Not to be disrespectful or anything.... or maybe being even MORE respectful, whenever I hear the name McSorely, the first thing I think of is: McSorley's Old Ale House in Manhattan's East Village - NYC's oldest Irish Bar (1854). Somehow, it even survived 13 years of prohibition! You might say it's a NY Institution.
Rev. McSorley taught well into the 1980's, and while his ideas were ignored by most of us at Georgetown, I later learned his strident pacifism was the result of a first-hand encounter with war, having spend over three years in a Japanese prisoner camp in the Philippines.
"On December 13, 1941, a few days after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, he was captured and imprisoned by the Japanese along with hundreds of other Jesuits and seminarians. He was held for over three years, until February 23, 1945. During that time, he was tortured, nearly starved to death, and under the constant threat of execution. Once, he confided to me quietly that on three occasions he was actually brought before the firing squad. Several people around him were shot. The Japanese soldiers took aim to kill him, but then no bullets were fired, and they all laughed at him. U.S. paratroopers captured the camp, took the Japanese by surprise and killed them all. McSorley and the other prisoners were released."
Post by Nevada Hoya on Aug 12, 2016 18:09:07 GMT -5
The article made mention of his relationship with Bobby Kennedy. I remember that he used to recruit classmates to go over to the Kennedy compound and help mow the lawn and other chores. One of my classmates taught the Kennedy children to play tennis. Whenever I think of Father McSorely I think of Pete Seeger.
I remember him leading a campaign opposing academic credit for ROTC my freshman year:
"Three years later, the issue was raised again when the School of Foreign Service proposed making ROTC its own academic department and giving its students limited academic credit. It seemed the university was ready to accredit ROTC because it feared losing an estimated $500,000 in federal scholarships and grants. Several opponents, especially Fr. Richard McSorley and Fr. Jerry Hall, S.J., framed their argument in strictly moral terms. McSorley said, "I am opposed to the destruction of life. I'm opposed to educators using their facilities to promote that." Hall alleged, "The ROTC is not here to teach or train officers, they are here to make militarism more acceptable." These two Jesuits and a student named John Lyddy led a week-long hunger strike to draw attention to the decision."
I remember that Fr. McSorley had announced, just before the second semester of 1978 (my senior year) that he was planning to take a sabbatical the following year, and that he would not be teaching "War and Peace" in the coming school year. He let it be known that anyone who wished to take the course could register for it, and there would be no limitation on class size. Must have been close to 400 students in that lecture hall.
He was truly a treasure.
"I do believe I've passed the stage of consciousness and righteous rage/I found that just surviving is a noble fight/I once believed in causes too, I had my pointless point of view/And life went on no matter who was wrong or right"