Letters to the editor: web extra


Author: Readers

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A most important piece of information is missing from Kristin Kramer’s article (“The green of the Union”). The conservation of the 63rd New York’s Second Irish Colors and the research for the book Blue for the Union and Green for Ireland was made possible by a generous gift to the Archives from Jack and Kay Gibbons of Dublin, Ohio (Notre Dame class of 1963 and Saint Mary’s class of 1962). Without their support, these projects would never have been completed.

Wendy Clauson Schlereth
Notre Dame, IN

Levels of trust

John Cavadini’s article “Levels of Trust” in the summer issue was a very good and clear overview, I think, of the crisis in the Catholic Church. I’m not sure how much I can add, but I share my experience in the hope that it will provide some detail to that view.

I was a Holy Cross priest for 10 years, from 1989 until 1999. I left the priesthood and my community after a very long struggle. I think I was a good priest and a good community member, but my life had been too often a struggle with depression and loneliness. I stayed a lot longer than I might have out of a sense of responsibility and also gratitude toward the Church and Holy Cross. While I was a priest and a member of a religious community, I was treated with respect and compassion. I was cared for generously.

Now that I am not a priest I can see the other side. And the fact that I chose to use that metaphor describes the problem for me. There is a significant divide between those who are ordained and those who are not. When I was a priest I could find community among other priests, but that sense of community was often based on a sense of separateness. Priests and religious were seen in a special role that defined them over and against the common culture.

When I found myself out of community and no longer defined as a priest, it became apparent to me that what I was longing for was a wider and deeper sense of community. When I was a priest, my concerns were not the concerns of my parishioners. When I was a priest and a religious, I even found it difficult to relate to the lives of my siblings, who were working to make a living, involved in committed relationships and raising families. Difference is not bad. It becomes negative when it divides people. I feel a division in the Church that is not at all healthy — nor necessary.

Many priests find great satisfaction in their work. Many religious men find a deep and sustaining sense of brotherhood in community with other men. My closest friends are priests who are struggling to find a healthy balance between their work and their need for community. Many of these men are gay. They know the value of a celibate commitment and a life of generous service. But where I looked most for community, I felt like an outsider. The church is not gay or straight, ordained or lay, male or female. The Church is all of these. Its ministers and its leadership ought to reflect that diversity.

I value very much the ministry of celibate men. But I am afraid of the divide that keeps a more diverse experience and wisdom from enriching the whole Church. I want my Church to be a community where religious priests, brothers, and sisters are respected and listened too; where single men and women are respected and listened to; and where married men and women are respected and listened to. I want a church that supports a diversity of ministerial and leadership styles, and that is in a constant state of dialogue — from the leadership to the people in the very back pews — with the concerns and the issues that we share with the whole world.

If I had felt more inclusiveness from the Church, a broader acceptance of different roles, I may have been able to stay in some ministerial role.

Jim Gunshinan, ’81, ’88MDiv.

Thank you for printing "Levels of trust, " by John C. Cavadini in the Summer edition. It was an excellent article One sentence, however, stood out as a piece of bad writing. “With some justice, anti-Catholicism has been called the last acceptable public prejudice in American society.” This sounds rather Protestant, but I don’t think that is what Mr. Cavadini really means. Perhaps using ‘justification’ for ‘justice’ would help. Personally, I would have written : "With ample justification,… " The Catholic League has taken on the job of pointing out current examples of anti-Catholicism and complaining about it. They usually keep pretty busy, and lately have been kept very busy!

And while I am at it, Cavadini later writes “..believing in the church is like believing in Amtrak, as a friend of mine once put it. It’s just there.” This is belief in the sense H. L. Mencken expressed when someone asked him if he believed in infant baptism: “Believe in it?! Hell, I’ve seen it with my own eyes!” With all due respect to Mr. Cavadini and his friend, I suggest they employ a different analogy. I do not think Amtrak will be with us always, till the end of time.

