Arabic Culture Night explores language

The fifth annual Arabic Culture Night this evening offers the Notre Dame community an opportunity to explore foreign cultures through student performances entirely in Arabic. Ghada Bualuan, director of the Undergraduate Studies of the Department of Classics and Program of Arabic Languages, said the event offers an important dimension to the study of Arabic beyond learning in the classroom. “We do teach culture in classrooms, but this is a small cultural experience to engage [students] with the culture so they can connect,” she said. “Culture is not only history and civilizations that they read in class, but it’s also the language they speak, the songs they sing, the poetry they recite.” This years’ program offers a special focus on the Arab Spring protests, she said. Senior Joe Dufour, president of Arabic Club, said multiple performances address this significant international development. “This year the biggest influence has been the Arab Spring,” he said. “We incorporated this major political, cultural and social event.” Dufour said his contribution, “The Dictator,” is a ten-minute play that addresses the revolutions of last year in a lighthearted manner. “The Arab Spring was very big this year, and we thought it would be relevant to do a satirical play on life under dictatorship,” he said. “It has a powerful message in addition to being comedic.” Bualuan said the poetry readings selected for tonight will also address the Arab Spring with controversial Syrian poetry. “It’s the poetry of revolution,” she said. One poem was banned in Syria because it spoke against the dictator, a harsh regime, and a lack of freedom of speech and expression,” she said. “The other poem is a cry calling Arabs to unite together.” Students participating in the event have taken leadership in writing, choreographing and film editing, involving themselves with the event more than ever before, Dufour said. Dufour also said solo and duet vocal performances will showcase the advanced language ability of students. “To have three students singing in Arabic, which is hard enough to speak, but to sing and do it well, is amazing,” he said. Bualuan said she hopes both students and families enjoy the event. “We try to reach out to the community because there is a large community of native Arabs in Michiana,” she said. Even those who do not speak Arabic or study the Middle East can appreciate tonight’s performances, Bualuan said. “Anyone who has any interest in the Middle East, is intrigued by the culture and politics of the Arab World or just wants to get a better sense of what it means to be Arab should come,” she said. “Arabs never cease to produce music, literature and other forms of culture infused with life experiences in time of prosperity and in hardship.” She said the interconnectedness of societies is best learned from immersion in another culture. “We all share the same humanity. We all seek happiness, peace and fulfillment,” Bualuan said. “We want people to connect with … what they’re feeling, facing and what challenges they have.” The Arabic Culture Night will begin tonight at 6:30 p.m. in the Jordan Auditorium at Mendoza. Admission is free. read more

Getting the job done’

