Letters to the editor

Author: Readers

The letters we publish here are edited for space and are representative of those we receive. We print only those letters referring to an article in the most recent edition of the magazine, not those responding to letters or commenting on issues not addressed in the recent edition.


Columbus murals

I do not understand the covering-up of the Columbus murals in the Main Building. Columbus was a brave explorer of the New World and a Catholic. Show me proof that he ever harmed anyone. Will Notre Dame Law School close its London Program? The British were the original slavers of North America. The Crown relentlessly persecuted Catholics in England and Ireland. Henry VIII executed Cardinal John Fisher and Lord Chancellor Thomas More. Henry also seized and sold the monastic properties in England, and Elizabeth I relentlessly hunted down Catholic priests and executed hundreds of them. Then there were the Penal Laws, in effect from 1559 to 1829. These disabled Catholics from owning interests in real property, entering the legal profession or taking a military commission. The British government has never so much as acknowledged its atrocities against Catholics.

Stephen Dunn ’85J.D.

Troy, Michigan


I am glad that covering the Columbus murals was done so tastefully, but the solution couldn’t have been more horrendous. Since when is art censorship something that one of the great universities of this country should condone? I fully support the Native Americans who condemn these murals and admire them for taking on the task of righting an injustice. My quarrel is not with them; it is with an administration that teaches that sweeping a problem under the rug is a proper resolution. We should learn from the mistakes of history, not cover them up and pretend they never existed. We need to expose injustice, not hide it.

Van Stewart ’66

Palm Beach, Florida


Grotto candles

The article on the Grotto candles (“A Practical Petition”) doesn’t explain why the Grotto uses glass holders. In the early 1980s, the Grotto switched from glass to plastic holders to save money. It worked for a while. Then, in 1985, Notre Dame played Michigan State in a night game televised by ESPN. The night game meant that more people were walking around campus before the game. Many went to the Grotto to light candles. Even though Grotto staff kept putting candles out, the racks filled up, so people put candles on the ground. Sometime during the game, the heat from all those lit candles melted the plastic holders. The wax melted together, causing a fire that did significant damage to the Grotto. After the fire the Grotto switched back to glass holders for safety reasons. They’ve been using them ever since, and there have been no major incidents since then.

Joseph McGarry ’86, ’89J.D.



I enjoyed reading about the efforts to save the environment one glass jar at a time. I was not surprised by the number of candles lit daily by believers asking Mary to intervene. I stopped by one snowy night — after a study session at the library and more “seat time” at the Computer Science Building — and asked for help in gaining admission to dental school. She listened.

Mike Jung, DDS, ’72

Westerville, Ohio


Boise mayor

I was very disappointed that you featured the Boise mayor, Lauren McLean ’97, in your Short Stories section. While it focused on her response to the recent protests and some of her policies, the piece should be titled “All Lives Matter, Except the Unborn.” In the city’s transition report, titled “A More Equitable City for Everyone,” the first-term initiatives include: “Free contraception as defined by the CDC, abortion and reproductive health care” as well as “Collaborate with the Boise School District to establish sex education at pre-k level – 12th.” These principles sound very similar to those of Planned Parenthood. As the magazine is a publication of Our Lady’s University, it would seem that featuring someone whose open political stance is in direct conflict with the fundamental teaching of the Catholic Church on abortion is a slap in the face. Many alumni and alumni clubs around the country, myself included, have spent many hours working hard to promote, protect and live the Church’s teaching on protection for the unborn.

Tom Chambers ’77

Dallas, Texas


Another view of Minneapolis

I reflected for quite a while after reading “Making Sense of Minneapolis.” The writer, John Rosengren, cannot presume to speak for me, particularly when he engages in leftist jargon such as “white privilege,” “microaggressions,” “complicity as a white homeowner in a system rigged in my favor and against African Americans.” His cavalier attitude toward the many small businesses that were destroyed in the rioting displays an indifference that is shocking but all too prevalent.

Lastly, I am offended by his claim that George Floyd was “blatantly murdered” by Derek Chauvin. That remains to be proven in a court of law, and Chauvin is entitled by law to be presumed innocent until then.

Rick McDonough ’70

Interlaken, New Jersey


Where is God?

Kudos to my classmate Jerry Brady ’58 for an excellent read, “Walking toward God.” I share at least two points of interest with Jerry. I, too, was fortunate enough to have been in Richard Sullivan’s freshman composition class. I also am an admirer of Father Richard Rohr and The Universal Christ. If the belief that God is present in everything is heretical, I, like Jerry, am in deep trouble.

Bill Chesson ’58

Steubenville, Ohio