Brian W. Donnelly, M. D. ’81
Gibsonia, PA

Summer thoughts

The summer 2002 has been, perhaps, the issue I have enjoyed most in the past several years, even with that horrible two-column format you use in the front pages

I enjoyed my reunion week-end and I agree with Kerry Temple about the serenity of the virtually empty campus. Sunday morning I sat on a bench in front of the Main Building, savoring the sunshine, the beauty and thoughts of college days long gone.

It was refreshing to note the magazine recognizing (for a change) that athletics do, indeed, have a place at ND. The photos of athletes juxtaposed with the Rockne niche figures were excellent (and politically correct).

It was wryly amusing to note that among the “Fighting Irish Legends” pictured on the back cover are two coaches who were hustled off campus by disapproving administrators. Does time heal all wounds?

It has always been difficult for alumni from my era to understand the problem of alcohol on campus and the furor that accompanies any suggestion of change (remember when kegs were banned?). A strong administrator need just repeat Fr. Hesburgh’s admonishment to Vietnam war protestors on the front steps of the Main Building. Problem solved immediately.

James E. Chestnut ’57
Homewood, IL


After perusing the Notre Dame Magazine for many years now, I am mystified as to how Notre Dame continues to produce holy graduates when the environment and faculty seem to be so anti-Catholic. For example, consider the latest issue, summer 2002.

On pages 4-7, the article “Sobering Debate” chronicles widespread drinking activities on campus, which strongly lead students away from Christ. The article seems to approve of timid administrators, a mistake that has lead to countless disasters in Catholic universities in recent decades. In contrast, an example of fearless leadership is Father Scanlon of Franciscan University of Steubenville, who, in spite of all warnings of a university shut down by turned-off students, instituted many reforms in line with true Catholic spirit. To everyone’s surprise, the university flourished under his leadership. The explanation derives from Pope John Paul’s favorite quote of Christ: “Be not afraid.”

On page 11, the article Losing in Style tells about the antics of the Bookstore Basketball team Punky Brewster, which appears to have totally adopted the MTV code of behavior and been approved therefore by the Notre Dame Magazine.

Also, many in the faculty do not exhibit fidelity to the Body of Christ. The Notre Dame Magazine article “Levels of Trust,” by the chairman of the theology department, is an example. Chairman Cavadini is a dissenter, skilled in Dissent-ese language. In Dissent-ese one promulgates a dissenting message without being accountable for having done so. This is accomplished by burying the message in a barrage of points of view, preferably as a report of someone else’s position. Often, to provide further protection, the dissenter actually quotes the magisterium but only as one of many other viewpoints considered of equal value, so that the magisterium loses because a democratic vote decides all issues, of course.

The message Chairman Cavadini wishes to promulgate in his article, “Levels of Trust,” is: the present crisis in the Church was not related to homosexuality in the seminaries, but rather due to the celibate priesthood not subject to the control of the laity. Furthermore, the magisterium should change its teaching regarding homosexuality.

Here is how Chairman Cavadini couched his above message in Dissent-ese. On page 22 he states: “The married sexually active laity are too distant, too invisible, of too little account to the closed celibate brotherhood of those in power. It is precisely that distance for which repentance and reform are required.”

On page 21 he states: “Many of the cases of sexual misconduct are by priests who are now in their 60s and 70s, priests who had been formed in the sort of seminaries that conservatives would like to see rejuvenated.” The problem with this statement is that seminaries were already in trouble 50 years ago, according to our former pastor, Rev. Earl A. Gannon (now deceased, God rest his soul). Father Gannon attributed this situation to a concerted effort by the communists to infiltrate Catholic seminaries so as to attack the institution that they considered to be their greatest enemy, the Catholic Church.

