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His Excellency Theodore Hesburgh

By Dr. Jeff Mirus (bio - articles - email) | May 03, 2019

If you received a review copy of the impressive new biography of the famous Theodore Hesburgh of Notre Dame—the university president who firmly set this Catholic university on the spiritually devastating road to secular prominence—you may have hesitated to expend the effort to read this 464-page hardback. I am referring to the work written by Wilson D. Miscamble, CSC and published in March by Image: American Priest: The Ambitious Life and Conflicted Legacy of Notre Dame’s Father Ted Hesburgh.

It is indeed daunting to read so much about a figure whom many, including myself, regard as the single most effective betrayer of Catholic education in the United States. Fortunately, you do not actually have to read the book to gain a great sense of both the author’s fairness and the subject’s spiritual downfall. All you need to do is to read the brilliant review written for First Things by one of the finest writers of our generation, Paul V Mankowski, SJ.

The book, if you really want the details of such a life, is a good one. But the review is not to be missed: His Excellency.

Jeffrey Mirus holds a Ph.D. in intellectual history from Princeton University. A co-founder of Christendom College, he also pioneered Catholic Internet services. He is the founder of Trinity Communications and CatholicCulture.org. See full bio.

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