Vol, XXV, No. 8, September 1961

Feature Articles: Catholic Press

by Jack Fritscher

Shot solo by 22-year-old Jack Fritscher, the black-and-white Cover Photograph of the missionary, Father Bernard Foschini, published in conjunction with 4-page lead feature article/interview written by Jack Fritscher regarding third world vocations and the heroic Father Foschini. The Companion of Saint Francis and Saint Anthony is published by the Conventual Franciscan Fathers, Toronto.

With his initiation into national publishing through the American pop culture of the Catholic press, Jack Fritscher began his writing and photography career in journalism with a long series of short fiction, feature articles, interviews, news stories, reviews, and photographs. Fritscher has written that the Catholic press with its emphasis on masculine men as athletes, priests, soldiers, martyrs, and heroes provided pages of fertile incubation for his gay male and sadomasochistic imagination. A long-time editor and writer for the bi-weekly, coated-stock slick news magazine, The Josephinum Review, Fritscher's first two-page interior photography spread, titled, "The Long Last Days before the Priesthood: Story for School's End," appeared in The Josephinum Review, May 22, 1963, pages 4 and 5. The 23-year-old Fritscher's storyboard design layout consisted of 12 black-and-white photographs he cast, directed, and shot of a pensive 25-year-old blond seminarian waiting out the last weeks before his ordination to the priesthood. Although Fritscher was still "pre-gay" by four years, the gay subtext of the photo spread is adroitly coded in photograph #6 which shows the blond seminarian, stripped to the waist, floating in close-up of pecs, broad shoulders, and a face just breaking the quiet surface of a pool, with the Whitmanesque caption: "And I will wonder/that I do not die,/giving glory/immersed/in the torrents of Him." Fritscher wrote the 62-line blank verse poem that he then wrapped as text around his twelve photographs. Fritscher's mentor in the Catholic press was also the straight editor for The Josephinum Review, the Reverend Leonard J. Fick.

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Copyright Jack Fritscher, Ph.D. & Mark Hemry - ALL RIGHTS RESERVED