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  Readers Write

Holy Cross Magazine welcomes letters regarding the magazine's content. Letters intended for publication must be signed and may be edited for style, length and clarity. Opinions expressed in the letters section do not necessarily reflect the views of the administration or the editorial staff.

Holy Cross Magazine Summer 2004

The Amazing Class of ’63
Relative to your feature (summer 2004) on the “Amazing Class of ’63,” I think Billy Collins’ memory is slightly askew. The vigorous teacher of literature was Rev. Leonard J. McCarthy, S.J. Rev. Eugene McCarthy, S.J., was the vigorous Dean of Discipline, or was when I graduated in 1958. By the way, the last time I checked I was dismayed to find that Dinand Library did not have a copy of Fr. Leonard McCarthy’s published poems.

Anthony S. Carroll ’58
Garden City, N.Y.

Edward Jones ’72 and The Known World
Congratulations to the talented Edward P. Jones on his Pulitzer Prize novel, The Known World, the story of Henry Townsend, a free Black who owned slaves. The work is intriguing, horrifying and captivating. It evokes some of the history of the Blacks at Holy Cross: the first valedictorian of the College was James Augustine Healy, class of 1849, a Black from Georgia , who, upon the death of his father, became one of the heirs of his estate and, thus, an owner of slaves valued at $22,000.

Professor Maurice Géracht must be admired for encouraging Ed Jones, his student at Holy Cross. Let him be a model to other faculty members who still do not understand that outstanding teaching includes challenging and encouraging at the same time.

Edward Jones wrote, “Slavery did things to everyone; some were able to transcend and others succumbed.” In truth, we are all slaves in this life: slaves to our addictions, greed, passions, etc., which some of us transcend and to which some of us succumb.

Henry A.M. Rush Jr. ’62
East Millnocket , Maine

Joe Califano ’52 and the Jesuit Tradition
I read with pride and interest your story on Joe Califano ’52. I was saddened, however, to compare the cherished Jesuit educational experience of Mr. Califano and his peers to that of today’s students. While it is true that Holy Cross continues to stress, at least generically, the imperative of service to others, the sort of formative, Catholic intellectual education that was the absolute hallmark of the Jesuits has all but gone the way of Mr. Califano’s other treasured alma mater, Brooklyn Prep. It is sadly ironic that, through Mr. Califano’s story, the College attempts to trumpet its Jesuit credentials, when, in fact, the College, along with most of its sister institutions, has long since ceased to provide the kind of education that was so central to Mr. Califano’s development as a human being.

Mr. Califano’s story points to many lessons of the 20th century, including, perhaps unintentionally, the power that was the classical Jesuit education and the less-than-stellar stand in for it we have chosen to give the students of the current era.

Christian Browne ’98
New York , N.Y.

Remembering Jim Mahoney ’37
It was with a true sense of sadness that I read in this summer's insider of the death of the wonderful Mr. Mahoney. I have vivid memories of sitting in his office in Dinand during my freshman year, homesick, forlorn, and in need of a corny “fatherly” joke. He was just the ticket. I have been forever thankful to him for being so good and understanding. He personified what Holy Cross is all about!

Anne Casey Cuneo ’84
Scituate , Mass.


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