Letter to the Foundress
My sweet third mother, pray tell me,
What holy inspiration and Christian piety
Moved your heart to build this nursery of men,
And receive into your family the generations
Of boys your generosity would lift to heights untold?
Oh, dear Foundress, should you see from thy throne
How the gracious Will did hold that your seed thrive,
Increase, and bear countless fruit, countless good
To mix sweetly with your praises of God’s glory
Our paeans and dedications: ad majorem Dei gloriam!
Behold, already, how many of the living stones
Of the eternal kingdom doth bear the double crimson griffons,
How many more shall still be added, impressed
With a love so true, a wisdom so bright, as if
To make the very angels squeal with delight!
See how the noble work draws, summons, and calls
Boys from the northern plains, down to the wastes of
And the whole swath of country and city in between, from every
Nation and every station, every problem in the world
to marshal round in prophetic, daring discourse.
For these boys have but one mistress: Truth,
And her holy ministers, also learning, guide them through
The illusion of the world to glimpse the eternal form,
Eternal Plan, and as men for others lay the brick
Where their brothers hath left off – and bring to life.
Yes! From this capital of books, this fortress of
Knowledge come legions of Christ to fight the dark
With Light, the lies with Truth, the silence with Word,
And hate with Love. Yes, my love, they shall their mind
Employ as sword to fulfill the vision they hath saw.
Pray for us then, our mother, that as we don our
Peaked helmets and receive our spurs, and walk forth
From this Jesuit Athens, that the Sacred Heart may with a
Drop of Christ’s courage imbue my other brothers
And Christ’s love make us the matches to burn the world.
And as we sow the harvest through the Earth,
Let your gift always be in our eye, the tree your children fed
For fifty years before it grew and spread. For now, I know,
Sweet Jesus, that I will return to this nest of mine,
To see new owlets fly until the very end of time.