first_imgSouth Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg disclosed orders to deploy to Afghanistan at a press conference Thursday, which will mark his first time in active duty. Buttigieg, a Lieutenant, Junior Grade (Lieutenant JG) in the United States Navy Reserve, said he received the orders on Aug. 28. At Thursday’s press conference, Buttigieg said he expects to be mobilized from Feb. 24, 2014, to approximately Sept. 20, 2014. Buttigieg named City Controller Mark Neal to serve as his deputy mayor while he is on active duty.   Indiana Code 5-6-2 holds that if an elected official is called into active duty during their time in office, he or she may appoint a deputy. Buttigieg said Neal will vacate his post as City Controller at the conclusion of 2013 and then return to the private sector when Buttigieg returns to South Bend.  Buttigieg stated at Thursday’s press conference that he could not share details about his assignment for reasons “including operational security, personal safety and military policy.” However, he said his selection was based upon his qualifications and military background. “There’s not a lot that I’m in a position to talk about now; what I can say is that this is work that I’ve been trained to do,” Buttigieg said. “It’s work that my command thought would be a good match based on my background, my rank, specialty training and so forth. I have some colleagues who have done similar work and I’m looking forward to applying my training and getting the job done.” Buttigieg, 31, commissioned as a Lieutenant JG in 2009. Because next month marks his fourth year of service in the Navy Reserve, Buttigieg said he will then be promoted to the rank of full Lieutenant.  “I’m a junior officer, so my responsibilities include work on the intelligence side that I can’t say very much about and then work on the unit side like organizing the fitness tests: running, push-ups, that sort of thing,” Buttigieg said. “It’s not glamorous, but it’s work that I enjoy and that I believe in and I’ve always been glad that I do it.” Buttigieg said he joined the Navy Reserve after working on the Barack Obama presidential campaign during the 2008 primary election season. “I was working [at McKinsey and Company] at the time but took a week off, rounded up some buddies and we flew to Omaha, rented a car and were sent to some of the poorest counties in South-central Iowa,” Buttigieg said. “We were in these small, mostly rural communities knocking on doors, and so many times I was knocking on doors and would have an interaction with a young man preparing for basic training, on his way to either the [Army National Guard] or the full-time military.   “You knew that these kids were on their way to Iraq pretty fast, and to me they looked like children. … And it started me having a conversation with myself about why if all these kids [are serving], if this small town in Iowa is emptying its youth out, what my reasons are for not serving.” After reflection, Buttigieg said he felt compelled to serve in solidarity with the kids he met in Iowa, and others like them. “Suddenly all of these other things – that I was traveling a lot, that I was too busy, that I had another kind of career – for me they began to feel like excuses,” Buttigieg said. “It became harder and harder for me to explain why I was not serving, and I was especially concerned by the fact that it seemed like there was a bit of a divide between the people who served and the people who didn’t, and that it had to do with class and background.  “If you compare that to my grandfather’s generation, for them, service was something that brought people together. People from different backgrounds, people from different races often got to know each other for the first time in the context of their service. And I think we ought to get back to that.” Buttigieg said he decided to join the Reserve by the end of 2008, and took his oath one year later in September 2009.  To remain prepared for active duty, most members of the Reserve and the Guard devote one weekend each month to training. Reservists and Guard members also complete a two-week tour of duty known as Annual Training each year. Though reservists do not complete this training with a definitive tour of active duty in mind, Buttigieg said they know they will likely be called to active duty at some point. “This is something I’ve been training to do for years,” Buttigieg said. “All of the activity that reservists do on the weekends every month and then on the two-week annual training periods are designed to make sure that you’re ready for any kind of recall to active duty.” Buttigieg said he will continue this weekend training until he reports to the Navy Operational Support Center Chicago on Feb. 28, when he will begin training more specifically tailored to his mission in Afghanistan. “I’ll be going through a sequence of training that everyone who deploys to Afghanistan goes through,” Buttigieg said. “I’m not completely sure what to expect because I haven’t done it before.” Buttigieg said he will deploy as a Navy “Individual Augmentee,” which means he will mobilize separately from the unit he has trained with during his time in the Reserve. He said this type of deployment is usual for people in his unit, though Guard members typically mobilize as a unit and know of their assignments further in advance. While Buttigieg serves his tour of duty in Afghanistan, deputy mayor Neal will make executive decisions in his absence, but Buttigieg said he plans to remain in close contact with his administration while in Afghanistan. “My priority, knowing I was going to be away, was continuity of government and making sure that residents of the city continue to feel that the government is serving them, and that our key initiatives continue to move forward,” Buttigieg said. “There are really three principles that will allow the administration to operate while I’m away. One of them is that department heads will continue to have a lot of autonomy to make decisions for their departments as they see fit. The second is that I’ll be involved as much as possible to make sure that my preferences and intentions are known. The third is that the deputy mayor will have all my authority while I’m away, so if there’s a need to get a decision or answer especially if I’m not reachable, that’s why we have somebody in that position and why there’s only one person in that position. That [person] will be Mark Neal. “I really feel that there will be total continuity and terrific competence while I’m away.” Neal’s administrative experience gained as city controller prepare him well to assume mayoral duties, Buttigieg said. “He’s not a politician – he is mostly from the business community – but he understands government, and the role he’s in now … is one of the most pivotal roles in the administration,” Buttigieg said. “The Controller is responsible not only for the finances of the city, but also oversees HR [human resources] and technology. So, it’s a broad portfolio, which means he already understands what we’re doing as an administration in a cross-cutting way.” Buttigieg said Neal’s experience within his administration strengthened his ability to serve as deputy mayor.  “I think [Neal] is completely in tune with the overall vision of my administration, that’s one of the reasons I asked him to serve,” Buttigieg said. “He’s been with us from day one, so he understands and in many ways helped to shape the priorities of this administration.” The relationships Neal developed during his work in the current administration also will help him as he begins work as deputy mayor, Buttigieg said. “I think he has the right kind of perspective on how to get things done … he understands complexity and he understands people,” Buttigieg said. “So much of his job [as Controller] is working with people to get stuff done and he has built great working relationships with members of the Common Council, with the business community and with employees of the city.” When he returns to office next fall, Buttigieg said he will be excited to return to working for the people of South Bend. Neal likely will return to the private sector, Buttigieg said. “I think before, during and after my deployment we will have the same vision and the same goals for our city,” Buttigieg said. “Mark will be ready to move on, and will have richly deserved our thanks at that point, because he’s not somebody who is interested in publicity or ego, he just wants to serve the city.  “He’s agreed to do this at considerable sacrifice, and I’m sure that once this tour of duty is over for him he’ll resume his private sector life – which he’s been eager to do – but South Bend will owe him a big debt of gratitude.”last_img read more

