“Four Decades of Service”
Both faith AND justice—not one over the other—are crucial elements of Holy Cross’ Jesuit and Catholic mission and identity. Unfortunately, in my experience with SPUD, the program made promoting justice its primary focus, to the detriment of serving faith. In contrast, two other Catholic organizations on campus have shown themselves to be compatible with both elements of the College’s mission and identity.
Both the 79-year-old Knights of Columbus council and the recently established Daughters of Isabella circle are celebrated for their defense of Catholic teaching and for their unwavering support for life. Both groups have also taken an active role in serving the Worcester community. Unfortunately, widespread political correctness has met them with opposition on campus, and neither the Knights nor the Daughters enjoy institutional support from the College.
In 2008-09, Father McFarland has the opportunity to correct this injustice. Ultimately, the president has a choice: he can either re-legitimize the tradition of faith-centered service embodied by the Knights and Daughters on Mount St. James … or not. The final decision rests with him; however, those of us who take seriously Holy Cross’ Catholic mission and identity can only pray that it is an easy one for him to make.
Paul V. Phillipino ’08
Immediate past Grand Knight of
Crusader Council No. 2706 of the Knights of Columbus
New Haven, Conn.
Editor’s response: The Knights of Columbus and Daughters of Isabella have given long and commendable service to the Church, the College and the community. They have been given very generous support by the administration—including prime space in the Hogan Campus Center—and have all the privileges they need to carry out their work. Because of their particular structure and status, they do not fit the profile of student organizations that are recognized by the Student Government Association (SGA), which tend to be independent groups initiated and run by students. It is misleading to confuse the absence of SGA recognition—which is decided by SGA, and about which there are ongoing discussions—with a lack of support from the administration. There are many on-campus groups that are not SGA-recognized, yet function quite well—the Knights of Columbus and the Daughters of Isabella chief among them.
I wish to tell you how much I appreciate receiving Holy Cross Magazine and keeping up with the academic progress on The Hill. We, the Purple Knights, read the “In Memoriam” section with interest to pay honor to the Crusaders we knew. We appreciate the efforts of the alumni office to notify us of the passing of classmates through the mailing of the “white card”—a long tradition of the College. I have filed each of these cards in The Purple Patcher on my deceased classmate’s page with an RIP noted. The binding of my Patcher has been destroyed by the cards, totaling nearly 150 to date, but I keep it as the most valuable publication in my library.
While at Holy Cross, my poetry appeared regularly in The Purple, which earned me the title of “Class Poet” at graduation. Many of my poems have since been published, but I have composed one that I submit for HCM publication. “Requiem of the White Card” tells of the meaning this card has in the life of older Crusaders:
As Purple Knights we still remain
Chained heart and mind in memories saved.
Thus, sad when one more name we find
Upon that card of white engraved.
For one from us has sheathed the sword,
Dismounted and from quest withdrew
To homeward turn, toward Camelot
To claim the treasure knights accrue.
So take we then that ancient book
With bindings strained, with pages tore
And with a prayer note on his page
“God’s rest be yours forevermore.”
But know we not who last shall be
That Purple Knight of ageless prize
With fate that no classmate remains
To read the card of his demise.
So with each requiem prayer that’s said
Add one “Amen” for you may be
The one who’s last, then we shall wait
To welcome you to eternity.
Edward F. Danowitz ’43
Altamonte Springs, Fla.