One afternoon — October 28th to be exact- at mail time, Father Leonard Feeney of the Society of Jesus was seated in his chair, reading a book, and many of the Center students were at nearby tables, working hard at their studies. Mr. Haley, our faithful postman, stood in the door and said, “A registered letter for Father Feeney.” Father signed the required receipt, and with the unopened letter still in his hand, he said,
“My dear boys and girls, I have been dismissed from the Jesuit Order.”
He opened the letter, and in elaborate and formal Latin, that is what the message had to say.
Saint Benedict Center is situated in Harvard Square, Cambridge, Massachusetts. It is exactly on the corner of Bow and Arrow Streets, a fact which is commemorated by the bow and arrow on the Center shield, above the door. The Center’s wide front windows overlook the Romanesque porch of St. Paul’s Catholic Church, directly across the street. Its side windows look out on Adams House, one of the ivy covered Harvard College houses.
Any day, if you motor by, you will still see at Saint Benedict Center a group of more than seventy students, with their priest, still hard at work studying the Holy Scriptures and the lives and writings of the Fathers and the Doctors, the Popes and the Saints of the Church. They will still be there, with a longing still in their hearts for the day when a Cambridge newsboy will be heard on their street, running down from Harvard Square, with headlines in his hands, and a shout in his voice:
“EXTRA! EXTRA! EXTRA! EXTRA ECCLESIAM