August 2011 Letters to the Editor

July 11, 2011

AN EVERGREEN WEDDING

I read with personal interest the article in the April 2011 issue about weddings in the Alumni Memorial Chapel. My wife, Jan, and I were married on June 1, 1957, at St. Dominic’s Church in Baltimore’s Hamilton neighborhood after our request to be married in Loyola’s Alumni Memorial Chapel was rejected by the Archdiocese of Baltimore. (Such were the rules at the time.) I was at the end of my junior year at Loyola, majoring in chemistry, and my wife had recently converted to Catholicism, mentored by the Rev. Francis X. Knott, S.J., our class advisor.

Naturally we were disappointed with that decision but were told by Fr. Beatty (Rev. Vincent Beatty, S.J.) that he and Fr. Knott would be on the altar flanking the parish priest during the ceremony. Fr. Beatty was my Chem 101 teacher who then became the college president.

It was an unforgettable day. Jan and I celebrated our 54th wedding anniversary this year.

Ray Klimovitz, ’58
Chippewa Falls, Wis.

WEDDING DAY JOY

Getting married at Loyola’s Alumni Memorial Chapel was a dream come true for Denis, ’03, and me.

When I was an undergrad, there was a rumor on campus that there was a waiting list of over a year. So many of the women dreamed of getting married there one day. So it was a happy surprise that we could have our choice of date in summer 2004.

My husband and I had so many happy memories of Masses at Alumni Chapel that it was the natural fit for our wedding. Walking down the aisle was a moment of pure joy. The chapel felt like home to me and it was only fitting that we were starting our married life together at Loyola.

Suzanne Sheehy Lafreniere, ’03
Scarborough, Maine

THE GIFT MATTERS

A Husband’s Gift through Kidney Donation” in the April issue was a powerful piece that highlighted both the need for increased donor awareness and the benefits of transplantation. The subject, Angela Balcita, did a wonderful job describing the challenges and realities of transplantation, which made me pause and reflect.

Her story made me step back and ruminate as to how I chose to share my bilateral lung transplant experience with the world and with the Loyola community. With the airing of my surgery and recovery as part of the 1999 ABC News production of “Hopkins 24/7: Fighting for Breath,” I realized the world was given a view not often seen outside of the operating room.

And in 2000, when I shared my experience with Loyola magazine, at the suggestion of Antonia Keane, associate professor of sociology, the Loyola community was educated on the realities of living with
cystic fibrosis and transplantation, reacting to the story with both words of kindness and support.

I say all this not to boast, but to convey that while Angela and I have both experienced the physical and mental challenges associated with trading one medical condition for another, I can safely surmise through the sharing of our experiences that we both realize just how lucky we are. We both recognize that as a result of the generosity of our organ donors, we have been lucky enough to experience “moonface,” the love and support of our spouses, who accepted us as we were, and the joy of being able to have and experience our children post-transplant.

In closing, I applaud Ms. Balcita for sharing her story and Loyola’s continued efforts to educate the community on the merits of giving, in the form of organ donation.

John P. Burke, III, ’92
Gamber, Md.

ENLIGHTENING READ

Count me in the camp that had no idea about Professor Mark Osteen’s son, Cam (“Autism’s Impact on a Family,” April 2011). The story of his family, One of Us: A Family’s Life with Autism, is often a gut-wrenching and painfully honest portrayal of autism, but it is no doubt a book worth reading. My own perceptions of the disorder have been skewed over the years by television commercials featuring happy celebrities proud to be the father or mother of an autistic child who is often featured as smiling and playful.

The book does a fantastic job of truly humanizing Cam. It touches too on the dreams that so many parents have for their children and how sometimes these dreams must be altered. We see how Cam doesn’t have to be like everyone else; he doesn’t need to have posters of his heroes on the walls or know how to run from first base to home plate. He is no less than anyone else. Through all the struggles we see how deeply Mark loves his son and gradually accepts who he is.

Parents like to say that they will love their children no matter what the circumstances are. Mark and his wife truly back it up and show a level of strength and courage that many including myself simply wouldn’t be able to muster.

It was a privilege to take an English class taught by Professor Osteen. I’ve still got my American Literature books. And I look forward to reading more creative nonfiction from him in the near future.

Mike McGinn, ’08
New York, N.Y.

BURSTING WITH PRAISE

I recently read “Cover Discovery” online and could not help but smile! I clicked on an Amazon link and discovered the book written by Kevin Wells, ’90.

Compliments to the staff of Loyola magazine for a gorgeous cover photo and great article in the April issue, “Encountering God’s Grace Through Suffering,” which provides a glimpse of Kevin’s journey through life and the challenges he has faced and offers readers a “behind the scenes” story of his book, Burst.

