Dear Sister Faith Schuster,
It’s been over a year since I have written you. I know you are interested in just how my publishing company is doing. Well, if it was easy, everyone would doing it.
In my last letter, I told you about my book The Brown and White. I am quite sure if you were alive and teaching at Benedictine College today, you would have had me come in and talk to your students. As you know, I am not much of a public speaker, but you did like my writing, as long as it was on something substantive. You didn’t like my squirrel poem. But you did like my other writings.
I don’t think I need to tell you that I am a sinner. And yet, I am still working hard to promote things Catholic. That seems to offend some people to even say that today, but I remember you were quite adamant about your classification as such. When I mentioned one day that I thought you were saintly, I thought you were going to “chop off my head.” You told me that you felt that I was a good friend of yours, but that if I carried on about the saintly business, you would cut the friendship off entirely. So I did stop all that although I thought it was OK to mention it now that you are dead.
I wrote about how the Mount was home to many saints. In fact in your book, The Meaning of the Mount, there were stories about some of them. Coming from a place like the Mount, the work it takes to conduct the research and scholarship to present saints through the regular church procedures is not likely to get many volunteers because there is just too much good that needs doing. The Sisters are doers. And there is so little time, so few Sisters now, and so much to do.
Some people would ask, why I am writing you now that you have passed away. Well it’s obvious to me that I can actually reach you easier now that you are in another place. I don’t have to worry about stamps.
I sit here and think about what it might be like to have a cup of coffee with you, Sister. But I just remember you having a tiny styrofoam cup that you might carry with you, but I don’t think you were into it the way us “moderns” are. I suppose most of the Sisters got their daily nourishment for less that the cost of a Starbucks drink today.
I remember one of the Benedictine Sisters used to drink hot water, she told me it was her way to fight colds, but I thought it must have something to do with giving up most every pleasure for God. I could see that sometimes and maybe the Good Lord was OK with that. But I would like to have a good cup of coffee with you none-the-less. McDonalds would be fine.
With my publishing business I have found myself in a position of doing Catholic books. Not that I am a model Catholic, but in some ways one of the my author is. The Sports and Faith Series by Patrick McCaskey is what I am talking about. Pat is an old-school Catholic and his outlook is quite refreshing. He is a grandson of the “Father of the NFL,” George Halas and his mom is Virginia McCaskey who does so much for the Church. Like his mom, Pat spends a lot of time doing good. He is the Chairman of a Catholic Radio Station, WSFI and an initiate called Sports Faith International that honors Catholic athletes who lead exemplary lives.
The books that I publish with Pat are an outgrowth of his ideas and his vocation. We publish a lot of stories on the good that athletes do and focus on the positive. It’s something we can do to fight all the negative stuff out there.
Even in the Church, there are a lot of people who seem to be offended by most everything. But you know better than anyone I have ever met, that positive begets positive.
I am very proud of the last book that I did with Pat called Pilgrimage. Each chapter begins with a story on a holy Christian place of pilgrimage. After that we go to the sports and faith stuff, but we did a lot of work to help give our readers some general information on places like Fatima, Lourdes, Rome, the Holy Land, and other places. It’s a great book for personal libraries. When we were researching the sites, I found there were many books about these places, but none that would provide the “skinny” on them as such the way our book does.
Pat and I have been working on another Sports and Faith Series book. This one is called Worthwhile Struggle. At the end of each chapter in this book, we include the story of a saint. The book is about sports figures and the positive.
It has been another tough year, but I have a lot to be thankful for like always. Please pray for me and my family, Sister.
Your old Friend,