Submission: Farewell to Fr. Claude Pomerleau with numbers

By Aziz Inan | September 3, 2019 1:54pm
Fr. Claude with the greenery on the side of the chapel, one of his favorite places on campus.
Media Credit: Elizabeth Lyons-Best / The Beacon

Holy Cross priest Fr. Claude Arthur Pomerleau died on July 21, 2019, at 80 years old.

Fr. Claude arrived on The Bluff in 1991 as a professor of political science, with specialties in both Latin America and Europe. Additionally, he served as the director of the Peace Studies Program (1994-2000) and the Social Justice Program (2000-2008). He helped establish an African School of Diplomacy at Uganda Martyrs University in Kampala. He also served as the local superior of the Holy Cross priests and brothers at the University of Portland (2002-2008).

Fr. Claude was one of the pillars of the UP community. He was a caring, genuine, jovial, happy, vibrant and enterprising gentleman. He was a true world citizen and mentor for humanity and peace.

Fr. Claude’s presence at UP always made me feel wonderful and energized. His humility and wisdom truly came across in my interactions with him. I was saddened by his passing away and wanted to do something for him to express my sorrow. 

In his honor, I constructed the following birthday number curiosities to say farewell to him. A memorial Mass will also be held for Fr. Claude in the Chapel of Christ the Teacher on Thursday, Sept. 5 at 5 p.m. 

1. If Fr. Claude’s birthday, 8/16/1938, is split into 8, 16, 19 and 38, twice 8 equals 16, the 8th prime number is 19 and the digits of 19 differ by 8, twice 19 is 38, and the product of the digits of 38 equals 8 plus 16.

2. If Fr. Claude’s birth year 1938 is split as 19, 3 and 8, one-half the product of these three numbers equals 228 and interestingly, the 228th day of 1938 is Fr. Claude’s birthday, 8/16. Further, if 1938 is split as 19 and 38, four times the sum of 19 and 38 results in 228 too.

3. Fr. Claude’s 80th birthday in 2018, his last birthday before his death, expressed as 8/16/18 was a palindrome day.

4. Fr. Claude died 26 days before his 81st birthday, 8/16/2019. Interestingly, the sum of the prime factors of 2019, namely 3 and 673, equals 676 and 676 is 26 square.

5. Additionally, Fr. Claude died on the 202nd day of this year (7/21/2019) and note that 202 is 2 times 101 and 101 is the 26th prime number.

6. Furthermore, 2 plus 101 equals 103 and interestingly, 7 times 103 equals 721, the day Fr. Claude died (7/21) and 6 times 103 equals 618, the reverse of Fr. Claude’s birthdate (8/16).

7. If numbers 1 to 26 are assigned to letters A to Z, the sum of the letter numbers of Claude Pomerleau equals 152. Interestingly, the 152nd prime number is 881, twice the reverse of 881, namely 188, is 376, and three times the reverse of 376, namely 673, results in 2019.

8. The sum of the letter numbers of Claude Arthur Pomerleau equals 238, the 238th prime number is 1493, the reverse of 1493, namely 3941, equals 7 times 563 and 563 is the 103rd prime number (see item # 6). 

9. Fr. Claude’s 86th birthday expressed as 8/16/24 will be special since 24 equals 8 plus 16.

10. Fr. Claude’s 94th birthday expressed as 8/16/32 will also be special because 8, 16, and 32 are 2^3, 2^4, and 2^5.

11. Fr. Claude’s 110th birthday expressed as 8/16/2048 will be special too because 8, 16, and 2048 are 2^3, 2^4, and 2^11, respectively.

12. Additionally, the 110th prime number is 601 and the reverse of 601, namely 106, equals the sum of the letter numbers of Fr. Claude’s last name, Pomerleau.

13. Further, twice the sum of the prime factors of 106 (Pomerleau), namely 2 and 53, equals 110.

14. Moreover, the sum of the prime factors of 721 (the day Fr. Claude died this year), namely 7 and 103, equals 110, too.

15. Lastly, Fr. Claude died 339 days after his 80th birthday and interestingly, the prime factors of 339, namely 3 and 113, differ by 110.

I will definitely miss your lively friendship, Fr. Claude. I hope you rest in peace, Amen.

Aziz Inan is a professor of electrical engineering at the University of Portland. He can be reached at