Tim McCarthy promotes safety with humor

first_img“May I have your attention please? This is Tim McCarthy with the Indiana State Police.” A thunderous cheer roars up from the student section, followed by a chorus of shushes raining down upon the crowd of more than 80,000. Through the open window of the Public Announcement (PA) box at Notre Dame Stadium, Sergeant Tim McCarthy hears it all. After 53 years of delivering a safety tip in between the third and fourth quarter at Notre Dame football games, McCarthy has seen it all too. “I always got a kick out of the crowd noise. In the old press box, I used to stand on what I’ll call the outside balcony with all the television cameras and so forth just to get the crowd noise,” McCarthy said. “I used to look and watch the students and that was always a lot of fun.” McCarthy said his superiors at the police department were the first ones to encourage him to deliver a safety message to fans during a home football game. “1960 … There were two games left in the season when I got the assignment, and so I gave the safety announcement very formal like a state trooper should, I guess,” he said. “I was very nervous about it. It went over pretty decently, but nobody listened to it with the crowd noise and all.” McCarthy said he decided after the 1960 season to try a different approach that might make the crowd listen to his safety message.  “I told [my superiors] … I’m going to start using a quip at the end and see what happens, and the following season – that was in 1961 – in the very first game there was a discussion among the referees for something and the crowd was unusually quiet.  “So I gave the thing. The message gave a pitch on drinking and driving. And I said, ‘Remember, the automobile replaced the horse, but the driver should stay on the wagon.’ And I got a lot of groans and boos and things like that.” The next game McCarthy said he tried to focus on driver attitude and said, “Remember, some drivers are like steel – no good when they lose their temper.” McCarthy said more boos followed this announcement, but over time the crowd began to look forward to his sayings. “About the end of the season I noticed a kind of quieting down because everybody’s waiting to see how corny the quip line was going to be. And I just started it off from there; got to be fairly popular at the games,” McCarthy said.  McCarthy said he now gathers ideas and listens for plays on words during the offseason. As games resume, he organizes them into quips that vary from season to season, although some lines do get repeated. “Last season … there was an awful lot of construction around the South Bend area and we focused a little bit on that for a couple games,” McCarthy said. “Generally, I have one on the site in case of rainfall … I have one for snow too, but we haven’t had snowfall for a long, long, long time … This is my 54th year of doing it, so I have run into repeats from time to time.” McCarthy said he carefully prepares to deliver the quips because he fears making a mistake in front of a crowd of 80,000. “I do get nervous, I’m always nervous,” he said. “I have three-by-five cards and I just write the whole message I’m going to give on the three-by-five card. It’s everything, you know, I even write my name on it so I don’t mess up. You never know what’s going to happen.” The students not only support his puns but also maintain the energy of the stadium as a whole, McCarthy said. “They’re the ones that kind of keep the excitement of the game going, I think, students,” he said. “In my opinion they’re No. 1 every season. They really do a good job for Notre Dame in cheering the team.” McCarthy said he used to direct traffic with the police during home football weekends in addition to speaking during the games. He said he retired from the police department in 1979 and served two terms as Porter County sheriff. “[Now] I’m just kind of retired, and the Notre Dame thing is kind of a hobby,” McCarthy said. “I sure enjoyed my career with the state police, and it makes me feel a little bit a part of it again.” When asked how long he wants to continue delivering safety messages, McCarthy said he has plans for the long run. “I wish forever! Because I love it,” McCarthy said. “It’s a lot of fun, I’ll tell you.” Contact Lesley Stevenson at lsteven1@nd.edulast_img read more

