Professor visits refugees abroad

first_imgIn the Bible, Moses is given a vision of the Promised Land atop Mount Nebo. But as Fr. Daniel Groody stood atop the same ridge in Jordan, he saw the antithesis of that divine vision. “We looked to the south and saw issues of trafficking. We looked southeast into Iran and Iraq and saw persecution of religious minorities. We looked north into Lebanon and saw the situation of undocumented refugees,” he said. “We looked further north into Turkey and saw people fleeing violence there. We looked all around Jordan and saw refugee camps and unaccompanied minors fleeing Syria without parents.” As a member of a seven-person delegation sent by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Migration and Refugee Services committee, Groody traveled to Jordan, Lebanon, Egypt and Turkey last week to get a firsthand perspective on the situation of Syrian refugees fleeing the country’s ongoing civil war. “It was no longer a CNN report,” Groody, a Notre Dame theology professor, said. “There were actually people right there in front of me, who I could touch, see, feel and hear.” To gain a comprehensive understanding of the plight of Syrian refugees, Groody said the delegation met with government officials, ambassadors, Vatican officials, church leaders, ministers of foreign affairs and several faith-based organizations, including the Red Crescent, Caritas and Catholic Relief Services. “It’s a major humanitarian crisis going on,” Groody said. “We looked at coalitions of governments and organizations trying to have concerted responses to the situation … and tried to get their takes on what’s happening and how we can advocate for issues in the U.S.” But more important than these diplomatic meetings, Groody said, were the conversations with the refugees themselves in official camps in Jordan and unofficial sites in Lebanon. “The stories of these people meant the most in all those conversations. There, the statistics became human,” he said. “The people you saw in front of you were facing a level of vulnerability I’d never seen before. They had such a thin line of protection and, in some sense, no protection at all.” With more than 100,000 registered Syrian refugees each in Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey and an estimated 150,000 Syrians living in Egypt, the magnitude of Syria’s violent internal conflict now extends throughout much of the Middle East, Groody said. In all, more than 359,000 Syrians fleeing the war have registered in four neighboring states, including Iraq, since conflict broke out between the Syrian government and opposition groups in the spring of 2011, according to an Oct. 23 report from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). The majority of refugees living in camps are women and children, Groody said, many of whom lost one or more family members during the conflict. “In one camp, we sat down with one extended family that included three women who married three brothers, all of whom were killed in the war,” Groody said. “Their fourth brother had been jailed the day before, and the mother found out her grandson was just killed.” Groody said unaccompanied refugee minors and young women, especially widows, face additional hardships in the camps. “This was just a sea of children, of women who, in that culture, have very few opportunities and are unable to work at all,” he said. “Now they’re undocumented refugees, not simply migrants, facing a very unknown future.” The “hardest part” for Groody is not knowing when the conflict in Syria will end because the longer it continues, the longer the refugees he met will be living in a state of limbo with no stability in any aspect of their lives. “There were some common threads in our conversations with refugees,” he said. “They told us, ‘We are not safe. We have no home to go back to. We want to return to our country. The winter is coming. We have no food. And we are human beings.’” Groody said the Catholic Church has been working “on the front lines” to provide immediate food and medical relief for refugees, assist with registration of refugees in United Nations records and create schools. These initiatives benefit any refugee, regardless of their religious affiliation. “[The Church] isn’t asking questions. If anyone is in need, if anyone is hurting, if anyone is suffering or if anyone is in pain, the Church is there for you because you’re a human being. You’re a child of God and you’re loved by God,” Groody said. In the case of a refugee camp playground in Jordan, Groody said the Church created a space for children to “develop some sort of identity” in the midst of their emotionally and physically taxing displacement. “The Church serves as a safe place to reestablish communities and connections and help people begin to develop their education and knowledge,” he said. “But I think part of the message is that the Church is … engaged in this, but most of us don’t have the awareness that this is going on, and we often don’t know what to do. We can’t do everything but we can do something.” Additionally, Groody said the delegation was “impressed” by