Father Michael Crosby, long-time friend and tobacco control leader, passes away

I was saddened to learn that Father Michael Crosby recently passed away from cancer.  Mike was an early leader in the movement to put shareholder pressure on the tobacco companies over their unethical marketing practices and for more than a decade was a leader among shareholder groups to put pressure on the media companies to get smoking out of youth-rated films.  As the CDC MMWR recently noted, this investor pressure has been an important element in the progress, albeit incomplete, that we have made to date.
 
Mike’s upbeat attitude and faith in humanity was always an inspiration to me.
 
Mike’s brother circulated this remembrance recently, which captures Mike’s spirit: 
 

A message from Fr. Dan Crosby, O.F.M., Cap.:
 
Dear everyone,
 
“Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia!  The strife is o’er, the battle done; now is the Victor’s triumph won: O let the song of praise be sung: Alleluia!”
 
That’s the song that came immediately to my mind, heart and lips when around 11:00 (EST) Mike gently slipped into the arms of Our Lord who was so eager to welcome him  home.  Can you believe that at almost that exact moment, in the chapel below his room here at St. Bonaventure’s, two of our young friars were pronouncing their final, solemn profession of vows as Capuchins.  With all their hearts they were giving themselves – for life -- to the Lord.  And there, up in his bedroom, Mike was DOING, with all his heart, what they were saying in the chapel below.  He was giving himself, handing himself over, body and soul, to the Lord who created him, loved him and worked through him in such a powerful, beautiful way as his channel of peace, justice and hope.
 
I was with Mike, along with our Brother Larry LaCross who could not have been more solicitous during this whole process.  Mike affectionately called him the “hoverer,” hovering over him and all the friars to see whatever they might need.  Within minutes, the other friars (who had been at the solemn profession), quickly came to Mike’s room and together we prayed and sang our Easter Alleluia song of praise and thanksgiving.  
 
When St. Francis was dying, he said to the brothers, “I have done what was mine to do; may Christ teach you what is yours to do.”  There’s no doubt in anyone’s mind that Mike has “done what was his to do.”  And he did it, always, with great passion and conviction.  In these last weeks he continued to do “what was his to do” – waiting trustingly, patiently for the Lord to come.  Never did he complain about his difficulties or even about the fact that the Lord was taking longer than he wanted.  We’ve all been given so much, haven’t we?  May we be as faithful as he in doing what God is asking of us.   In God’s eyes, it’s just as important as what Mike did. . .
 
I’m sure you’re wondering about funeral arrangements.  What we’re planning is this: a wake here at St. Bonaventure’s this coming Thursday (Aug 10 – with the prayer service around 7pm), then Friday evening we’ll have another wake at St. Francis in Milwaukee (4th and Brown – it’ll probably go from 5 to 8:0 or so with the wake service at 7pm)  Finally, on Saturday the funeral and burial will be at St. Lawrence in Mt. Calvary (probably 11:00).
 
To all you good people who have checked in on Mike through CaringBridge or have called or sent cards, how can I ever thank you for your love and prayers?  During this whole process/journey, both Mike and I profoundly felt that love and prayer, and were sustained by it.  May the Lord bless you even more abundantly than you have blessed us!
 
Just as Mike encouraged you in one of his first Journal Entries back in January to contribute (if possible) to the wonderful ministry of CaringBridge – which has helped us so much, I also want to offer the additional invitation he gave at that time: that if you feel prompted to send a donation (now in memory of him) to our Capuchin Province, it would be much appreciated.  You can send it to my attention at our address: St. Bonaventure’s, 1740 Mount Elliott, Detroit, MI 48207. 
 
Once again, thank you so much for being such consistent examples of God’s never-ending love.  I will never forget you.
 
Dan Crosby

 
Other remembrances are at http://www.iccr.org/memoriam-fr-michael-crosby and https://www.ncronline.org/news/people/michael-crosby-reformer-boardrooms-and-basilicas-dies-77
 
I will miss him.