University to host immigration conference

first_imgNotre Dame’s Institute for Latino Studies (ILS) will host “The Church and Immigration” conference next week in McKenna Hall Conference Center, which will focus on the role of the Catholic Church in immigration reform.  Keri O’Mara | The Observer Rev. Daniel G. Groody, C.S.C, associate professor of theology and director of the Immigration Initiative at the ILS, said the conference aims to promote the increasing importance of immigration reform, highlight the ethical issues involved and make connections to the gospel of Jesus Christ.“235,000,000 people are migrating around the world today, and in the United States alone 10 to 12 million of those are undocumented,” Groody said. “If Notre Dame as a Catholic university had nothing to say about this, how would it be credible as a university or a Catholic institution?”The conference will explore what roles the Catholic Church can play in redefining immigration policies and practices, Groody said.“Part of what has made America the great country that it is are the immigrants who have helped make it what it is today,” Groody said. “The focus of this conference is on what the Church has done, is doing and can better do in response to this challenging and important issue.”The ILS will host various speakers, including several bishops and University President Fr. John Jenkins, and will hold workshops such as “Human Trafficking” and “Immigrant Voters and the Changing American Electorate.”Groody said the United States can do more to aid immigration reform.“People migrate because of economic need, the violation of human rights, weak juridical structures, environmental disasters and many other reasons,” he said. “While the United States cannot accept every migrant in need, there is much more it can do.”Groody said the conference is born of out of principles of Catholic Social Teaching, which are based directly with the dignity of the human person.“However one identifies oneself in liberal or conservative terms, the heart of Catholic Social Teaching deals with justice in the world and building a peaceful society,” Groody said. “Catholic universities should have a role in that process. Notre Dame is involved in this issue because this is both a national and global issue of significant importance.”Colleen Cross, project coordinator of the conference, said the initiative critically engages the issue of immigration in the United States.“Building on Notre Dame’s long-standing commitment to a faith that does justice, as well as the significance of immigration in Latino communities, the Immigration Initiative seeks to highlight the Church’s commitment to immigrants and immigration reform in the United States,” she said.The conference will run from March 2 through 5.Tags: Church and Immigration, Immigration, immigration reform, reformlast_img read more

Student body presidential candidates: Neil Joseph and Noemi Ventilla

first_imgWho are they: Neil Joseph, the presidential candidate, is a sophomore from Columbus, Ohio, living in Stanford Hall. He studies political science and economics with a minor in Middle Eastern studies. Currently, Joseph serves as treasurer of the sophomore class and sits on the financial management board, which oversees spending for all campus clubs and student organizations.Noemi Ventilla hails from New York City and resides in Pasquerilla East Hall. The sophomore majors in political science and peace studies and serves as the current sophomore class president.Michael Yu I The Observer First priority: Continuing conversations with students, administrators and faculty. “If we were elected, from Wednesday until April 1 we would continue to meet with students directly because we realize that’s the best way to get good ideas and see what students want and need from student government,” Joseph said. Top priority: Joesph/Ventilla said their biggest overall goal would be ensuring that students have a say in big University  decisions in the future. They hope to establish communciation lines that will last beyond a single year and include more student voices in conversations about topics from Campus Crossroads to the P.E. program. Best idea: As sophomores, Joseph and Ventilla said they would leverage the two years they have left on campus to leave a long-term impact. Ventilla said she believes past administrations would have benefitted from the chance to serve two terms or at least remain on campus after the first term to accomplish long-term goals. After the 2015-16 term, they said they would consider either running for re-election or providing consultation to the next administration. Worst idea: When asked about plans for big issues facing campus such as sexual assault or diversity and inclusion, Joseph/Ventilla repeatedly brought up the new P.E. program as an opportunity to address these concerns in a classroom setting. While it’s true that the new structure of P.E. provides an opporunity to broaden the scope of required sexual assault prevention education for students, that alone cannot suffice as a plan to deal with the broader question of how to prevent and respond to incidents on campus.Most feasible: Joseph/Ventilla’s suggestions for improving the quad markets that began this year are specific and relatively simple. They would like to give student vendors a chance to sell items alongside the South Bend representatives, and their suggestion to use the markets as an opportunity for networking and engagement with South Bend businesses seems like a good step toward improving relations between Notre Dame and the community beyond.Least feasible: The pair admitted they “have heard from the administration that it’s not feasible” to change the dining hall setup, and yet they emphasized it as a major part of their platform. Adding take-out boxes to carry out dining hall food would be detrimental to the communal meal-sharing experience that is a hallmark of life on campus. Furthermore, the suggestion that leftover meal swipes be transformed into flex points seems highly unlikely. Notable quote: “Although we both come from a programming background, we have both been on the administrative and policy side of things too. That really informed our decision to run, because as much as we love the programming side, the changes we wanted to see and do were only possible on the policy side.” — VentillaFun facts: Joseph has visited the world’s tallest building, the Burj Khalifa in Dubai. Ventilla was born in Hungary before she moved to New York City as a child. Bottom line: Joseph and Ventilla have worked closely together on two class councils, and they make a very charismatic and compelling team. However, their proposals seem largely shortsighted and fail to take into account the bigger cultural and social issues that  students have come to expect action on. They have a keen sense of the potential for change on campus in the coming year but do not seem to have fully developed their big picture plans.last_img read more

