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

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