the high level of involvement of neighboring state governments. “We were impressed by how much the government of Jordan is willing to take on refugees at great costs, how Turkey is not only providing tents but also areas for heating and insulation,” he said. “They’re not just giving out handouts. They’re providing space for refugees to be treated as human beings.” But the common denominator among refugee relief efforts, Groody said, was the emphasis on maintaining self-worth and human dignity “for people whose lives are completely shattered.” Upon returning to the U.S., the USCCB delegation is working to promote awareness of the refugee situation by holding congressional briefings to influence policy, writing about refugees’ stories and possibly creating a film, Groody said. “Listening to those stories, seeing those faces, meeting those people was more than seeing people in poverty. It was seeing people with absolute vulnerability that simply cried out for some kind of solidarity and help,” Groody said. “What’s important for the Notre Dame community to understand is the actual scope of the conflict and its human costs, as well as the desperate plea for humanitarian assistance.” Despite U.S. and USCCB resettlement efforts and the U.S. government contribution of more than $100 million to refugee relief, Groody said more international cooperation is crucial. “We’re left with the sense that there are many ways to be motivated to respond to this. Faith groups are responding, but even that cannot be done without the support of governments,” Groody said. “The needs are so much greater that we need a concerted effort from the international community to bring about some kind of durable solutions for folks in this kind of pain.” Even more than a sense of motivation to act, Groody was left with the images he saw from Mount Nebo. “The question is, have we really crossed the Jordan into a Promised Land where all humans can live in dignity … and develop and grow as God intends? That faith vision is something that still has yet to be realized.”last_img read more

Students chronicle minority experience

first_imgEditor’s note: This is the final installment in a three-part series about the Call to Action movement and the experiences of minority students within the Notre Dame campus community.   For sophomore Demetrius Murphy, the hour-long drive separating his home in Gary, Ind., from Notre Dame’s campus meant much more than some time behind the wheel.   The transition to college was relatively smooth, Murphy said, but the range of questions friends in Keenan Hall and at Notre Dame asked about his African-American identity quickly made him realize most of his peers did not come from diverse backgrounds. Murphy said he found the explaining the customs of African-American communities to his peers to be challenging. “That can be a heavy burden to bear because whenever you say something you have to be very conscious about what you’re going to say,” Murphy said.  “You are representing the whole race with that one comment you’re about to make.” Murphy, a native of Gary, Ind., spent two years at the Indiana Academy, a boarding school on Ball State University’s campus in Muncie, Ind. His encounters there with students of many different backgrounds enabled him to better answer his friends’ questions, Murphy said.  “If I came to Notre Dame straight from Gary, [Ind.], this would have been a completely different experience,” Murphy said. “I don’t know that Notre Dame would’ve been the place for me.”    Singled out Some moments in Murphy’s college career have been stark reminders of racial prejudice, he said. When a friend discovered some of his food was missing and decided to find out who had taken it, Murphy remembered his shock at another student’s response. “When he asked who ate his stuff, I said I didn’t do it,” Murphy said. “Then he asked the kid who actually ate it, and he said, ‘I didn’t do it, I’m not the black kid in the room.’ I looked around thinking there had to be another black kid in the room, he can’t be talking about me because I wouldn’t take anything, I always ask first. “This wasn’t [because I went] in there and took stuff all the time. This was ‘Oh, Demetrius is the only black kid in the room so he has to be the thief.’” Murphy said he responded by telling that student exactly why his accusation was groundless and why he found it offensive to be singled out.   “I also told him that another thing I don’t like is that every time I’m around, the conversation has to be about black people,” Murphy said.  “It’s almost like they practice their black jokes on me to see if they can say them in mixed company, like they save up all the weird questions [about black culture] they’ve ever wanted to ask in life for when I walk into the room – the conversation always becomes racialized when I walk in.” Sophomore Amanda Peña [Editor’s note: Peña is a columnist for The Observer] had also experienced a wider range of diversity in the community around her home in Los Angeles. She had never felt like a minority until arriving on campus for freshman orientation, she said, and then she became very aware that her Mexican heritage made her different. “I got here, and I felt like a minority,” Peña said. “I can’t really describe how that feels, you really just feel like you stick out. From a racial standpoint, [during freshman orientation] you notice when the guys go to sing to the girls, they don’t serenade the minority girls.   “At first I wondered if it was my weight, if it was because I’m brown or if it was because I’m not outgoing enough – you get really self-conscious and try to assess why people view you a certain way and why other people are indifferent [to you] because they don’t know how to interact with you.” While walking to the College HAS Issues presentation with some friends she met during Spring Visitation Weekend who were also minorities, Peña said she was shocked by a passing remark directed her way. “One of my black friends was walking with a white girl, and they came up to us and as I said hi to them, the [white] girl just stared at us,” Peña said.  “Then she just stared at us and in this sarcastic tone looked at us, kind of smiled and said, ‘Oh you guys are minorities, right?’ … My [black] friend sarcastically replied, ‘No we’re Caucasian.’ And she said, ‘Oh, I’m a sophomore and I can say these things.’ “That was my first impression of people [at Notre Dame.]” A new culture, a new conversation Junior Denver Lobo joked with his roommates upon arriving to Notre Dame that his first impression of the campus and freshman orientation was distinctly similar to the world portrayed in “American Pie,” he said. But as the antics of Frosh-O subsided, Lobo said he was excited by the chance to immerse himself in a culture less restrictive than in his home, Kuwait. “Kuwait was a lot more conservative … The real reason for shifting from Kuwait to the freedom of America was the glass ceiling you hit when you’re in a business,” Lobo said.  “You can only go up to a certain point and then you have to be Arab or Kuwaiti to move forward, but [in America] if you’re good you go forward.” Lobo said he loved meeting people at Notre Dame from different cultures and sharing information about his home. “When I meet a person from a different culture, I love to learn more about their culture [and] I love allowing people to ask questions about my own,” Lobo said.  “I love it and completely eat it up. “I know I’m a minority here but there’s not one time I felt that was a downside to me,” Lobo said.  “I always felt it was an upside because people were more interested and inquisitive about my different culture and I’m more than willing to tell them about it.” Though she wanted to engage her peers in conversation, sophomore Secilia Jia said she struggled to find common threads connecting her Chinese home to the lives of her American peers. “I didn’t know what to talk about with the girls in my dorm [during freshman orientation],” Jia said.  “They would start a conversation and when I say I’m from China the conversation just stopped.  They didn’t relate themselves to a country far away, they don’t know much about it or how to continue the conversation.  That’s the biggest problem I faced when I came here, because I didn’t know too much about this country and its different regions and places.” Jia said she found Notre Dame’s Catholic character an added challenge in a new place. “I knew I was going to have a culture shock,” Jia said. “I am an international student from China and I’m not Catholic, I don’t have any religion. It was definitely frustrating at the beginning, but it got better as I learned more about [American] culture.  I feel like I tried to learn more about the culture here, and that [while I] did that [my hall mates] learned about what I did as I grew up too.” Sharing her life with her hall mates and learning more about their lives helped her to begin to settle in at Notre Dame, Jia said. “I tried to watch more TV with them so I would know what their daily lives are like and what they did in their spare time, so we had more talking points and something to share,” Jia said.  “There are more Chinese Festivals that they don’t have, and I will explain to them what a spring festival is and what we eat for that – I feel like it’s a two-way experience.” Lobo said continually engaging in these conversations helps to bring the focus deeper than racial differences. “When you keep a conversation going, it [shows] two levels of diversity,” Lobo said.  “One is the racial, ethnic level and then there is the deeper level of diversity where you’re thinking at different capacities and that’s when I think people could care less about your ethnicity, your color, your race – it’s about the thought process.” Finding a home Peña said she also believes encouraging personal conversation between students will help to institute a change in racial attitudes at Notre Dame. “I would tell my [freshman self] to stand up, to say something, because those things aren’t okay,” Peña said.  “I know that if I talk to someone I can touch them personally, but I don’t know if these people at the top levels can be effective at making changes unless they personally talk to students – changing it at the ground level first is the most important thing.” Empowering minority students from Day One to address discrimination will allow them to alleviate the pressure on themselves to educate their peers about their culture, Peña said. “If we were told the first week of school that race is an issue here, that these are things students feel but we want you to know that you can talk to any person about these things even if it’s not racial discrimination, even if it’s just because someone looked at you a certain way and you wonder, ‘Was it because I’m brown?,’ even if it’s not to get someone in trouble – say something.” If his Keenan Hall peers had spoken on his behalf in uncomfortable situations, Murphy said he would have felt more at home in this community. “It would have completely changed the dynamics of the situation if someone had come to my defense or even just asked him if that was really how he felt,” Murphy said. As a minority student, Murphy and others face challenges at Notre Dame – from unknowing and unconscious prejudice to  stereotyping. But he still said he is grateful to attend Notre Dame. “I can paint this picture [of Notre Dame] very positively, and not be lying,” Murphy said.  “But I can also tell you it was a struggle and it’s a struggle to go to Notre Dame and be a diverse student.”last_img read more

LGBTQ group chooses name, advisor

first_imgThe student organization formed to address lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning (LGBTQ) student issues will begin the academic year with a new name and an advisor.  Student body president Alex Coccia said several students who were involved with the 4 to 5 Movement, the unofficial AllianceND club and other organizations voted to name the new group “PrismND.” The Office of Student Affairs has since approved the decision.  “The fact that [the name] reflects quite a spectrum and a range of interests and passions and identities, I think is something that people will identify with and appreciate when the group gets off the ground,” Coccia said.  Christine Caron Gebhardt, director of the Gender Relations Center (GRC), said other universities use the name “Prism” for their LGBTQ student organizations. The GRC and student leaders added “ND” to the name of Notre Dame’s organization to make it easier for the University’s students to identify the club as a fixture at Notre Dame. Sophomore Connor Hayes, who helped to launch PrismND, said the name is intended to be all-inclusive, instead of specific to people who identify as LGBTQ.  “I think relating to the Catholic identity of [Notre Dame] and backgrounds of people coming from religious environments, [some] people don’t really want to identify as gay or lesbian, so … we were just going for a name that was very inclusive,” he said. “We wanted this name to be one that can last and kind of become a brand.”  Maureen Doyle will work as the advisor for PrismND in her capacity as assistant director for LGBTQ student concerns. Doyle, who was hired over the summer, previously worked as the general manager of Legends of Notre Dame. She will begin her new job Sept. 2.  “My challenge that I’ll put forward to the group is I’d love to see them think long-term and what kind of a legacy they want to leave behind within this first year, what kind of traditions they want to start,” Doyle said. “They’re setting up the success of the group for the next 20, 30, 40, 50, however many decades. “I really want them to keep the big picture in mind as they go through their first year and to think beyond just what they want to accomplish in the next 12 months, but what they really want to set up for future student leaders within the organization.” Doyle will serve on the advisory council on LGBTQ issues to Vice President for Student Affairs Erin Hoffmann Harding. She will also work with the GRC’s FIRE Starters, who are peer educators that foster dialogue on issues of identity, gender and healthy relationships.  PrismND hopes to receive approval for its bylaws by Activities Night on Sept. 3, Hayes said. Coccia said the organization will then elect its leadership and begin to host regular meetings.  “The first year, especially the first semester, is just getting its feet off the ground, building the relationships that the student leaders need to build with staff members, with administrators, with the organization members,” Coccia said. “And then starting to kind of see what events we can do toward the end of the fall or the spring to really get our name out there and do the service … that we’ve been emphasizing as a particular component of the group.” Gebhardt said she hopes PrismND will build relationships with other student organizations, the GRC, Campus Ministry and additional University departments. “We realize this is about who we are as a community, and [PrismND is] one facet in which students can feel welcomed and loved and supported on this campus and that we will all work together to try to create the community that Notre Dame can be and I hope will be,” Gebhardt said. “We want the student organization … to emerge from the ideas and the interests and the hopes and dreams of the students in collaboration with all of us across campus.”  