On page 22 we find a paragraph saying in Dissent-ese, let’s change the magisterium on homosexuality: “In the minds of liberals, basic church teaching on homosexuality and sexual issues in general is called into question by the crisis. In the minds of conservatives, on the other hand, it is precisely the opposite issue that is raised, namely the way in which dissent on the sexual teachings of the church has made it appear that sexually active gay lifestyles can be morally acceptable. But these debates are older than the current crisis and it has only exacerbated them rather than rendered them clearer. It can be said with certainty, however, that the moral teaching of the church on sexual matters needs the benefit of more, rather than less, discussion.” Excuse me, the chairman of the religion department of Notre Dame University should espouse the infallible magisterium of the Catholic Church as the unchangeable starting rock foundation for further discussion. By the way, Chairman Cavadini, have you signed the mandatum yet?

However, writing in Dissent-ese can be tricky. For example, one risks direct self-contradiction. On page 22 we read: “Since almost all of the cases of abuse of minors have involved abuse of pre-pubescent boys or male adolescents, the question is bound to arise. Is homosexual orientation the problem in itself, or psychosexual immaturity?” While on page 23 we read: “among…the 1.8 percent of the diocesan clergy against whom sexual misconduct has been credibly alleged, only one was a pedophile. The other cases were all cases of sexual activity with post-pubescent boys as old as 16-17 years old.”

As in Notre Dame University, the seminary administrations must not be too timid, and they must insist on fidelity to the magisterium. As Father Richard John Neuhaus says: “Fidelity, Fidelity, Fidelity!”

Michael J. Gans ’56

The Sobering Policy

Your magazine is a work of outstanding art and reporting. I look forward to each issue. Having said that, Ed Cohen’s “Sobering Debate” in the Summer 2002 issue begs a big “Shame on you” Notre Dame students, Father Malloy, board of directors and the Alumni Association. It seems each of you is afraid of offending the immoral scum leaders of the student body.

Don’t you teach religion and morals at Notre Dame anymore? Don’t you require exemplary moral behavior anymore? Why so few expulsions? Why the big compromise by just winking at campus sex, alcohol use and abuse? Why is there not better selection and development of student character?

Why the tolerance of the practice SYR “screw your roommate,” real and wishful? Why do you allow Notre Dame to be morally degraded to the level of other universities where the students major in fornication, alcohol and pornography? (I do not buy the concept that these are just kids acting like college students everywhere.)

When did Notre Dame add Satan as a staff moral policy director? Remember Satan? Remember the words purity, virginity and sobriety? If these virtues are not taught at Notre Dame, where will they be taught? Certainly not at the parish level today? Why are immoral students allowed to set the tone of moral development at Notre Dame?

Robert L. Bobbett, student ‘41-’42
Las Vegas, Nevada

We are shocked, Shocked! Fr. Poorman’s draconian new campus policy on alcohol, as told by Ed Cohen in your summer issue, is taking away student “rights” and spoiling their “fun.” It’s shocking!

There was no mention of the penalties, nor any use of the dread “R” (for responsibility) word. So three suggestions:

1) Require all students to acknowledge Fr. Poorman’s rules, in writing.

2) Specify that any infractions are grounds for dismissal.

3) Then Do It!

Who knows? Expelling a few of the hard core rowdies might give entirely new meaning to the (disgusting) SYR idea: Shoulder Your Responsibilities And, apparently, that would really be shocking!

Carl F. Bachle ’52
Jackson, Michigan

It recently dawned on me that in the 1950s, you could smoke in your room, but you couldn’t drink. Now you can drink, but you can’t smoke.

There is probably no way to completely control drinking, but there must be some restrictions to put barriers up to gross misconduct. Without rules, you run the risk of chaos. Despite severe penalties in the 50 s, drinking still went on, but it was a rare occasion that real drunkenness was evident. Eliminating hard alcohol seems to be a minor point. 19 year olds don’t really need a martini at the end of the day.

Dances at the Student Center or other locations seem to make sense. The halls were not built for dancing. Realistically, I don t know if you can monitor tail gate parties, but I have always wondered why it was necessary to get drunk to go to a football game. Students expect to be treated like adults. What they sometimes don t realize is that most adults treat alcohol responsibly and if the students had all been responsible this would not be an issue. They will also come to realize that a good social life doesn’t require alcohol. Hey! There are girls there now.

