Juventutem member gives Latin oration at Harvard

A couple years ago I was at Harvard to give a talk and sing a Mass organized by – among others – Juventutem.

Now I see that one of the young men in Juventutem gave the Latin address at Harvard’s commencment.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
This entry was posted in Just Too Cool and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.


  1. Elizabeth D says:

    Oh my goodness, what a hoot.

  2. And from the Harvard Gazette article, the picture of a typical (?) young traddie with 2 brothers and 3 sisters:

    Last summer, McGlone spent five weeks sharpening his Latin at the Paideia Institute in Rome, where after graduation he will spend 10 months as an instructor. . . . took part in the University’s Roman Catholic chaplaincy from freshman year on . . . wrote his senior thesis on the letters of St. Augustine, whose “Confessions” remains a moral compass. . . . For McGlone, “the two major themes of my life” really endure, he said, in “my faith and my family — and Latin maps onto both.” McGlone prays his daily Catholic liturgy in Latin.

  3. Denis Crnkovic says:

    Res jocosa! Beautiful ecclesiastical pronunciation. I’ll bet he took heat for that from the reconstructionists! Clever rhetoric, especially the “gementes et flentes,” (but not the incomprehensible reference to “illi canes yalenses.”)

  4. Pedantic Classicist says:

    Wow, good stuff, thanks for posting, Father Z.

    There is an ease and naturalness to his delivery, something that could only come, I think, from spending time speaking and living the language. Sure enough, Mr. Edwards confirms the young man spent time with Paideia: I am quite familiar with Paideia and am just so excited about the Classics right now: so many more opportunities to speak and live the languages (even Greek!) nowadays: Paideia is just one good force among many.

    As for canes yalenses, Mr. Crnkovic… isn’t it just a reference to Handsome Dan? I wonder what the Dominicani/Domini Canes of New Haven would think? ; )

  5. Denis Crnkovic says:

    Ave, Mr Pedantic Classicist: The “canes yalenses” reference is clearly to all the Yale Bulldogs (not just Handsome Dan), the football team and the annual “The Game”. There is also further on – in the discourse on the inevitability of future worldly decay – a clever reference to New Haven being already in a state of decline. All of this is given in jest, of course, and my adjective “incomprehensible” was meant to have its own ironic twinge. I am sure that the Domini Canes at St Mary’s would join in on the laughs.

  6. La Sandia says:

    Wonderful! And, if I remember correctly, one of Harvard’s Latin Salutatorians from a few years ago joined the Dominicans of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist. See, things aren’t all bleak with the “Millennial” crowd!

  7. Rachel Pineda says:

    In advance yes, I am asking in sincerity. Is Latin supposed to be so forceful in it’s deliverance? I am asking because while I enjoyed the pronunciation for the most part, I had to force myself to ignore the lack of subtlety in some of the deliverance. It was distracting. Sometimes when I hear Mass some of the priests do not pronounce the Latin that well but their simplicity and tone make it very beautiful. I know this was definitely not the Mass and there was a lot of joking, I was just surprised to see that the deliverance was slow and forced. Maybe it’s my age. :/ It is very good to see young college age people interested in learning Latin! It makes one want to learn the language fluently. Thank you for sharing.

  8. Br. Augustine of Nubia says:

    I imagined a young St. Augustine of Hippo when I heard this man speak.

    Perhaps he could preach one of Doctor of Grace’s sermons. This would be interesting. Maybe filmed with subtitles.

    Latin and the Latin Mass is timeless and eternal.

    Thank You!

  9. jameeka says:

    Br. Augustine of Nubia: I did too!

  10. Giuseppe says:

    Superb. Loved the delivery. I think Cicero would have been proud.
    Was a little worried about ‘deorum dearumque’, as we were NEVER allowed to use the plural of deus. My Latin teacher was a Jesuit priest, and he was never happy to see that word with a plural. (That whole First Commandment thing.) We had to translate it ‘deus’ in the plural as ‘pagan idols’ or ‘false gods’.

  11. Scott W. says:

    In advance yes, I am asking in sincerity. Is Latin supposed to be so forceful in it’s deliverance?

    I imagine much academic blood has been spilled over this question, but since we have no recordings of Latin as it was delivered in its heyday, arguments one way or another are pedantic.

  12. Latin Mass Type says:

    Rachel Pineda–

    I really know nothing about this but (has that ever stopped me?)–

    His manner of speaking seemed to embody “orator” to me. I’m not sure if this style is supposed to be subtle. But as I said, I know nothing about it.

  13. Rachel Pineda: “Is Latin supposed to be so forceful in it’s deliverance?”

    Though admittedly exaggerated, his delivery conjured visions of Roman orators who used the tools of rhetoric to actually influence and persuade listeners hanging on every word, in contrast to modern speakers who pour forth blizzards of word to no effect, convincing no one of anything.

    Brother Augustine: “I imagined a young St. Augustine of Hippo when I heard this man speak.”

    Indeed, the last time I heard anyone speaking in this manner it was Augustine speaking just this way (though in English) in the film “Restless Heart”.

  14. mamamagistra says:

    I’m impressed! Though I wonder, how often is the Latin oration at Harvard given using ecclesial pronunciation?

  15. Back pew sitter says:

    This was so enjoyable – thank you for posting it Fr Z.

    And what a great suggestion of Br Augustine of Nubia.

    Does anyone know of a site where Latin texts are spoken with English subtitles? It would be a great way to get used to spoken Latin.

  16. Giuseppe says:

    It’s hard to read aloud any of Cicero’s orations without exaggerated emotion. They are brilliant showpieces. This guy is really superb.

  17. John Nolan says:

    Harold Macmillan (Prime Minister 1957-1963) when Chancellor of Oxford University still used the English pronunciation of Latin he had learned at Eton before the First World War, much to the amusement of the classicists.

Comments are closed.