Hayes said one of his goals in developing PrismND is to create a more visible LGBTQ presence on campus.  “I hope that there’s some educational programming, maybe on a very formal, bring in a speaker point, but also kind of working with parts of the University, like the Gender Relations Center, to come up with educational programming for the student body, like going into dorms,” he said.  PrismND will host social events and will serve as “a focal point for the LGBTQ community on campus to kind of come together, and also to address concerns,” Hayes said.  The organization’s first event will be a picnic Thursday from 5 to 7 p.m. in the Coleman-Morse Center’s lounge and patio.  Sophomore Bryan Ricketts, who also helped to begin PrismND, said he thinks the new student group will foster a smoother relationship between the Office of Student Affairs and LGBTQ students and their allies. “In the past, the relationship has been one of winners and losers,” Ricketts said. “The relationship that we are hoping to create in this organization will be a much more productive one on both ends.” Doyle said the formation of PrismND was “a great move for the University.” “I’ve had the opportunity to interact with some of the students who were instrumental in helping over the summer, and they’re all really excited about it,” she said. “I think they have a big challenge in front of them, but it’s one that they’re definitely ready for and excited about. “ More information about PrismND is available at www3.nd.edu/~prismnd and on the group’s  Facebook and Twitter pages.last_img read more

Judicial council launches voter plan

first_imgThe Judicial Council has developed a campaign designed to better advertise and simplify the voting process for next week’s Student Government primary elections, Junior Kathryn Peruski, vice president of elections said. The Council hopes to use this plan to increase voter turnout, she said.A seven-member Election Committee appointed by the Judicial Council has been working on the “Vote Today” campaign since last spring, which incorporates new strategies for reaching student voters and encouraging them to vote, Masi said.“If there’s not enough publicity, people won’t know about the election,” Peruski said.Masi, President of Judicial Council, said “Vote Today” focuses on advertising elections through redesigned posters, banners in LaFortune Student Center and both dining halls and communication through email, Twitter and Facebook.“The big push is ‘Vote Today’ because we are actually encouraging people to turnout on Election Day,” Peruski said.Judicial Council is also working with the Office of Information Technology to advertise the elections on Sakai homepages and on screen backgrounds of University computers, Masi said.“We’ve been trying to rebrand Judicial Council,” he said. “It’s been about increasing [student] awareness of elections.”Peruski said for the first time, in addition to the digital ballot, a physical voting booth would also be in LaFortune on Election Day, Wednesday, Feb. 5.The final element of the “Vote Today” campaign includes direct outreach to student organizations and hall councils to communicate election details, Masi said.Peruski said students should appreciate the impact of their votes in this election.“It’s important for students to vote because [the elected students] do represent you for an entire calendar year,” Peruski said.Senior Michael Masi said Judicial Council has long been working to increase the disappointing turnout from undergraduate students in the elections it oversees.“Voter turnout practically hovers around 50 percent, which we find unacceptable for the Notre Dame undergraduate student body,” Masi said. “It’s never as strong as we would like. We would like upwards of 70 or 80 percent.”STEPH WULZ | The Observer Masi thinks the busy schedules of Notre Dame undergraduate students may account for the low turnout, and that publicity of elections and explanation of differences between candidates can help combat this issue.“Part of our problem is we have a campus full of leaders, and they’re very committed in what they’re doing, and they don’t look beyond their organizations,” he said. “We are very busy students and we don’t have time to know what’s going on.”Masi said correcting this trend of low turnout would put student leaders in a stronger position when Student Government meets with University leaders.“This is the students’ chance to choose a representative for them. Student Government leaders meet with administrators on a daily basis, and if we have less than 40 percent of students voters, it sends a weaker message,” Masi said. “Higher turnout allows greater engagement and gives greater authority to get things done. This is the opportunity for students to express their interests in what they care about on a greater scale.”Masi and Peruski said attending the election debates Monday at 8 p.m. in the basement of LaFortune offers the best way to learn about this year’s candidates for Student Government. Masi also said that better coordination with Student Government helps increase student awareness of its elections.