Saint Mary’s and Notre Dame continue to respond to ‘The Hunting Ground’

first_imgTags: Green Dot Program, Kirby Dick, sexual assault, The Hunting Ground After screening “The Hunting Ground,” a documentary that highlights sexual assault on college campuses across the country, at both Notre Dame and Saint Mary’s last spring, conversations about sexual assault have continued and sparked action.Kirby Dick, director of the documentary, said he has been impressed with the way both schools have responded to the film.Lucy Du “I have been very impressed with the way Saint Mary’s and President [Carol Ann] Mooney have had multiple screens of the film and invited the film’s subjects, Annie Clark and Andrea Pino, to speak at the school,” Dick said.“We made this film not only to promote national awareness, but to give individual schools a tool to help undertake reform, and Saint Mary’s has courageously utilized the film to help initiate the reform process,” he said. “I also applaud Notre Dame’s choice to screen the film on multiple occasions, and to not react defensively, as so many schools around the country have in the past.”Dick said students are the key to keeping this conversation alive and eventually ending sexual assault on campus, but administrators must also take an active role.“More than any film, any committee, any report, student survivors and activists are the key to a school successfully confronting this issue,” Dick said.  “It may not be the most comfortable thing to do, but if presidents, deans and boards of directors meet regularly with and listen to the experiences, concerns and recommendations of survivors and activists, they will come away with a much deeper understanding of the school’s problems and potential solutions.“I know President Mooney has done this and I am hopeful that Father Jenkins, if he hasn’t already, will avail himself of this uniquely important opportunity.”Dick said the choice to include Saint Mary’s and Notre Dame in the documentary came after investigating hundreds of stories of sexual assault on campuses across the country over a nearly two-year period.“Nearly everyone was so powerful that it alone could have been the basis for a feature length documentary,” Dick said. “Rachel’s story, about a young woman who was deeply involved in the rich religious tradition of Notre Dame and Saint Mary’s, is profoundly heartbreaking and was included because it raises important questions about what happens when an institution does not live up to the values it espouses.“Lizzy Seeberg’s story, about her assault and subsequent suicide, was included because it conveys not only how traumatic an assault can be, but how the wrong response from an institution can impact a survivor even more than the assault itself. Her story shows how, in many cases, these are truly life and death issues.”Saint Mary’s director of media relations Gwen O’Brien said the documentary struck a chord with students and the College has responded.In addition to receiving the Notre Dame crime alerts, Saint Mary’s students have been invited to join Mooney’s Presidential Task Force.“The sexual assault of college women and men is an injustice, and institutions must take great care to not further injure the survivor,” O’Brien said. “The President looks forward to what the Task Force brings forth as ideas for change.”O’Brien said the Presidential Task Force, made up of students, faculty and staff, will examine the issue of sexual assault and look for potential problems with how the College responds to reports and survivor needs. By May, a report will be issued of their findings and action items.Collective voices create change, she said.“Dialogue has always been an important aspect of a Saint Mary’s education and listening to each other can only bring clarity,” O’Brien said. “President Mooney’s administration, the Belles Against Violence Office (BAVO) [and] other offices on campus work hard every day to support students who have experienced sexual assault move through the process of reporting and healing.”The most noticeable change on Saint Mary’s campus so far are the stickers on mirrors throughout campus aimed at simplifying the process of who to turn to if a student survives a sexual assault, she said.The gender and women’s studies department (GWS) is hosting Andrea Pino and Annie Clark, who were featured in “The Hunting Ground.” Clark and Pino will be speaking at Saint Mary’s tonight at 7 p.m. in Carroll Auditorium. Stacy Davis, chair of the GWS department, said after “The Hunting Ground” screening in April, students increased their efforts to assist survivors of sexual assault and decrease the number of assaults. It’s important for students interested in activism around the issue of sexual assault to attend the talk tonight, she said.“Because Andrea Pino and Annie Clark were also student activists, our students can learn from their stories and receive added inspiration for their own work,” Davis said. “Students will hear about how their peers at other schools have successfully used Title IX complaints to improve campus climate and make the judicial process more equitable.”Davis said Pino and Clark will speak about “Everyday Activism,” a term they have coined in establishing their non-profit organization End Rape on Campus.“‘Everyday Activism’ encourages people to do the seemingly small things that can facilitate a survivor’s recovery, such as being there to listen or taking notes for someone who needs to be away from their class on a particular day,” Davis said. “It also includes working to improve campus climate and culture through engagement with organizations such as Belles Against Violence and participation in the Green Dot program.”Editor’s Note: Associate Saint Mary’s Editor Alex Winegar contributed to this report.last_img read more

