It's a fictional streetscape we wander, here, a metropolis whose buildings, boulevards, and back alleys are in a constant state of flux. This is every place, and yet, no place at all - a city of dreams and a dream of a city.

Here, we explore the life and work of Ivan Illich and his circle of collaborators. There's no comprehensive index to the articles published, but we invite you to use the Search box, to the left, and to explore the Archive links that appear at the bottom of each page. Comments are welcomed.

Friday, February 28, 2014

Lee Hoinacki, R.I.P.

Sad news: Lee Hoinacki has died, at his daughter's Biodynamic farm located in Oregon.

Born in 1928, in Lincoln, Illinois, Hoinacki met Illich in 1960 and worked closely with him for several decades. In addition to helping Illich compose and edit some of his most important books and essays, Hoinacki authored three books of his own: El Camino: Walking to Santiago de Compostela, Stumbling Toward Justice: Stories of Place, and Dying is not Death. He also co-edited, with Carl Mitcham, The Challenges of Ivan Illich, a collection of essays.

An interview done with Hoinacki in 2000 is available at a website called Works and Conversations. An excerpt:

When I’m in America I don’t go by airplane, I only travel by bus. There are various reasons for that. I meet people I would never ordinarily meet. I would never see these people on this earth if I were not on a bus—so-called poor people, people at the bottom. Some of them are not very pleasant. The poor are not always pleasant people, and I will find myself faced with the question, how can I respect this person? There I find Simone Weil ultimately practical. If I can not see that inclination in that person for good, I can never come to respect that person. If I can’t see that, then I’m lost.


Anonymous said...

We are a Catholic Worker House much endebted to Master Illich and his recently departed friend Lee. I will say a Requiem Mass for the repose of his soul on Monday.

Requiat in pacem!

Fr. Colin Miller
Durham, NC

Anonymous said...

Once I wrote to him asking for guidance and was blessed by his answer..."I am so distant of your particular circumstances that I feel uncapable to say to you anything that might be of any help" (or something like that)

May he rest in peace.

Hernando Calla (La Paz, Bolivia)

Anonymous said...

Lee Hoinacki was and is a great soul and a man who gave his life to the good without compromise. He served Ivan's work and his great gift to all of us was that he joined Ivan in his life as a mendicant scholar and held that life together by taking care of all the details. To live without a home, to trust in hospitality, and to dedicate one's life to the sense that ideas matter and can change the world -- Lee lived this courageous and principled life with Ivan Illich. It was a privilege to have known him.
Eva-Maria Simms, Pittsburgh, PA

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Santa Rosa, California, United States
Writer, photographer, music fan; father and husband living in northern Calif.