There is a suprisingly unanimous recognition of the role and influence of Manuel Antunes as a professor, priest, orator, spiritual director among those that have benefited from his conviviality, friendship, support, guidance and teaching. Antunes indelibly marked several generations of pupils of the University of Lisbon Faculty of Arts in the second part of the 20th century. We could even say that we built what one could call a ‘school of admiration’ around the figure of Manuel Antunes on the part of the students and many people that, in different ways, met and worked with the Professor of the Arts and Jesuit Priest. Two great stages gave visibility to his extraordinary intellectual talent and his human greatness: the Casa de Escritores dos Jesuítas, where he was editor and director of Brotéria, and the classrooms of the Faculty of Arts, namely Anfiteatro I, where he lectured, amongst other places, in the famous chair of History of Classical Culture.
His vast culture, his unique way of teaching and captivating the students through the breathtaking power of his own knowledge, his personal example, his way of welcoming people, of conversing, making himself available, listening, his sophisticated and assertive words, his way of thinking and sharply summarising a thought, prospective and rational about the past, present and future, his direction and contribution at the head of the magazine Brotéria, his commitment to the renovation of the Church and the Society of Jesus, his discreet but proactive resistence to the dictatorship, acting with “revolutionary patience”, his capacity for openness and ecumenical dialogue in relation to others who held different beliefs, made Manuel Antunes a master of academia and of a dignified life.
In the context of the commemorations of this Centenary, we kindly urge and ask of those who knew him in this way to make us written testimonies with memories, short stories, photographs or other documents about the life and work of Padre Manuel Antunes. The objective of this request is for us to build a digital repertoire of everything of relevance related to Manuel Antunes, provided by those who had some relation to this great figure of Portuguese culture.