Saint Mary’s faculty showcase personal art

first_imgMonica Villagomez Mendez Last night’s opening reception for the Saint Mary’s faculty art exhibition proved art is at the heart of the College’s mission to engage the community in distinct learning experiences. The exhibition showcased photographs, sculptures, textiles and ceramics by Saint Mary’s faculty.Gallery director and assistant art professor Ian Weaver said he hopes viewers appreciate the various research pursuits incorporated in this showcase, which will remain open for six weeks in Moreau Galleries.“Even though we teach in a particular area, we have divergent and multivalent interests which make their way into our work,” Weaver said. “This is an important example for students to see: how diverse an artistic life can be.”The exhibition features a range of content, from a series of photographs documenting a character’s struggle with anxiety to textile pieces depicting how the environment transforms over time to sculptures linking all humans back to a common foundation. Weaver said students should take advantage of this opportunity to view their professor’ work.“I believe it is important that the students have real-world examples of artists who make work,” Weaver said. “It is also important for them to see that the concepts we speak about in class aren’t just abstract, but are realized in the objects and images that faculty produces.”Sophomore Mia Kincaid said attending the reception showed her the importance of supporting an artist’s journey from beginning to end.“I’ve seen so many professors’ work in progress, so to see it now as part of a total piece is even more impressive,” Kincaid said. “The finished product is really cool. Seeing this is almost like seeing a lot of problems that have been solved in some creative way.”Kincaid said she understands the courage it takes to display one’s work, due to the fact that her art major requires her to submit a portfolio review each semester.“That’s kind of a harrowing experience because you’re putting yourself out there,” Kincaid said. “Seeing your professors do the same is knowing that they are being as conscious as you are in your art. It’s like they had the same sort of feelings as you do.”According to Kincaid, even those who do not intend to major in art should visit the exhibition, for they can gain a better appreciation for different forms of artistic expression.“Creative thinking is needed for any kind of major,” Kincaid said. “I think art in general is a big part of the community here.”Junior Amy Harmon said she enjoyed watching her professors be the center of attention for once, since they normally focus on helping the class.“It’s kind of like seeing masters in action because they spend all their time improving their students, but we don’t usually get to see them just working for themselves,” Harmon said. “It’s cool to see stuff that they’re proud of. It’s good to see them in action.”Junior Brigid Feasel said she recognizes art as a valuable form of self-expression, so she especially appreciates that this exhibition grants her the chance to see work from professionals.“It’s one thing to hear them tell us about art, but it’s another to actually be shown what their ideas are,” Feasel said. “There are so many different ways to express yourself. Art is interdisciplinary.”Students should embrace art’s ability to transform them as they encounter it in daily tasks, such as visiting this exhibition, according to Weaver.“In art, we have emotion, intellect, fear, awe, humor and many other forms of expression,” Weaver said. “In our contemporary world, where reflection and space and consideration of what is communicated isn’t always a priority for some, art is even more important. That is something we don’t ever want to lose.”Tags: faculty art exhibition, Moreau Gallerieslast_img read more