Loyola alumni will find Burst engaging because of Kevin’s ability to connect with readers on so many levels—faith, family, suffering, prayer, and peace—which are all tied together through his gifted writing and tremendous storytelling. Your article touched on the local references he makes, ones that perhaps drew so many to the beloved Evergreen campus and the city of Baltimore in the first place.

In the months since the book was published and this article ran in your magazine, I know that Kevin has spent time bringing his book to life as he is frequently invited to speak at area prayer groups, retreat sessions, and book clubs. His radio interviews and book reviews are getting the attention of a growing audience.

I encourage your readers to get their hands on a copy of Burst. Everyone I know who has read his book could not put it down until they had finished the last page.

Thanks again for sharing his story.

Susan Mudd Vogel, ’89
La Plata, Md.

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4 Comments

  • Posted by carmen kovarsky | August 10, 2011

    I recently read the August 2011 alumni magazine column regarding communication and culture in contemporary France. I was taken aback by the lack of immersion into the language of a country that one inhabits for three years especially a class that is devoted to communication and culture. Come on King is that all you could do (I don’t speak/I don’t know/I don’t understand)in three years!

    Carmen

  • Posted by Katherine Murphy | September 20, 2011

    Dear Editor:

    I was shocked when I read that Fr. Linnane found the Loyola Chapel a “particularly fitting” place to hold the ROTC commissioning verges on being an act of civil religion (July Loyola Magazine). All people deserve the support and guidance of the Church, cadets included; however, by having the official commissioning ceremony in the chapel, Loyola moves beyond pastoral concern for cadets to public support for the military and blessing obedience to military duty. This is a misuse of a Chapel.

    In addition, I am saddened to see all of the bravado over the ROTC that fills your recent editions. “Love your enemies. Blessed are the peacemakers. Forgive your enemies.” Jesus never says to train to kill them. On the anniversary of 9-11, I think Jesus would promote reconciliation rather than joining the ROTC. Without a question, Jesus defends life and saves life in the more excellent way (magis) – through love. He told us and showed us the way. Just as Ignatius laid down his sword at Montserrat and pursued the more excellent way, I wish that Loyola University would lay down the sword and promote the way of the nonviolent Jesus.

    Sincerely,

    Katherine Murphy
    Teacher of Ethics and Social Justice

  • Posted by Katherine Murphy | September 20, 2011

    Dear Fr. Linnane:

    I was shocked when I read that you find the Loyola Chapel a “particularly fitting” place to hold the ROTC commissioning because it verges on being an act of civil religion (July Loyola Magazine). All people deserve the support and guidance of the Church, cadets included; however, by having the official commissioning ceremony in the chapel, Loyola moves beyond pastoral concern for cadets to public support for the military and blessing obedience to military duty. This is a misuse of a Chapel.

    In addition, I am saddened to see all of the bravado over the ROTC that fills the recent editions Loyola Magazine. “Love your enemies. Blessed are the peacemakers. Forgive your enemies.” Jesus never says to train to kill them. On the anniversary of 9-11, I think Jesus would promote reconciliation rather than having 11 students aspire to join ROTC. Without a question, Jesus defended life and saved life in the more excellent way (magis) – through love. He told us how and showed us the way. Just as Ignatius laid down his sword at Montserrat and pursued the more excellent way, I wish that Loyola University would lay down the sword and promote the way of the nonviolent Jesus.

    Sincerely,

    Katherine Murphy
    Teacher of Ethics and Social Justice

  • Posted by david eberhardt | November 24, 2011

    “But I am scandalized that a supposedly Christian institution so blatantly rejects the teachings of the nonviolent Jesus — “Love one another. Blessed are the peacemakers. Offer no violent resistance to one who does evil. Put down the sword. Love your enemies.” Loyola and other Christian universities can no longer claim to be teaching the Gospel of Jesus.”

    Came across this in an article on Fr. John Dear in the Catholic Reporter- as he discusses an article on ROTC at Loyola- and, as a neighbor of Loyola who lives in Gilford, was also saddened like the above blogger-even if you could debate confronting an evil like Hitler- there is no debate over the adventuristic and obscene wars that have been waged by this country since- and for Loyola students or officials to be pushing this- as John says- it really is obscene! Consider our military spending and reflect on our priorities.

    For young people to take this direction reflects poorly on the academic level at Loyola. Is logic taught? ethics? Social justice- I recommend you to read Fr Dear’s article.

    Are these Loyola students putting their money where their mouts are and volunteering to go kill civilians in Iraq or Afghanistan- where is the politics departent? Godd Lord almightey- bless Loyola and turn their hardened, wrong hearts towards your Sermon on the Mount…please, Lord- do it now.

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