Letters to the Editor from 7-24-14

Memories of the Medusa
Dear Editor:
Thank you to Don C. White for the wonderful article on the S.S Medusa Challenger (June 26 edition of the Reporter).
My parents, along with my brother and myself were fortunate enough to be guests of Medusa Cement back in the late 60s and we were treated to a trip aboard the Challenger.
Our family business, Prairie Material Sales in Bridgeview was a customer of Medusa at the time. If I recall correctly, we traveled to a cement terminal north of Mackinaw Island, Mich.
I vividly remember the captain waking us in the middle of the night to see the lights on the majestic bridge as we passed beneath it. For young kids in grammar school, it was a trip of a lifetime that we fondly recall today.
Mr. White is quite correct when he speaks about the fantastic meals and first class guest quarters!
The crew could not have been friendlier, as I am sure it was not often that they had young passengers aboard! They flew my family and myself home from Michigan on what was our first plane trip, so we could get to our first day of school on time that fall.
Times may change, business may change, but great memories never fade.
I would like to thank Mr. White again for taking me for a trip down memory lane.
Kim Oremus Hanson
Palos Hills

McAuley principals: a line of distinction
Dear Editor:
A feature story in The Regional [and The Reporter Newspaper on July 10] correctly noted that the board of directors of Mother McAuley Liberal Arts High School promoted their vice principal, Eileen Boyce, 29, to the position of Principal. The age of the new appointee was the focus of the piece. The article begins: “OK, let’s get this out of the way.”
OK let’s do that, but he doesn’t. Eileen Boyce is well qualified for the position: educated, attractive, chosen by the board members, and well aware of the challenges ahead. She will have a fresh perspective, techniques and ideas during her term of leadership. She must continue the vision of Mother Catherine McAuley, as well as the legend of the firm foundation laid and developed for 60 years by the religious.
[The Reporter editor] Jeff Vorva acknowledges Catholic school Principals breaking “knuckles” is a tiresome cliche and use rulers for their intended purposes. However, a real story is Catherine McAuley, founder of the Mercy Order, born in 1778 in Ireland at a time when women and children were chattels. She saw the education of women as a serious purpose for social change.
Catherine was convinced that Almighty God required her to make some lasting efforts in the relief of the suffering and give the underprivileged a chance to a good education. As a result today McAuley High School’s mission statement contains : “Prepare students to live in a complex, dynamic society by teaching them to think critically, communicate effectively, respond compassionately to the needs of their community and assume roles of Christian leadership”.
Vorva comments about principals in the past as “ancient and cranky.” I am a retired teacher of 25 years at McAuley and no insult could be more contrived and untenable. My superiors were educated, affable, properly gowned, oriented to current times, masters of education and administration.
Some will remember Sister Inviolata (Catherine Gallagher) the first long-time Principal; Cathleen Cahill, Corinne Raven, Rose Wiorek. Sister Brian Costello Principal in the 1970s was appointed Director of Catholic Schools for the Archdiocese of Chicago and later Chief of Staff to Cardinal Bernardin, the first and only woman to be chosen to do so.
This is a tremendous mantel for Miss Boyce and all those before her wish her the best.
Susan Lang
Palos Park

Editor’s Note: Vorva never wrote that anyone at McAuley used rulers to break knuckles or that past principals at Mother McAuley were “ancient and cranky.”

The actual paragraph of the story said “There are likely still some people out there who think an all-Catholic girls school principal should be ancient and cranky and ready to break knuckles with rulers. There are some people out there who realize that men and women of various ages can handle the job of principal quite well.”