Letters to the Editor

An Artist’s Work
The Winter 2012 edition of Holy Cross Magazine showcased the work of Warren Prosperi, who created the portrait of former president Rev. Michael C. McFarland, S.J., that now hangs in Fenwick Hall. Our cover image showed Prosperi at work on the portrait, and several readers asked about our visit to the artist’s studio. We sent writer Christine Hofmann-Bourque to interview the man who immortalized Fr. McFarland—read the story at http://magazine.holycross.edu

Grateful for Fr. McFarland
Thank you for your thoughtful and moving tribute to former president Rev. Michael C. McFarland, S.J., in recognition of his significant contribution to Holy Cross (“A Portrait of a Presidency,” Holy Cross Magazine, Winter 2012, Page 18). Reading through this issue prompted us to search for information regarding Fr. McFarland’s arrival at the College as President. We came across this excerpt from his inaugural speech:

“Our purpose here at Holy Cross, as it always has been, is to produce people who believe in something, in something worthwhile, and who believe strongly enough that they will hold to it and live it out, even in the face of distraction, temptation and opposition. That belief requires an experience of transcendence, the apprehension of something great that is worth believing in, a love and appreciation of one’s own humanity, a strong sense of moral principles, a more personal encounter with the divine mystery. It is up to us to create the conditions that make that possible.” (Holy Cross Magazine, Fall 2000). 
We were fortunate to regularly interact with Fr. McFarland through our involvement in the Parents Council, and as parents of three Holy Cross students. But it takes only one or two encounters with Father to know that he embodies the essence of his words. His actions during his tenure as President reflected a deep personal commitment to the College, forged with accessibility and humility. He has inspired others to service. While the McFarland presidency has come to an end, its impact on Holy Cross is permanent.
We are grateful for his leadership. 

      Maureen Varley ’76 and Boris Moczula P14, 11, 09
      Edison, N.J.
      Parents Council Co-Chairs

A Treasured Mentor
I was so deeply saddened to hear of Religious Studies Professor Frederick J. Murphy’s passing. He was an outstanding professor and a wonderful friend. His kindness, empathy, intelligence, generosity and humor provided me guidance on my academic as well as personal spiritual journeys. I still think of his wise words today when my faith wavers. My heart and prayers go out to his family.

     Cara Sivils Riley, D.O., ’02
     Drexel Hill, Pa.

Remembering a Classmate
It occurred to me recently that this St. Patrick’s Day would mark 20 years since a classmate and friend, Beth Sheehan ’94, died after being struck by a car near campus. I remember Beth as vibrant, kind, gentle and compassionate, and I’ll certainly never forget the awful feeling I had when a resident assistant in Hanselman, where Beth and I both lived, told my hallmates and me of the tragedy. She was in her second year at Holy Cross, majoring in English, when she died. Those who knew Beth no doubt share my fond memories of her.

    Mike Cullity ’94
    Manchester, N.H.

Editor’s Note: After Beth’s death, a flowering crabapple tree was planted in her memory on the north side of Lehy Hall. (Tree No. 167, Malus floribunda, in the Holy Cross arboretum). And to honor Beth’s love of literature, the Class of 1994, friends, faculty and members of the Holy Cross community established The Elisabeth E. Sheehan Poetry Collection in 1992. Volumes of poetry are added to the collection annually. Leah Hager Cohen, William H. Jenks Chair in Contemporary American Letters, made the most recent selections, which include Dear Darkness, by Kevin Young (Knopf, 2010); Auguries of Innocence, by Patti Smith (Ecco, 2008); The Paper Wasp, by Teresa Cader (Triquaterly, 1999) and On the Coast and Other Poems, by Wayne Brown (Peepal Tree Press, 2010).

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Letters to the editor are edited for space and content. Letters should be no more than 250 words and must include the writer’s full name, address, phone number, email and class year if applicable.