I am writing in response to Dave McKenna’s article dealing with Pat Conroy’s chapter on Gonzaga High School in his latest book (Cheap Seats, “A Novel Brawl,” 1/10). In good Jesuit Rottweiler fashion, I want to make just three points.
1. The chapter presents a view of a Catholic high school of 50 years ago.
2. The thrust of the chapter was not a father-son brawl, but a teacher-student relationship that turned a boy on to the world of literature and writing—that is, Joe Monte, S.J., and Pat Conroy.
3. Its end depicts the sensitive way in which the school, through its headmaster, Fr. Anthony McHale, S.J., attempted to free this student from an impossible family situation by an offer of a full scholarship with room and board.
Gonzaga College High School