"He instinctively can find the shining greatness of our American culture and does a good job of highlighting it (although he also does have those rare lapses when he writes about hockey, but that is something caused by impurities in the Eastern waters or something)." Erik Keilholtz
Under the patronage of St. Tammany
Mark C. N. Sullivan is an editor at a Massachusetts university. He is married and the father of three children. Email
Thursday, December 19, 2002 The Duality of Cardinal Law
Knowledgeable colleagues say this editorial by Ed Forry in the Dorchester Reporter captures Cardinal Law to a T.
As press cameras rolled, Bishop Law toured the fire-gutted church, consoled grieving parishioners, and held an impromptu press conference on the steps of church.
Take heart, he told the parishioners: if it can be done, St. Ambrose church will be rebuilt. The Bishop had seen scores of churches burned in the Deep South, and the community always came back stronger, he said. The press lights shone bright, the TV cameras recorded the new church leader's words, and scores of parishioners wept with joy.
It was an electrifying moment. The visit lasted no more than 30 minutes, and there was a sense that this dynamic new Bishop would soon chart a promising new course for his flock in the Boston Archdiocese.
Later, an anecdote spread among priests that their new boss had called the then-pastor of St. Ambrose over to his car for a final word. The priest looked a bit disheveled, as he had been struggling to come to terms with the fire and urgently tried to find some way to console his people. When Bishop Law beckoned him to the car, the priest was expecting more words of support.
"Do you have anything planned this afternoon," Law is said to have asked. "No, I am free, Bishop," was the reply. "Then go get a haircut," the new Archbishop said. Then he closed the door and drove away.