“It’s a group effort. Judicial Council needs to work with Student Government and candidates to make sure the students know what’s going on. If all of us work together, we can increase engagement,” he said.Statistics on student voting have been available to Judicial Council only for the past three elections, since the Council took over the physical ballot recording process from OIT and created a Google form for digital voting, Masi said. .He said this new format allows for easier distribution of the digital link to the ballots, both on the Judicial Council website and through email, and allows the Council to oversee the process and results.“That way the data is all in-house … if there are allegations of election misconduct, we can look at the data,” Masi said. “It seems to work really well and candidates seem to like it.”Masi said that although he does not have concrete statistics, he believes seniors vote at lower levels than any other class. Masi said he believes it is either because they think they cannot vote or because they do not care, but he encourages them to take the time to vote.“Seniors, it’s like leaving a legacy,” he said. “If you care about the future of Notre Dame, it’s important to vote.”Beyond a general apathy with Student Government, Peruski said dwindling membership on the Judicial Council Listserv makes it hard to distribute the voting link during the election, which only lasts from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Election Day.Primary elections for Student Government representatives will take place on Wednesday, Feb. 5. If no candidate receives a majority of votes, a run-off election between the two candidates who receive the highest numbers of votes will occur Monday, Feb. 10.Tags: Judicial Council, Student government elections, Student Governmet, Vote Todaylast_img read more

Poet Valerie Mejer to visit campus for poetry reading

first_imgTags: creative writing program, department of english, mexican poet and painter, reading at bookstore, valerie mejer Mexican-born poet and painter Valerie Mejer will make an appearance on campus Friday to read from her works.The Notre Dame creative writing program and Department of English will sponsor the event.Mejer’s works “explore containment and fragility, layering loss and possibility over a once-familiar landscape,” according to the creative writing program’s website.Her works include poetry collections “Rain of the Future” (2013), “de la ola, el atajo” (2009), “Geografías de Niebla” (2008), “Esta Novela Azul” (2004), and “Ante el Ojo de Cíclope” (1999), as well as the novel “De Elefante a Elefante” (1997).Her artwork has appeared in Raúl Zurita’s “Los Boteros de la Noche” (2010), Forrest Gander’s “Ligaduras/Ligatures” (2012), and Antonio Prete’s “Menhir” (2007) and “L’imperfection de la Lune” (2007).Mejer said she chooses her topics of poetry or art “the same way you choose what is going to happen the next hour or day. A mix between intuition and destiny. A lot comes from the past, voices, pains. Like Charles Wright said, ‘All forms of landscape are autobiographical.’”Joyelle McSweeney, director of the creative writing program and associate professor of English, said Mejer’s work is contemporary, graceful, forceful and memorable.“As a Mexican poet and painter, she carries the traditions of both the Latin American surrealism associated with Frida Kahlo and the intimate, personal lyric of American poetry,” McSweeney said. “Hers is a poetry for every member of the Notre Dame and South Bend community.”McSweeney also said she believes Mejer’s dual roles of painter and poet complement each other.“Her ‘painter’s eye’ shows in her poetry, in that her poems are full of images at once dreamlike and forceful,” McSweeney said. “At the same time, her poetry is breathtaking for the fluid way each image gives way to the next. A poem elapses in time, while a painting is fixed in time.”Mejer’s visit comes in the wake of the publication of her first English-language translation of “Rain of the Future.” The work was published by independent press Action Books, which is run by McSweeney and fellow associate professor of English Johannes Göransson.“[The translation is] a tribute to Mejer’s brilliance, but it is also the product of many hands working together,” including American poets CD Wright, Forrest Gander, Sarah Denaci and Alexandra Zelman-Doring, McSweeney said. In addition, the collection includes a preface from Argentine poet Raul Zurita.“[The creative writing program hopes] students and faculty in many disciplines — creative writing, literature, visual arts, students of Spanish-language literature and culture, students of global affairs — will benefit from the chance to interact with this exquisitely talented poet and painter,” McSweeney said.McSweeney said she hopes Mejer’s work will show Notre Dame students the importance of the arts in international exchange.The event is open to the public and will take place at 7:30 p.m. Friday in the Hammes Bookstore. A question-and-answer session will follow Mejer’s reading.last_img read more

