank you for this news that dear Eldridge has gone to be with the angels. I met him in 1984 when I was just out of EDS. I loved his wicked sense of humor, and that contagious laugh (utter glee). Eldridge also loved cats, which was something we shared. Oh yes, and the cowboy boots beneath the habit. I will miss him here on earth, but know he is never really far away. May his memory be a blessing.

  93. Kerry Maloney on August 27, 2015 at 15:01

    Such a gentle and tender disciple of the Dominion. We were blessed to have sojourned with him. Resurrection!

  94. George Brandt on August 27, 2015 at 14:59

    Eldridge was a tremendous help to me when he guided my retreats; May He Rest In Peace and Rise in Glory. GWBJr.+

  95. Sandra Roney on August 27, 2015 at 14:54

    Rest in peace brother Eldridge. Your kind and gentle ways have touched the hearts of any who had the pleasure of meeting you. You will remain in my heart until the day that I may have the pleasure of meeting you again in God’s perfect kingdom. Peace of the Good Shepherd, Sandy

  96. Elsa Worth on August 27, 2015 at 14:53

    Brother Eldridge prayed and met with my husband and I during a weekend retreat at the monastery as we prepared to renew our marriage vows on our tenth anniversary in 2004. I remember Eldridge as being not only wise and faithful, but also warm and playful as he suggested ways to treasure the gift God had given us in each other. After that weekend, I viewed Eldridge kind of like a grandfather, especially since I never knew my own grandparents. I’ve missed him a lot since he moved from the monastery whenever I’m with you in Cambridge on retreat. May he rest in God’s peace. My prayers are with you, his brothers, this week.

  97. Chris Wendell on August 27, 2015 at 14:51

    I’m so grateful for the opportunities I had to meet Br. Eldridge from time to time over the years in Cambridge. All of you will be in my prayers as you celebrate his life in the days to come. – Chris Wendell

  98. Heidi Frantz-Dale on August 27, 2015 at 14:48

    I will always treasure his gentleness, kindness, and warm wisdom.

    • Lisette Baxter on September 4, 2015 at 13:18

      Although it has been a few years since I had the chance to visit the monastery, I remember him very well having had the opportunity to chat with him. I treasure his words of wisdom. Keeping you all in prayers as you miss him and celebrate his life. We will give thanks for his life at St. Andrew’s this Sunday. Lisette Baxter

    • Don Lamb on September 6, 2015 at 20:18

      Br Eldredge was a good friend and confidant. We have been out of touch since I moved to the west coast of Canada. He has left his mark on this world. May he rest in peace. Don Lamb

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