Jack Barthel ’58
Rockville Centre, NY

Sobering thoughts on “Sobering Debate.” Hall President Joe Muto’s statement, “This place will no longer be fun in 10 years. I say that not as a warning but as a statement of truth.” Does he mean no fun without alcohol or only with alcohol can there be fun? A sober ND is fun!

I spoke with a Notre Dame grad in another state who arranges golf outings. When he tried to set one up for recent ND grads, he was advised by a previous coordinator, “Young ND grads only want to eat and drink at these events.” I had lots of fun during my days at ND and after graduation with and without alcohol. It did not control my life or many of my friends, but I have seen where it has destroyed many lives and families.

Pray that all in the ND family return to the real spirit of ND, not the spirit in the bottle. Our Lady would approve and this place will be filled with fun and accomplishments that all will remember! Plus setting a good example!

Jim Stevens ’55
Fort Myers Beach, FL

While reading the article “Sobering Debate,” I was filled with disgust.

I returned to Notre Dame in 1946 after two years in the Navy- South Pacific. Joining me were thousands of veterans, most with more time in the service than I. In fact, one of my roommates earned a Silver Star and two Purple Hearts.

At that time we had to be in our rooms at 10 p.m. and lights out at 11 p.m. If we had a “midnight,” we could stay out until that time, but had to sign out and in.


It seems to me that the protesting students should remind themselves why they are at Notre Dame and why their parents are spending fortunes to send them there.

Donald B. Begley ’49
Franklin Square, NY

It is most disheartening to see the depths to which our once proud University has fallen. Some of the recent “low-lights” include: NCAA infractions and sanctions; hosting “The Vagina Monologues” and, as Norm Beznoska ’64 notes in Letters (Summer 2002), the Clintonesque justification by Father Malloy; and when a new policy is announced to ban hard alcohol in residence halls and in-hall dances (a.k.a. booze parties), 4000 students sign petitions and demonstrate in protest… Those of us who were fortunate enough to attend ND during the Hesburgh Era can only say…how sad!

But there is hope on the horizon if we get a few more administrators like Father Mark Poorman who will make intelligent and informed decisions that are in the best interest of the University. In the meantime, ND will have to be content to be known as just “another liberal Midwest party school.”

Thomas P. Glavin ’61
Groton, VT

Walsh Hall and the Navy

I read, with interest, the article in the Summer 2002 issue of the Notre Dame Magazine by Kristin Kramer ’02 entitled, “Hall Portrait Walsh.” However, she does not mention that from 1942 to 1946, the Notre Dame unit of the NROTC was housed in Walsh Hall. She must have overlooked the bench in front of Walsh placed there by Notre Dame graduates who were in that unit.

She may have assumed that the NROTC was just part of the non-UND naval program comprised of non-ND students sent there by the Navy. In fact, it was the only Navy program on campus made up of young men who were first Notre Dame students, who then volunteered to serve in the Navy during World War II. (Some of the classes after the first two did have students sent from other schools.)

Some prominent people who “Lived There as Students” were:

Walter LaBerge ’44, instrumental in developing missals used in the Gulf War
John Caron ’45, a former trustee of the University, awarded the Hesburgh Award for Ethics in Business
Roy Grumbine ’44, the first ND NROTC graduate killed in WW II
Henry Frailey ’45, who, since retirement from a business career, has been teaching a class in the School of Engineering
William Klem ’45, a retired business executive and attorney who now is a volunteer tour director at the Basilica of the Sacred Heart.

Ms. Kramer must not be related to John Kramer ’45, who passed away recently while still working on his memoirs of life in Walsh Hall while in the NROTC

John R. Lavery ’45- ’47
Tampa, FL

I can not believe that in your article on Walsh Hall you neglected to mention that the NROTC was the first naval unit to occupy a residence hall (Walsh) at Notre Dame.

