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  Readers Write

To the Editor:

Holy Cross is fortunate to benefit from the fiscal generosity of alumni and friends whose contributions consistently improve our College. Raising money for Holy Cross is a necessary and honorable endeavor. It will allow for the new buildings, technologies and other amenities critical to providing the highest quality, modern education. However, as I began to receive mailings about the “Lift High the Cross” campaign, I became worried about the terminology chosen for the project.

There is something particularly significant about attending a Catholic college named after the ultimate Christian symbol—the Cross. When we are called, as students and alumni, to be “men and women for others,” we have the very name of our College as a concrete source of inspiration and hope.

My concern is that this slogan belittles the true meaning of lifting high the cross and too narrowly equates our “lifting” with contributing money. The most important way we can all lift high the cross is by living as proud alumni who make a variety of meaningful contributions to the world. Being ambassadors of the cross is a difficult and vital undertaking. The heart and soul of the crucifix is being sadly overshadowed by all the wrong that plagues the Church. I believe in the academic, community and ethical excellence that mark a Holy Cross education; when we take these values into the world, we are living testaments to the integrity of both the College of the Holy Cross and the cross itself.

I am confident that the dedicated staff and alumni who manage the development campaign do realize that our actions and characters far outweigh the amount of any check we could write. My hope is that as we strive to raise the excellence of Holy Cross through monetary contributions, we remain aware of, and committed to, the true meaning of “lifting high the cross.”

Marybeth Kennealy ’99
Charlestown, Mass.

To the Editor:

My spring 2002 Holy Cross Magazine just arrived in the mail. I stared at the cover photograph of “The ‘New’ Jesuits” for a full two minutes, asking myself, “Are these men priests, or not?!”

Good men of the Cross, put your clerics back on! Now, more than ever, we need you to stand as visible manifestations of Jesus in this world. Now, more than ever, we need that gentle reminder of the call to vocation, celibacy, and fidelity. Remember, each of you is an alter Christus. Don’t be invisible. Don’t be anonymous. Don’t blend in with the crowd with casual-day attire.

There is a story, post Sept. 11, that is worth telling. A priest, dressed visibly in his Roman collar, waited in an airport, about to board a flight on a major airline. Before departure, half a dozen men and women approached the priest with this request: “Please, Father. Before the flight takes off, would you hear my confession? Just in case.”

Surely, this moment of grace and conversion would never have occurred if the priest had been wearing a wool blazer, button-down shirt and tie. Please, dear Fathers, be priests and be proud.

Lori Brannigan Kelly ’83
Norfolk, Mass.

To the Editor:

I just received the spring issue, with the “New” Jesuits cover, more suited I think for a men’s wear magazine where inside one might expect to see a Jebbie modeling Jockey underwear. Men for others, that’s what they are; it is a catchy byline fitting the devolution of a onetime religious order to their now politically correct nesting place.

I’m a graduate of a Jesuit high school, college and med school—Xavier in Manhattan, Holy Cross and Georgetown. All pre-Vatican II, of course, when priests faced the altar and said the Mass in Latin. So I know what we have lost, in contrast to now, when creepy rhetoric spawns phrases like “presiding among, rather than presiding over.”

Please remove me from your mailing list.

Terence O’Flanagan, M.D., ’54
Rockville Centre, N.Y.


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