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.


The death penalty

I sadly read the article about the murder of the Schiebers’ daughter (“When the Death Penalty Got Personal”). I have a number of liberal views, such as being pro-gun control, supportive of Mexican illegal immigration and pro-gay marriage before it was fashionable. I am, though, extremely in favor of the death penalty.

After reading the article about the Schiebers, I told my family that if I were ever murdered, I would want them to insist that the prosecution call for the death penalty.

I loved how the United States military killed Osama Bin Laden rather than simply capturing him and allowing him to spend the rest of his life at the supermax prison in Colorado. There are crimes so heinous that the death penalty is the only acceptable option. Those Catholics who are against the death penalty should look on the bright side and realize that murderers put to death will see Jesus much sooner than if they spent the rest of their miserable lives in prison.

Kenneth A. Matlusky ’89

Wilmington, Delaware


I was deeply touched by the tragic loss suffered by the Schiebers. As a father, I have experienced the anger, grief and desire for revenge of a daughter assaulted. I learned to forgive the person, not the act.

But there are a few questions that I would like to ask: Why was the stoning incident, when Jesus prevented the murder of a woman for committing adultery, used as an example? Inferring that he would do the same for a killer is a real stretch.

Second, are the popes not opposed to using deadly force — killing? All of the popes mentioned are against the death penalty, yet the Vatican police are heavily armed. Do they not want to turn the other cheek as they tell us to do? Maybe it is OK to defend yourself if you are important, whereas I can’t defend my daughter or my home without facing prosecution. The Vatican is a country with its own courts but no prisons, so their convicts are housed in Italian prisons, with the Vatican paying Italy for the cost.

This brings me to another question. Why don’t we in the United States have a keep-the-killers-alive tax? People who don’t believe in capital punishment could check a box on their drivers’ license or voter registration application. I really don’t like that some of the taxes I pay are used to keep these criminals alive. I don’t think many people would check the box. They would probably rethink their beliefs when it hits their personal checkbook. 

Tom Kistner ’65



Father Pete

I couldn’t help but smile as I read “Father Pete.” I was a sophomore when he, then a deacon, arrived in Dillon Hall as an assistant rector, and he instantly became an electric and enthusiastic presence. While he wasn’t yet DJ-ing wedding receptions or preparing Taylor Swift playlists, he was gregarious and relatable, the perfect combination for the role. He also knew most residents’ names, no easy feat for a dorm with 300-plus students. When Father Pete received his Holy Orders in the basilica in 2007, I and many other Dillon men were in the pews to support him. We were ultimately disappointed (and a bit envious) that he moved to Keough to be its rector the following year.

Some years later I returned to campus to volunteer for an event and met a few friends for beers at the Morris Inn. I ran into Father Pete (grinning from ear to ear, of course), and we caught up as though we were old friends. The University and the CSCs are blessed to have him.

Ryan O’Connor ’09

Scotch Plains, New Jersey


I absolutely loved the great “Father Pete” article by Sarah Cahalan ’14 and the photos by Matt Cashore ’94, as they really warmed me up after a COVID winter! Pete’s smiling face, his DJ-ing, his dedication to campus ministry and his love for students, families and visitors is a wonderful testament to being yourself even when there are heartaches, breakups, deaths and bad grades. His honesty in accompanying students through trying circumstances is actually quite inspirational to all of us.

I particularly loved the DJ-ing part, as I was a very mediocre DJ for a while on WSND with a horrible oldies show back in ’67 or ’68. I also like the fact that he is from Michigan, like my freshman- through senior- year roommate/housemate David Kocsis ’70. I hope to see both of them on campus some weekend in the next few years.

Dave Jones ’70



Lifted up

Wow! Almost all the funerals I have attended included “On Eagle’s Wings.” And to think the hymn was written by someone who got a master’s degree in liturgy at Notre Dame in 1978, the year my class graduated. “Shelter Me” is also a beautiful hymn and will likely become very popular. Father Jan Michael Joncas has provided a great service to the Church and has comforted countless souls. I was very proud to learn, in “A soaring chorus” by Jack Lyons ’21, that a Notre Dame alumnus has composed these hymns.

Paul Coppola ’78

Washington, D.C.