Lenten program ministers to Spanish-speaking community

first_imgTo better serve Notre Dame’s Spanish-speaking community, Campus Ministry created “Caminando Con La Madre Del Amor,” a Spanish-language reflection to be held every Wednesday night in the Coleman–Morse chapel during Lent.According to Campus Ministry’s website, the service, which translates to “walking with the mother of love,” seeks to lead students in meditation on the “Our Lady of Sorrows” rosary mysteries. Rebecca Ruvalcaba, the assistant director of multicultural ministry, said the program aims to provide Spanish-speaking students with more opportunities for rosary devotion and grew out of Campus Ministry’s usual Wednesday night Spanish rosary.“Each service focuses specifically on one of seven ‘Our Lady of Sorrows’ mysteries,” Ruvalcaba said. “The mysteries explore how Mary, the mother of God, shared in Christ’s suffering.”The hour-long program opens with a hymn, followed by a scripture reading, rosary meditation and sermon, Ruvalcaba said. Each sermon is delivered by an invited guest and offers thoughts about the evening’s meditation.“[The service] looks towards Mary’s heart and her relationship with her son and how she walked as that Mother caring for him at different moments,” Ruvalcaba said.Senior Melissa GutierrezLopez said the service guides students in reflecting on Mary and how, as the mother of God, she watched her son’s crucifixion. She views the devotions as a means for students to “reflect and have a space with God,” she said.“It’s a nice way to create fellowship through reflection and through spirituality,” GutierrezLopez said.The theme of the devotion — finding hope in suffering — is particularly appropriate for Lent, she said.“It’s about how we can open ourselves up to being vulnerable and talking about our own suffering,” GutierrezLopez said.The sermon is followed by a period of quiet reflection, Ruvalcaba said, and priests are also available for reconciliation during this time. She said the congregation then breaks into small groups to discuss the meditation.GutierrezLopez said she values the small group time because it gives students a space to be vulnerable.“It’s just a nice way to open up and allow yourself to feel,” GutierrezLopez said.Ruvalcaba said the patient manner in which Mary endured her hardships makes her a fitting role model for Lent.“At different moments in [Mary’s life] there were moments of sorrow,” Ruvalcaba said. “That being said, she always had a certain dignity, a way of taking it in and reflecting on it.”Ruvalcaba said she hopes the service will help students come to terms with their own struggles.“More than anything I hope that [students] gain an openness to Mary’s heart and a way of reflecting on how to deal with sorrow,” she said. “We’re all called to have different struggles as students on campus, [and] to be life not just for ourselves but for other people. I think that’s really what Lent is all about.”Tags: Caminando Con La Madre Del Amor, Campus Ministry, Lent, Spanish servicelast_img read more

