Readers Write

Several readers wrote about our cover feature on chief White House speechwriter Jon Favreau ’03; some questioned the role of a Jesuit-educated person in a pro-choice White House.


Pride and courage?

Regarding your article featuring Jon Favreau: The Holy Cross community, his family and his friends should be bursting with pride for his accomplishments. The political science and English departments should be especially gratified by his meteoric success.

Mr. Favreau in his interview cites the profound effect the Jesuit ideal had on him from his first religion class at Holy Cross. I sincerely hope Mr. Favreau does give some thought to President Obama’s views on abortion, late-term abortion and withholding medical treatment to infants born in botched abortions. These issues are troubling for pro-life Catholics. If called upon by President Obama to craft a speech supporting his views on abortion, Mr. Favreau will have the opportunity to make the religious community at Holy Cross and indeed all Catholics even more proud of him should he respectfully decline the assignment and make his decision public. Many would certainly view his decision as a “profile in courage” especially for such a young man in his position. I suspect the clergy at Holy Cross on that day would have cause to celebrate the positive influence of a Jesuit education.

Nick Creanza P’07
Winter Springs, Fla.


Grave concerns
Just received my Summer 2009 issue. Did Mr. Favreau abandon his Catholic heritage and education to work for a person who promotes the horrors of abortion, partial-birth abortion and now healthcare rationing for senior citizens? For shame…on you and on him.

Louis F. Cumming ’60
La Jolla, Calif.


Providing talent
Several years ago the then-President of Holy Cross asked rhetorically (and I paraphrase): “If we do not educate the best and most talented students, who will?” The obvious if unstated premise in those days was that Holy Cross’ role was to save for the Church the talents of the most talented students. The Church needs leaders so the presumed thought goes, and it is the charism of the Cross to help provide them.

Fast forward to April 2009. Mary Ann Glendon, former ambassador to the Vatican and noted Catholic intellectual, declines the Laetare Medal from Notre Dame because President Obama will receive an honorary doctor of Laws on the same platform. She refers to President Obama as “…a prominent and uncompromising opponent of the Church’s position on issues involving fundamental principles of justice.”

Who writes Obama’s Notre Dame speech? Holy Cross valedictorian Jon Favreau ’03, and in it, the President calls for a new and “reasonable” conscience clause in the areas of abortion and end of life.

Fast forward again to July 2009. The Obama administration’s Washington office of the EEOC reverses the decision of its North Carolina office and finds that Belmont Abbey College (an orthodox Catholic liberal arts college), did unlawfully discriminate against the rights of its female faculty in failing to provide medical insurance coverage for contraception.

Thus arrives in our land the dictatorship of relativism. Is Holy Cross upset that it has produced the wordsmith for the movement? Obviously not. He is apparently acting in the Jesuit tradition as presently understood.

James Kearns ’58
Trumbull, Conn.


Absolute respect
For years I have entertained people at cocktail parties with tales of my misadventures as a women’s novice coxswain. Horror stories that involve a near running aground on an island, an actual full speed collision with a dock, and a resignation of my post that was, I’m certain, days before my termination. Thus I read your inspiring story of Chris Hayden ’10 with interest and absolute respect. Without the challenges of a physical handicap, the job of a coxswain is amazingly difficult and, with them, I can only imagine, very near impossible. Chris is an inspiring young man whose success on the water should not only motivate his teammates, but all of us, to push the limits of our abilities.

Jenn Marcotte ’05
New York, N.Y.


To celebrate the beginning of another academic year, we asked readers to send us their memories of their first days at Holy Cross. Our favorite came from Aline Weiller ’87:

Day One
In August of ’83, I arrived diva-like on the Hill with two cars, every belonging in tow. I wanted Worcester to feel like home. Unpacking was followed by heartfelt goodbyes, but no tears, as I embarked on my college journey. Settling in, vivid images of prior trips to Holy Cross flooded my mind—as an alumni family, we were a fixture at homecomings and the like. I especially recalled that pivotal visit as a high school junior when I, too, felt called to be a Crusader. Memories of my first day remain fond as it was the catalyst to strive for excellence, strengthen my faith, forge lasting friendships, and to become someone “for others.” Incoming first-years take note: Savor your first day too.

Aline (Doino) Weiller ’87
Weston, Conn.