Requiescat in pace, Fr. Paul S. Naumann, S.J.
Fr. Naumann, a longtime English teacher and drama club moderator at Canisius High School who was beloved by generations of CHS alumni, died peacefully Friday night at the age of 92.
He passed away at Murray-Weigel Hall, the Jesuit healthcare community on the Fordham University campus in the Bronx.
The wake (11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.) and funeral Mass (1 p.m.) will take place Friday, June 24 in the Panasci Family Chapel on the Le Moyne College campus in Syracuse, N.Y.
"May this good and faithful servant now rest in the peaceful presence of the One he served so well," said Canisius President Fr. David Ciancimino, S.J.
The orchestra room in the CHS Center for the Arts was named for Fr. Naumann on June 18, 2021.
The dedication of the orchestra room to Naumann was made possible through a generous gift by Robin and Ken Kencel '77.
The following are excerpts from Ken Kencel's address to Naumann and those gathered at last year's dedication ceremony. Kencel and his wife became decades-long friends with Fr. Naumann years after Kencel first encountered Fr. Naumann as a teacher.
"He was worldly, urbane, polished, extraordinarily well read and knowledgeable. ... He was also incredibly demanding, extremely passionate about the details and wholly unwilling to ever compromise his high standards, particularly when it came to his beloved drama guild.
"In many respects, P.S. was the father I never had. He was kind, demanding and always there for me. When my mother died freshman year, he did a beautiful Mass for her. When I was accepted to Georgetown my senior year, he was the first one I told. I was and am so incredibly grateful for his kindness and support through all the years. I know many of my classmates feel very much the same way.
"Wherever P.S. has been, whether teaching at Le Moyne College or on sabbatical in London, his first love has always been Canisius. It is where he had his most dramatic impact on the students who studied under him, the actors and singers who performed for the drama guild and chamber choir and the Jesuits and other faculty who worked with him. His wisdom, kindness and great humor were always evident and that is, in many respects, his greatest gift to all of us.
"I am so grateful for what Canisius has provided to me and for teachers like P.S. Naumann, who taught me so much … not just about academics … but about life and how to be the man I have become.
"P.S., you are an amazing person and have lived an incredible life. You have influenced so many like myself with your wisdom, passion, humor and great kindness.
“I know I speak for everyone here today in thanking you for having played such a meaningful role in our lives and in the wonderful history of your beloved Canisius. Now we will always have a place to gather and play and sing music that remembers you."
In lieu of flowers, friends are invited to make a donation in memory of Father Naumann to:
Canisius High School
c/o Fr. Naumann Scholarship Fund
1180 Delaware Ave.
Buffalo, NY 14209
Donations can also be made via canisiushigh.org/giving
At the "designation" dropdown menu, choose "In Memory of Rev. Paul S. Naumann, S.J. / Fr. Naumann Scholarship Fund"
Gifts will provide scholarships for promising students in need of support.