Mark A. Cronin ’45
Harvey, IL

Enjoyed your Summer 2002 issue. A great number of interesting articles. However, “Hall Portrait, Walsh” . by Kristin Kramer ‘02, left out a very important part of Walsh Hall life, for a large number of men during 1943-1946. Kristin, I am certain has no idea of this part of Walsh’s history. The first and second ROTC classes were moved into Walsh in 1943, and all were transferred to active duty as seamen the same year. In effect Walsh became a Navy barracks as were most of the dorms on the campus at that time.

Single rooms held two men, double rooms held four. Each room had a double bunk bed (two double bunks in the case of four men), a desk and chair for each member and a cabinet for each man’s clothes which were not many. No TV, no refrigerator, no computer, no room decorations. At one point in time we had to move all of our furniture into the hallways, live in the hallways and paint the floors in our rooms. When dry everything and everyone moved back into their rooms. Up at 6 a.m., in bed at 10 p.m. We were allowed off the campus on Wednesday afternoons until around 7 p.m. and we could go into town on Saturday after the big formation of the entire unit was dismissed — that is if you received no demerits during the week which would have to be marched off. If you failed “any” course you were released from the ROTC and sent to Great Lakes Naval Station boot camp as an apprentice seaman. That was always a very sad day when many of your classmates and friends were sent off in the bus to Great Lakes.

No drinking was allowed, but we did manage to acquire a beer or two when downtown in the out-of-the-way bars. No hall dances, but we did have Formal dances with well known famous big bands at the Palais ball room in downtown South Bend. Your dates in their long formals looked beautiful, and several of us ended up with our date as our wife after the war was over and we were back in South Bend to finish our schooling. I was a member of the second class which graduated in 1945 with a BSNS degree — bachelor of science in naval science, You had to have a degree to get a commission, and the members who graduated in January of ’45 did not have enough University courses to receive their regular degree. Too many Naval courses were substituted for University required courses for a regular degree. You had to come back after the war and take these courses to receive your regular degree.

William Klem BSNS ’45 JD ’50
South Bend, IN

I recently wrote expressing my objections to some shortcomings in the recent article about Walsh Hall. “The Irish Pennant” was produced by the ROTC class of ’45 and was the only “yearbook” published on the Notre Dame campus during the WW II years. This publication is available in the Notre Dame archives and provides a very good history of the NROTC at Notre Dame starting with the second class which entered in 1942, went on active duty and moved to Walsh Hall in 1943 and graduated as the second NROTC class in 1945.

William H. Kelm, Jr. ’45, ’50JD
South Bend, IN

On Page 9, the summer issue tells about Walsh Hall. Kristin Kramer ’02 could not have known about it. Walsh Hall enjoyed the Naval ROTC in which I was, after being ordered of V-12 in John Carroll University, Cleveland.

In the overhead flush tanks we cooled the beer. No officer inspected it. Now there is no urinal. The plumbing fixtures were fine to us.

James W. Guerin ’45
Grangeville, Idaho

I enjoyed reading your article on Walsh Hall in the summer edition of the Notre Dame Magazine. However, you missed the most famous resident and happening in the history of Walsh Hall. The hall was the residence of Dennis (H-Man) Etienne, who served as the vice president for the King, J. Robert Kersten, who was elected student body president in the spring of 1972. A large rally of approximately 5,000 students was held outside Walsh Hall, which was immediately followed by the tolling of the bells of Sacred Heart Basilica. King Kersten went on to win the biggest landslide vote in the history of student body elections at the University of Notre Dame. This was truly one of my highlights in attending ND.

Also, Austin Carr also did not live in Walsh Hall. He lived next door in Sorin Hall.

Michael W. Hansen ’73
Joliet, IL

I read with interest the article on Walsh Hall by Kristin Kramer which appeared in the Summer 2002 issue of ND Magazine. However, I was extremely disappointed that no mention was made of the importance of Walsh in the 1940s during World War II. Walsh Hall was the home of the Notre Dame NROTC unit. I lived there 1944-45 as a member of the unit. I was awarded a Bachelor of Naval Science Degree in 1946, having been commissioned an Ensign in the USNR in October, 1945. I later returned to Notre Dame as a civilian student and graduated with the class of 1948 with a Bachelor of Arts Degree.

