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  Readers Write
     
   

As a former Patriot League athlete (Class of '93), I would like to express my enjoyment of John Feinstein's recent book The Last Amateurs. I received it as a Christmas gift, and it truly was a gift of giving.

As an employee of the athletic public relations profession, I have a firsthand view of much that is impure in collegiate athletics. Mr. Feinstein reminds us that it doesn't have to be that way. And, he points out, it certainly isn't that way in the Patriot League.

Holy Cross should continue to be proud of its dedication to the tenets of the league. It is something to be proud of. Flipping page after page of Mr. Feinstein's book, I was reminded of why I chose Holy Cross-it is an institution which strives for well-rounded excellence.

Lisa Cascio '93
(assistant director of sports information, Old Dominion University)
Norfolk, Va. 

 

Daniel J. Gorman '54, in his letter published in the winter 2001 issue of Holy Cross Magazine, laments the loss of the "fortress mentality" at Holy Cross in his criticism of Fr. McFarland's homily on the Feast of the Holy Cross. Such a "fortress of truths," he asserts, will develop men and women who will dedicate their lives "to their fellow human beings."

In the same issue, however, readers learned that 350 Holy Cross students will donate their time and talent to Habitat for Humanity during spring break rather than participate in the annual trek to Florida, Mexico and other sunny locations. How proud I am of those students, and how grateful that Holy Cross has inspired such service. Such inspiration has resulted, not from the "fortress mentality," but precisely because it was rejected. Cardinal Avery Dulles, S.J., commenting on Lumen Gentium in the America Press edition of The Documents of Vatican II, wrote: "When the Council Fathers came together, they immediately saw the need of setting forth a radically different vision of the Church, more biblical, more historical, more vital and dynamic."

It is also useful to recall what has been described as the most famous scene in Cardinal Newman's Essay on Development: "In a higher world it is otherwise; but here below to live is to change, and to be perfect is to have changed often."

Some have found the changes initiated by Vatican II difficult to accept; that this has led to polarization is evident from Mr. Gorman's letter. But, as we know, Ecclesia Semper Reformanda-the Church is always in need of renewal. All of us!

Francis X. Doyle '55
Ashburn, Va. 

 

The winter issue was a wonderful showcase of the achievements of many younger alumni. The front cover was a surprising burst of youthfulness that prompted me to delve immediately into the cover story.

Shadowing David Holmes' MTV success is a flood of mounting criticism of his profession and particularly of his employer-accusations of the media "dumbing down" of today's youth and society-at-large by Viacom and other commercial media giants. It is easy to cast blame on MTV and other media institutions that seek out and develop programming that feeds into the negative rather than positive aspects of today's world community. (For reference, you may want to look to the recent documentary Merchants of Cool [see http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/cool/] or tune into MTV's Jackass show.)

However, we must remember the power of choice. Choice is what every person has when he or she turns on the TV, tunes into a radio station, picks up a magazine, newspaper or tabloid, or logs onto the Internet. The media does not force itself into our homes, we invite it in. We are media consumers. Instead of finger pointing and blaming, we must look at individual decisions and responsibilities.

And just as we are responsible for the choices we make as media consumers, each person involved with such media organizations also has a choice. I urge Dave and others in the media and communications professions to respect the power of their influence-to remember the strength it has-and the ability for it to do as much good as it can do bad. 

With power comes responsibility. While at Holy Cross, we were encouraged to see the power each person has to help influence the communities we live in. It is inspirational to read about our classmates who have continued to draw upon such values in their professional lives.

I congratulate David Holmes and my fellow alumni on their successes and look forward to the positive effects of the power they have, in whichever industry they are leading. 

Christine (Frassica) Scaplen '91
Chelmsford, Mass.

 

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