In Praise of Domesticity, Dr. Donald DeMarco

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Photo by Samantha Gades on Unsplash

By Dr. Donald DeMarco, Catholic Exchange, July 5, 2024

Dr. Donald DeMarco is Professor Emeritus, St. Jerome’s University and Adjunct Professor at Holy Apostles College. He is is the author of 42 books and a former corresponding member of the Pontifical Academy of Life.  …

Avatar photoThe telephone rang at the Hayden household, deep in suburbia. It was a special consultant to the President for cultural affairs inviting Phyllis McGinley Hayden to the White House Festival of Arts.  Two thoughts crossed her mind, neither being the honor of being invited to the White House. She had to juggle her schedule to fit in an honorary degree at St. John’s University in Jamaica, New York. Her second thought was “Oh, I don’t like this!  I like to live quietly and peacefully.”

Phyllis could not hide from her fame.  Times Three, a collection of her poems, sold 80,000 copies in hard cover alone.  In 1964, the University of Notre Dame conferred upon her the Laetare Medal, awarded annually to an outstanding American Roman Catholic. In making the presentation, the Reverend Theodore M. Hesburgh, president of the university described her as “the most highly respected contemporary writer of light verse.”  Three years earlier, she had won the Pulitzer Prize for her poetic efforts.  Among her many honors are the Catholic Book Club’s Campion award (1967) and the Catholic Institute of the Press Award (1960).  She was elected to the National Academy of Arts and Letters in 1955. …