It’s not a Gospel or even a Summa. But I like to think the Evangelists and Aquinas would appreciate it. I have written a book. The material is not new to me; it’s a compilation of my better work over the last four-and-a-half years in quip form on the Twitter and in story form here on Her Loyal Sons. Only I (or a devoted stalker) would know or have read all of that material.
Though Rozum tried to teach me about the Twitter – and did a fairly admirable job – I don’t fully understand it. He has, however, explained that it’s like a river: ever flowing, such that if you look away for a minute, you might miss seeing a particular piece of flotsam or jetsam passing by (though he assures me that I cannot Baptize infidels in it like John in the Jordan). My discourses here on Her Loyal Sons are like cicadas: They make a lot of noise for a brief time, and then they disappear. My HLS discourses go into a magic box called a “server” (though I’m told this one would be of no use to me at Mass). Hence, this effort is somewhat archeological in nature – digging up all that old material you may have missed and putting it into a bound volume.
It wasn’t my idea. In fact I’m a bit tired of being quoted, especially since all anyone ever dredges up is, ‘powerful force for good,’ ‘if it were all gone,’ ‘as soon as the bricks cool,’ and ‘all men shall know why we have succeeded here.’ Now don’t get me wrong; those are some oldies and goodies. But since I’ve had a lot more to say, I was contacted on the Twitter by a devoted stalker reader who wanted to know whether he could compile some of my better recent work. I was happy to oblige, and thus provided him with all 7,000 quips and several hundred discourses; in total, it amounted to nearly 500 pages of my very small handwriting (I’m still in the mind that paper is not cheap). Let me tell you, it took a fleet of passenger pigeons to deliver, and some of those poor birds were mightily weighted down. Don’t worry: The editors pared it down to a manageable number of pages in one handsome book, unlike an Arts and Letters course reading list (which is all we ask of you A&L majors, but you never do anyway).
I suppose it’s flattering to have a book of my thoughts and feelings published after all these years. I mean, the Pope never made me a Cardinal, like my successor Black Jack O’Hara (we eventually had to rename him Purple Jack O’Hara, and finally Red Jack O’Hara). The President never named me to important commissions or gave me the Medal of Freedom, like my great successor Ted Hesburgh (of course, neither big commissions nor the Medal existed in the 1800s).
You might ask why I still care enough to write extensively about my University. You have the answer right there – it will always be MY University. Think if it like a house: I built it, but every year I have another 10,000-or-so potential buyers walking through; but it’s not for sale. It’s MY HOUSE (well, it’s the BVM’s house, but she spec’d it out and told me to build it). Accordingly, I have an abiding interest in what goes on under my roof…er…under my Dome.
You might ask why I can be a little acerbic when it come to certain situations, opponents, religious orders. I care, and I’m not sorry for caring. When I see something that needs paternal correction at my University, I mention it; when I see something that offends and appalls me from those against whom we compete, I name it; and when I see witchery and sorcery I warn others away from it.
You might ask what you can expect in this new compilation of my writings. You will find insight and wisdom that can only come from a couple centuries of experience. You will also find humor and wit, spiced-up with just a touch of acid (I am French, after all). You will find that what I have written is tied to no specific age, period, year, team, or person. It is timeless – like me. It can be enjoyed for generations – like Notre Dame.
If you find passages in the book uplifting, I am glad. If you find passages full of hilarity, I smile with you. If you find passages offensive, stop reading and put the book down. Use is to kindle the barbecue at your next tailgate party. If you purchase the book and you want a refund, I understand that a clerk will be issuing cash in return for the merchandise. I believe his name is something like J. Jenkins, though I am not certain.
*Editor’s note: Father Sorin Says: The Founder Comments on Today’s Notre Dame is being published by Corby Books and is scheduled to be available in the Hammes Bookstore and on Amazon on August 24.