To the editor,
It seems that every issue there is at least one article written that’s whining about the lack of participation in St John’s activities.
You have to realize that many students who attend this school, like myself, are busy studying and working to pay off the high tuition. You over-generalized and stated that 16,000 people are “sitting around doing nothing all day” (“Penlight” Oct. 9).
Like many here, I commute to the school two nights a week for 90 minutes each way from eastern long island. I also work two jobs during the week just to keep up with expenses and tuition payments. Of course some people in this school are lazy and that’s with every school. But you can’t keep on slamming the student body for not partaking in a club or a sport. Maybe some of us simply don’t have the time or interest to do such things. You and others might, but not everyone has that opportunity.
You are entitled to your opinion, but please don’t lump all students into one group when writing such articles.
Justin Rowe, Junior
To the editor:
How can you print an article carried on two pages of the last Torch about the Church of St. Thomas More (“St. Thomas More Church unveiled” Oct. 9) without ever mentioning anything about Thomas?
In the Catholic “Communion of Saints,” which until recently was over-represented by priests and religious leaders, the 1935 canonization of Sir Thomas More, Chancellor of England, on the 400th anniversary of his beheading, was so significant an event that Yale University dedicated its then-new Catholic church to More’s honor.
We live on More’s Parkway: he coined “Utopia;” SJU ran a conference on More that was so prestigious that the proceedings were published by Yale University Press under the title “Action and Contemplation.” This is not trivial since Yale also publishes “The Complete Works of More.”
“The best friend of the Renaissance was killed as the worst enemy of the Reformation,” noted GK Chesterton who, even in 1935, knew that “Sir Thomas More is more important than he has been in the past but not so important as he will become in the future.” We have just left a century which arguably saw more Christians martyred than any time since the first centuries; we maybe entering a century where men and women of all creeds may be the guinea pigs for everything from ‘1984’-ish globalization to Dr Frankenstein’s biotechnology. Thomas More is a good man to have as a friend on that journey.
More was a husband and father, a lawyer and a politician, a man raised in the city but successful enough to build his own house in the suburbs; a writer of poetry, letters, political controversy, and, yes, “Utopia.” A paleo-feminist who educated his daughters above the level of most people even today; so fierce a defender of the ‘the little guy’ against the money power that the communists of the USSR honored this Catholic saint as their forerunner; as his friend Erasmus said “A Man for All Seasons.” A personality so attractive that, even though he died of loyalty to the Church of Rome, the Church of England also considers him a saint.
St John’s University has educated alumni who have made their marks in medicine, law, religion, politics, business, education, entertainment, and many other fields. When this church opens, we could do worse than have a year’s worth of panels of alumni from each of these fields to show us and the world how we laity fulfill the function of doing good and doing well, of being, in More’s last words “The King’s Good Servant but God’s First.”
Dr John-Emery Konecsni,
Adjunct Associate professor of philosophy in St John’s College
Assistant Dean for Allied Health and Graduate Education in the College of Pharmacy and Allied Health Professions
Lifetime member of the International Thomas More Society