Norbert J. Geier, ’46, ’48
La Crosse, WI

Informed heckling (or juvenile mean-spiritedness?)

The antics of the Leprechaun Legion at Irish home basketball games strike me as misplaced enthusiasm for Notre Dame, at best. As described in your Summer 2002 issue (page 13), this group of ND students (and supposed basketball fans) puts in hours of research to come up with individualized taunts they can hurl at college athletes coming into South Bend to compete against the Irish. Such derisive chants typically involve opposing players physical features or alleged past indiscretions.

I don t get it. As an ND student in the late 1970s, I rooted vigorously for the Irish at the numerous games I attended. At the same time, I respected the fact that the young athletes on opposing teams had reached an extremely high level of competence in their chosen endeavor of basketball. Even though rooting as hard as one can for the home team is no doubt a primary reason for going to sporting events, I for one am embarrassed by the childish behavior of the Leprechaun Legion.

Grow up legionnaires! Most of you may never be as accomplished at your respective endeavors as are Division I college basketball players at their chosen pursuit.

Bernard O’Brien ’79

Fighting Irish Legends
I read with interest and full agreement Richard Conklin’s article, “Can Notre Dame Have it Both Ways?”. Then I set the magazine down, front cover on the table. What did I see on the back cover but 13 pictures of legends…..all athletically related.

Until Notre Dame actually believes it can have it both ways and touts itself with its legends from all disciplines, we will continue to be tethered to that which catches the national attention: athletics.

G. Mark Seal, MD, ’75

I appreciated the back page of the summer 2002 issue featuring Fighting Irish legends in sports. From the old to new it was a treat to see them captured in photos. However, it appears you left out Notre Dame’s finest freestyler in the history of Irish swimming, Jim “Virgil” Kane.

Surely, Coach Stark’s tallest swimmer to ever fly off the starting blocks at “the Rock,” the 6’5" Kane, should have been included. Jim led the Irish swimmers for four solid years and captained the ‘74-’75 squad. His come-from-behind victories left many a hot, sticky crowd breathless, his records remained posted for years.

So hats off to Jim and other smaller sport varsity athletes who thrived while at Notre Dame. We appreciated you!

P.J. Kane Connelly-Duling ’78
Lancaster, PA

I was intrigued by the collection of photos of sports heroes at Notre Dame depicted on the back cover of your summer 2002 issue. Rockne. Gipp. Leahy. The horsemen. And so on. All great. But conspicuous by his absence was the mere mention of a monumental figure deserving to stand alongside these: Ara Parseghian.

Wonder why.

David Weinberg, ’68
Tokyo, Japan

Gun research
In the summer 2002 issue, in “Spotlights,” you mention efforts by marketing faculty and others to help the anti-gun movement. These folks are going to provide data to be used “to support public policy efforts and litigation aimed at recouping public costs related to firearms related injuries.” In other words, Notre Dame will be adding its imprimatur to the plaintiff lawyers’ lawsuits against the gun industry. What a shame. Will the profs be researching the economic losses associated with Hitler’s gassing of six million Jews, after depriving them of the right to own firearms? How about those killed in Stalin’s purges after he banned guns? Closer to home, will they be examining the value of the lives saved by all the successful uses to defend against criminals by law-abiding gun owners? See John Lott’s book More Guns, Less Crime. My guess is they will not address these issues. That would get in the way of contingent fees and their statist philosophy.

Peter M. Farb ’83J.D.

The Concrete Sculpture Club
Ed Cohen’s Perspective on Concrete Sculpture in the summer 2002 issue brought back pleasant memories of my own experience with career counseling. Back in the 1980s, when my company was proposing voluntary, followed by mandatory layoffs, the employees all got the chance to attend a career change workshop similar to the one Ed describes. I don’t remember the details of the process, but when I matched my interests against available jobs, concrete sculpting was the only match. As the seminar coordinator went around the room asking how we’d done, I was convinced that my result was the most ridiculous and obscure vocation possible. Then a voice from the other side of the room shouted, “You too?”

