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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.

The Family Issue
Thank you for a superb magazine. I read each issue through cover to cover, and you have truly made the magazine into a first-class publication.

With regard to the Family Issue: There are no coincidences, only miracles. Here's why:

1) A week ago, my wife, Cheryl, and I completed all of the requirements to qualify for care-giving, foster care, and adoption. This required 40 hours of classroom, a full day of Red Cross, an FBI fingerprint check, DMV printouts, physical exams, and a 10-foot high pile of paperwork.

2) We are seeking to adopt special needs African American infants with siblings attached. I found two sisters at an Adoption Fair, and things look promising for us, as per our caseworker and the sisters' caseworker.

3) Last night, our caseworker asked if we could take a 6-year-old boy on an emergency relocation. I called my wife in Cincinnati, where she is her denomination's delegate to the National Council of Churches, and she said let's go for it.

Your issue hit me on all four cylinders, because of the articles on (1) Adoption; (2) Special Need Children; and (3) I, the male, will be the full-time caregiver. It's too early to say what God's plan is for us in this area, but we want to do what God calls us for. (One of my friends asked me: "Mike, how old will you be when your adopted child[ren] turn 20?" I answered: "I will be 87, which means I will be able to go through the teen years in my 80s!")

Again, many thanks for the superb issue. 

Mike Kirk-Duggan '53
Durham, N.C.


"Rethinking the College"
Professor Lawrence's summer magazine article on Jesuit-based liberal arts education at Holy Cross ("Rethinking the College") was as accurate a distillation of the topic as I've ever read. As the secular world that college graduates enter becomes more hyper-specialized and utilitarian, the idea and practice of a Christian-informed liberal arts education seems countercultural, almost radical. Kudos to your decision to publish this piece. However, I suspect some alumni may not buy Professor Lawrence's view. 

I also enjoyed reading the Admissions Committee prayer before applications assessment. Absent religion, Holy Cross looks and smells like many other small, high-end New England colleges. This prayer struck me as one stark indicator of how it differs. Thanks for letting us inside the process.

Greg Maher '83 
Croton-on-Hudson, N.Y.


Those who worry about Holy Cross remaining a Roman Catholic, Jesuit liberal arts college should read associate philosophy professor Joseph Lawrence's article, "Rethinking the College" in the September issue of Holy Cross Magazine. It will further unsettle such anxious souls. Let me make two points.

One: Professor Lawrence waxes eloquent about "Jesuit spirituality," which, however, he regularly equates with "independent inquiry," "real thinking," asking questions, gazing beyond the empirical, and challenging fundamental assumptions about life, society, culture and the purpose of it all. Never does he mention "Jesus Christ," Jesuit dedication to the person of Jesus Christ, "Taking on Christ," living in His presence, or serving others in His name. "Jesuit spirituality" without Jesus Christ? In the vernacular, give us a break.

Two: Professor Lawrence's understanding of "God" is equally empty of orthodoxy. Thus, he writes of the world "Made by god (or nature)," "the unfathomable center we call God," our end as "the revelation of what we call God," and communion "with the Divine." (All italics are mine.) Never does the professor identify God as a Person, "I Who Am," the one supreme and infinite personal Being, Creator, the Almighty, or Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. For Professor Lawrence, God is a "what." Again, give us a break. 

I suggest that the professor, who seemingly cannot get beyond Plato, Aristotle, Patanjali, and Zen Buddhism, ponder those words emblazoned on Dinand: "Ut Cognoscant Te Solum Deum Verum et Quem Misisti Jesum Christum." Otherwise his "Rethinking the College" is scary.

Thomas F. Troy '41
Bethesda, Md. 


"Special Needs, Unconditional Love"
Phyllis Hanlon's article "Special Needs, Unconditional Love" (Fall 1999) brought memories of times with our handicapped son, Georgie. Like Bob Naseef, my wife and I initially struggled with disbelief, anger, denial, and all the other emotions associated with this circumstance that so suddenly changed our lives. 

The article notes that Naseef's book Special Children, Challenged Parents addresses the issue of faith. While our faith was challenged, we quickly learned to rely on our walk with Jesus Christ. Through prayer and study of the Bible we came to realize that Georgie was a special gift from God, that his life had meaning, and that God would provide the strength to deal with the challenges of caring for our son. 

We also learned that despite all his problems, this little boy was able to witness the glory of God's love to us and to our four other children. This witnessing extended to the many volunteers from our small town in the Adirondack Mountains who came to our home to assist in Georgie's extensive therapy program. Their unconditional love was clearly evident.

Georgie is now home with the Lord but the legacy of his life remains. To his family he left revised priorities and stronger faith. To those members of our former community who served as volunteers, he provided a life-enriching experience that will not be forgotten. 

Thank you for publishing Ms. Hanlon's article and for sharing Bob Naseef's encouraging words.

George A. Smith '51
Avon, N.Y.


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