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An Urban Legend of Holy Cross (Satire) - November 2018

posted Nov 8, 2018, 7:26 PM by RSO The Fenwick Review

A conversation overheard at Crossroads, 9/15/2018, 11:47 P.M.

Student 1: “Last time, I’m pretty sure they trapped a Dominican friar and then released him inside Campion house. I’m pretty sure it’s true, too.”

Student 2: “I’d believe it. Kind of like the Exorcism Room.”

S1: “Yeah, initially it was like a ghost story. Everyone heard sounds in the walls as the Dominican scurried about, but they dismissed that as the pipes or the house settling. The chaplains thought it might’ve even been a squirrel on the roof collecting acorns or a mouse chewing on wires. The building’s pretty old – early 1900s, I think, and it actually used to house Jesuit priests for a while. Mice wouldn’t be out of place, right? But anyway, next they noticed additional St. Thomas Aquinas icons lying about, and the cookies kept disappearing.”

S2: “A shame. Those are good cookies.”

S1: “Oh, but that’s just where it started. There were reports of a figure in all-white – a ghost, perhaps – talking about existence and essence, synthesizing faith and reason so well that it terrified the students greatly.”

S2: “That really does sound terrifying. I thought faith and reason were completely separate entities.”

S1: “That’s what most people seemed to think, so the students reported their fears to the chaplains. The chaplains, hearing that report, assembled and came clean to each other about some of their own paranormal experiences. One mentioned that he went back to his office and found that his decorative Summa Theologica was open, while another chaplain explained that when he was having lunch, his Twitter had been used to correct James Martin.”

S2: “James Martin, S.J.? Bold move.”

S1: “Eventually they mustered up the courage and headed into the attic to investigate. As the story goes, they saw the form of a man in all-white speaking in some demonic tongues (and I took Latin 101 last semester – looks like those were actually prayers). They all screamed ‘ghost!’, but then they remembered that the supernatural doesn’t exist. They thought back on all their experiences: the Aquinas icons, the open Summa, Jesuit fights on Twitter, synthesis of faith and reason so well that students were converting at a rate much higher than the 15-person RCIA cap, the Salve Regina being sung from the ceiling, and they realized that it must be a Dominican.”

S2: *visibly shudders.* “I’m glad I wasn’t there. Anything that serious would’ve freaked me out.”

S1: “It got even spookier, though. At every theological error, the Dominican would pop out of the floorboards or descend from the ceiling to make a correction. The chaplains tried to catch him with bear traps and theological books from Dinand, but they weren’t in the original Latin, so he wasn’t interested. Apparently, they even tried to lure him out of the attic with a prostitute.”

S2: “That doesn’t sound very Jesuitical.”

S1: “Well, this is all hearsay anyway. He chased her away with a fire poker, as the story goes, although I’m not sure where he got the hot poker. He then collapsed on his knees, receiving a chord from an angel and growing in power.”

S2: “But I’ve been in Campion – how come I haven’t seen him? After all that, did the chaplains finally manage to get him out?”

S1: “I’m not sure. He got pretty heavy from the cookies, at least, so that might’ve been his undoing. Maybe he headed up to Ciampi, the new Jesuit residence. I’ve never been up there, so I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s been sneaking in and out of their hallways. In fact, I don’t even know if Ciampi has hallways. I’ve never gotten so close as to see in a window.”

S2: “That friar is probably still creeping around here somewhere. I get the feeling, somehow, that he hasn’t left – that he watches, disapprovingly, from afar.”

S1: “Who knows. Let’s get our pizza, though, before Croads closes. At least that isn’t a theological error.”