Pat Madden ’66
Whippany, New Jersey

Serene days
Reading Kerry Temple’s Letter from Campus (“Wish Your Were Here”) brought me back to the summer of ‘75, when I, too, spent the summer at ND, ostensibly to pile up some credits which would ensure graduation in ’76, but also to work in Digger’s summer basketball camps. Kerry really touched on the serenity of campus summers, noting the “stillness, a calm, the quiet greenery and placid lakes.” I couldn’t agree more that it seemed to be a “secret place”; classes were smaller and more personal, and those of us there seemed to bond in a way not quite possible during the full school year.

There was another advantage to attending summer school that he may have overlooked, although I most certainly did not: beautiful college girls from rich South Bend families interested in meeting Domers! One may recall that at this time we were only in year three of female Domers, so the revelation of this new and exciting cache of prospects, shall we say, enriched the summer school experience. Thanks to Kerry for bringing such fond memories back to life.

Larry Jurkens ’76

Blasphemous Performances?
As an alumnus, it is disappointing and as a Catholic, it seems almost blasphemous that two schools named in honor of Christ’s Mother, (i.e. Notre Dame and St. Mary’s College) would promote and endorse the “Vagina Monologues” and the Keenan Revue. The vulgar dialogue of the monologues and the lewdness of the Keenan skits are in sharp contrast to the virtuous life that Christ and Notre Dame, Out Mother, call us to live.

In my discussions with alumni and alumnae, there has been universal agreement that the administration failed in it’s responsibilities to “God, Country, Notre Dame” by allowing these performances on campus.

Don Gerne ’59
New Canaan, CT

I enjoyed your letter on the inner front jacket of the Spring 2002 Notre Dame Magazine and appreciate your analogy of a diverse man being like a house of many rooms. You note that, in like manner, the Notre Dame Magazine is a publication of many parts. There are two stories in this edition that I find disturbing-like the houses containing certain rooms “having dark corners, the dank and musty spaces that scare you off ir at least, transform some houses into something out of balance.” The two articles of which I refer are the Vagina Monologues Stir Debate as well as the letter from campus by Ed Cohen on the Rude, Crude, and as Popular as Ever, Keenan Revue.

Thirty-five students from Notre Dame and one from Saint. Mary’s staged two performances of the play, Vagina Monologues, by author Eve Ensler. “One by one, characters step to the microphone and reminisce and muse in R-rated terms about sexual pleasure and practices . . . two of the monologues involve lesbian encounters, and one of the characters is a prostitute.” In letter from campus about the Keenan Revue which supposedly consists mostly of comedy skits and musical numbers . . . sophomoric and often crude seems to step over the line when it features a man being kicked in the crotch multiple times but, among other characters, the Pope. Worrisome also is the reference to the Saint Mary’s students being depicted as dumb and easy. All this is all right because the students of Saint Mary voted overwhelmingly to have the show continue!

What I don’t understand is why a Catholic University such as Notre Dame would allow such activities to go on. Can we not call evil, evil? The fact that these events were well attended and supported or that some of the proceeds go to good causes should not be justification for them to continue.

Back to our reference to the house of many rooms – we would not want Notre Dame’s house to transform into something out of balance with Roman Catholicism – which is supposed to image Jesus Christ, his Gospel and his Spirit.

Gerarda Brown
Mohegan Lake, NY

Thank you for publishing my letter, “Monologues and Shame,” in your summer issue. Unfortunately, in signing my original letter with “US Navy ’64,” you interpreted that as my being an ND ’64 graduate. I am not a graduate of Notre Dame. My son, Norm III, did graduate from Notre Dame in 1998.

Despite my strong feelings about ND hosting the Vagina Monologues, I respect Notre Dame and am very proud that my son was fortunate enough to attend “Our Lady’s school.” That is why I feel as strongly as I do that having that play on campus demeaned and dishonored the Mother of God!

Thank you for allowing me to clarify this.

Norman Beznoska
Strongsville, OH

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