Severna Park Tech Consultant Writes Book On Mount St. Mary’s Mythology And History


Information technology entrepreneur and freelance writer John Singleton’s new book, “The Meaning of Mount St. Mary’s,” is the culmination of his years of research into the history and mythology surrounding his alma mater, Mount St. Mary's University.

The project began shortly after Singleton graduated with a Master of Business Administration degree in 1987.

“As a graduate, I wanted to better understand the identity of the college and why it was formed,” Singleton said.

Along with his work as CEO and technology consultant at Communications Resources Inc., Singleton also works as a freelance writer, including 20 years at the Severna Park Voice, a passion he attributes to his liberal arts education.

“I’ve taken many philosophy and theology courses over the years and that’s where I got my desire to write,” Singleton said.

He credits his freelance jobs with giving him the confidence to write a book.

During the coronavirus pandemic, Singleton used his downtime to sort through the research material that he collected over the years with the goal of publishing.

The project resulted in a coffee table book with art and illustrations, as well as the stories of 12 people who helped form Mount St. Mary’s University, along with Catholic education and Catholicism in the United States. Singleton refers to them as “heroes.”

“The Mount’s heroes are dragon slayers,” Singleton said. “They stick up for the little guy. They snatch victory from the jaws of defeat even when confronted with overwhelming odds.”

The stories are told chronologically from its founder, the Rev. John Dubois, to its current president, retired Army Brigadier General Timothy Trainor.

“It’s a book of fables, a book of heroes, that creates a mythology about Mount St. Mary’s that I felt was missing,” Singleton said. “So, I started writing about the university in a mythological way. A way that was fitting to its core identity and to celebrate its history, legends and lore.”

The coffee table book format helped Singleton to highlight one specific person featured in the book, artist John LaFarge, who contributed greatly to American religious art in the 19th century. His artwork is featured on every page.

Singleton identifies with Dubois the most out of the 12 heroes he wrote about because of his work in religious freedom.

“Our First Amendment is a foundational freedom to Americans,” Singleton said. “That’s why I would point to Dubois and what he did as really important.”

The book also emphasizes the importance of Maryland and Mount St. Mary’s in the history of Catholic education in America. Early graduates helped found many Catholic colleges, including University of Notre Dame, Catholic University, St. John’s University, Fordham University and Seton Hall University.

Other types of religious schools were also started by Mount St. Mary’s graduates, including the parochial school system that was formed in New York City in the 1850s in part due to Fordham University founder Archbishop John Hughes’ advocacy for state support for parochial schools.

The book ends with a poem by Singleton about climbing the mountain of Mount St. Mary’s.

“I liked writing poetry when I was a kid, so when I went to write about Mount St. Mary’s, it came to me pretty quickly,” Singleton said.

“The Meaning of Mount St. Mary's” is available in limited-edition hardcover at the Mount St. Mary’s bookstore and can be purchased for pickup or shipping on the university’s website.


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