Seniors prepare to enter religious life

first_imgSenior Tyler Duffy, an aerospace engineering major, said he hadn’t given much thought to the priesthood before his junior year.Now, he plans to enter Moreau Seminary as a postulant in the fall.Duffy said he became interested in religious life when he began diving deeper into his faith.“I’m a firm believer that as you start praying more, God reveals your vocation for you,” he said. “I’m an engineering student — I never really thought I’d be going down this path, but here I am.”When Duffy first considered entering the seminary, he reached out to trusted friends and local religious figures for advice.“It was a long discernment process,” he said.Duffy said attending Notre Dame played a significant role in his decision to join the Congregation of the Holy Cross.“[The Congregation of the] Holy Cross has really formed me spiritually,” he said. “I’ve really grown in my faith during my time here.”Senior Matthew Gambetta will also be entering Moreau Seminary this fall.Gambetta said he came to Notre Dame already considering the priesthood and hopes seminary life will help him continue the discernment process.“It’s always been one of those things in the back of my mind,” he said. “If priesthood is my true vocation, I want to dedicate as much of my life as possible constructing that vocation.”The lifestyle of the Holy Cross priests resonated with Gambetta and led him to join the religious order.“The initial reason I picked Holy Cross was because of the men who serve in the order,” he said.“They’re young men who are truly passionate about their faith, but at the same time they’re ordinary guys.”Gambetta said he also identified strongly with the Holy Cross mission.“The other thing I appreciate about [the Congregation of the] Holy Cross is the educational mission,” he said. “[Blessed Basil Moreau] was very conscious of providing catechesis to ordinary folk in the French countryside and it’s a mission that still carries a great deal of weight today.”Gambetta said those interested in seminary life must undergo an extensive application process.“It’s the seminary itself that extends the application to you,” he said. “Usually they won’t offer it to you until you’ve done your informal visit and gotten to familiarize yourself with the community.”Fr. Neil Wack, director of vocations for the US province of the Congregation of Holy Cross and resident of Moreau Seminary, said the intent of the application process is to encourage individuals to explore their faith journey.The application includes several short-answer questions as well as the opportunity for applicants to write their “spiritual biography,” Wack said.“We give them five or six very broad questions to just go back over their life and figure out where God has been in their life,” he said.Applicants must also complete a series of interviews with Holy Cross priests and lay people, Wack said.The interviews help ensure prospective members are a good fit for life at the seminary, Gambetta said.“The [application] process is a very rigorous vetting process,” he said. “They want to be absolutely sure that this is an individual who cares about the Holy Cross community and the Holy Cross mission.”Gambetta said he anticipates his first year as a postulant will be “a bit of a change.”“I’ll still be taking classes here, but beyond that, my entire life will be focusing around time at the seminary as well as ministry placements,” he said.During their first year at the seminary, Wack said, postulants typically study philosophy in pursuit of their Master of Divinity degree and begin local volunteer work.“They’re starting to get involved in ministry,” he said.Seminarians are often placed in local Catholic communities, such as in Campus Ministry or nearby parishes.Wack said he advises those considering the priesthood to be active in their faith.“Pray every day, go to Mass,” he said. “Kinda dip your toe in the water as far as ministry goes. Make sure you have a spiritual director, someone you can talk with about discernment.”Duffy said he encourages others to be open about the discernment process with friends and family.“Talk about it with as many people as you can,” he said.He added that for those who feel called to religious life, pursuing the vocation wholeheartedly is key.“The most comforting thing for me was knowing that God has our ultimate happiness in mind, and he’s planted that in our vocation,” Duffy said.Tags: 2018 Commencement, Commencement 2018, Commencement Issue 2018, Holy Cross, Moreau Seminary, religious lifelast_img read more

Garth Brooks to perform at Notre Dame Stadium

first_imgIn its nearly 88-year history, Notre Dame Stadium has never hosted a music concert. That is about to change.In a news conference Monday morning, country musician Garth Brooks announced he will be the first artist to perform a full concert at the stadium.“Notre Dame Stadium has seen so many iconic moments,” Brooks said in a University press release. “I look forward to bringing a new kind of crazy to the party.”According to the release, former Notre Dame football coach Lou Holtz and University representatives also attended the press conference.“Right from the outset, I just felt that Garth represents Notre Dame’s values,” executive vice president John Affleck-Graves said in the release. “And he is the perfect choice as the first artist to perform in concert in the stadium that Rockne built. This promises to be one of the biggest events in Notre Dame history.”Brooks is currently the Country Music Association entertainer of the year, and which he has won six times — more than any other artist, according to the press release. The release also said the RIAA certified the 56-year-old musician as the No. 1-selling studio artist in U.S. history, and he has been inducted into several halls of fame, including the Musicians Hall of Fame.“Tradition and memories are built in that stadium,” vice president for campus safety and event management at Notre Dame Mike Seamon said in the release. “It’s an iconic place. This is an important moment, and once we decided we were going to have a concert, Garth just jumped into our minds right away. And we knew that he had to be the one. That was it.”Affleck-Graves and Seamon said in an email to students that this event fulfills a goal of the recently-completed Campus Crossroads project, which is to have “the ability to host other events for the campus and broader communities.” They cited the upcoming Chicago Blackhawks and Boston Bruins game to be held on Jan. 1, 2019, as another example of the increased hosting abilities of Notre Dame Stadium in the email.The date of the concert — which will be a stand-alone event — has yet to be announced.“It’s never been done before, and it’s our understanding that Garth loves to do things that haven’t been done before,” the University’s associate vice president for event management, Lee Sicinski, said in the release. “To bring a historic event like a Garth Brooks concert to the stadium, it just gives you goosebumps.”Tags: Campus Crossroads, Campus Crossroads Project, Garth Brooks, Notre Dame Stadiumlast_img read more