Dear Father Jenkins
We write as supporters of Sycamore Trust to offer a pledge and to present a request.
As you know, Sycamore Trust consists of alumni and other friends of the university who are dedicated to the preservation of the Catholic character of Notre Dame. We have joined in this association because of our concern over the degree of secularization that has taken place at Notre Dame.
This phenomenon, as we see it, can be measured in rough but striking fashion by the precipitous decline in the proportion of Catholic members of the faculty. And its pernicious influence is apparent through events such as the on-campus production of The Vagina Monologues, The Queer Film Festival, the honoring of President Obama in 2009 and awarding Vice President Biden the Laetare Medal in 2016. These and other events like them are pervasively hostile to the teachings and traditions of the Church. Our reasons for these views are described in detail in Sycamore’s website, and accordingly we need not elaborate here.
The depth of our concern is matched by the hope and optimism that we have drawn from your vision of a Notre Dame unparalleled in both its academic and its religious vitality and, even more importantly, from your forthright acknowledgement of, and your determination to remedy, the attenuation of the Catholic presence on the faculty.
Your tenure, we are convinced, comes at a critical time in the history of the University. Notre Dame either will follow beyond the point of no return the path to secularization that has been traveled by most, if not all, other major Catholic universities in this country, or it will fulfill its great promise and mission of becoming the leading truly Catholic center of learning and education in the world. We realize full well the enormity of the responsibility with which you have been charged, and we pledge to you our assistance in whatever way we can lend it. At the same time, we know you would not expect us to forgo respectful criticism when in our judgment the University pursues a course that plainly and importantly collides with the demands of Catholic identity.
We leave you, Father, with our prayers for you in the discharge of your heavy responsibilities and for the success of your mission.