Service honors 9/11 victims and families

first_imgRosie LoVoi | The Observer American flags adorn South Quad as student, faculty and community members gather for a candle-lit prayer service and Grotto procession led by Fr. Malloy, Notre Dame’s president during 9/11.After Malloy welcomed attendees to the service, a Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) color guard presented the American flag, before members of the Notre Dame Marching Band played the “Star-Spangled Banner” and “Taps.” The music was followed by a moment of silence for the victims. Malloy then offered a prayer for the deceased, their family members and first responders. He also offered thanksgiving for the worldwide outpouring of support following the attacks. He prayed that no such calamity ever comes to pass again.“I was in my office in the Main Buidling when the first plane hit and my assistant alerted me to that reality,” Malloy said. “And then, like most Americans and people all over the world, we watched everything as it unfolded, almost live. What I remember the most was the sense of uncertainty. ‘When would this all end?’ and ‘Were all of us at risk?’”Eventually, Malloy said, administrators reached a decision to have a Mass, as “we always do during crisis or celebration.” The Mass took place at the same place beneath the flagpole on South Quad. A sign of the tension following the attacks, ambulances were summoned to “prepare for whatever might happen,” Malloy said.The Mass itself, Malloy said, was a show of the community’s solidarity.“The Muslim Student Association was off to the side because we wanted them to know they were part of our community and they were welcome here,” Malloy said.Before the Mass, Malloy said he remembered walking around the lakes contemplating what he could say that would be “appropriate for this horrifying occasion.” He thought of the statue of Jesus in front of the Dome and its open arms.“When the time came for the Lord’s Prayer, instead of holding hands, the ten thousand people who were there yoked arms like we do at the alma mater,” Malloy said. “It provided a great sense of solidarity, and comfort, and mutual support.”At the Mass’s conclusion, there was a feeling that no one wanted to leave, Malloy said.“We felt when we were together we were stronger than we were simply speculating somewhere apart,” he said.Malloy described the scene at the first home football game — against Michigan State — following the catastrophe. He offered a prayer on national television and American flags were distributed. At halftime, the Notre Dame and Michigan State marching bands came together and played “Amazing Grace.”Malloy travelled to New York as a guest of the police and fire departments to survey the damage. He spent two days at Ground Zero watching first responders “put their lives at risk” trying to recover bodies. He also brought an ambulance from the South Bend area to give to St. Vincent’s Hospital in New York, which had lost an ambulance and attendants in the attacks.Ten years after the attack, another Mass was held between the library and the stadium.“We would have a procession from the Mass to the Grotto. I expected maybe 20 or 30 or people would go after the long period of time we had spent together,” Malloy said. “The procession lasted for a couple of hours as people brought their candles to the Grotto. And so we tonight do the same thing; a beautiful expression of faith, hope and of support. It’s one of the ways that your generation can relate to that generation that suffered these horrible events.”Malloy said that Sept. 11, 2001 was his most memorable day at the University.“Of all the things I did as president, it was the most memorable day in my time at Notre Dame,” Malloy said.Following the conclusion of Malloy’s reflection, the assembled crowd processed in silence to the Grotto to close out the service.As Malloy stated, most current Notre Dame students are too young to remember the events of that late summer day in 2001. Nevertheless, many students said they attended the memorial service as a way to reflect on the past.“The service is a nice thing on 9/11,” sophomore Bridget Ralph said. “I wanted to remember and reflect in some way.”Junior Keenan White, student government’s director of faith and service, did most of the planning for the event. She said that preserving past traditions was a key priority.“We did a lot of research about what was done in the past,” White said. “A lot of the same things were done and at the last prayer service. So just speaking to priests and various people who’d been there, reading old Observer articles, just to make sure that we were kind of following that same framework just for tradition’s sake.”White, a South Bend native, said there was a particular emphasis on emulating the 10th anniversary service that Malloy described.“My mom and I went for a run past the Grotto and they were having that procession past the Grotto and like Fr. Malloy said it lasted hours,” Malloy said. “It was thousands of people. We backtracked the way they were coming. It went from the Grotto to the library. We tried particularly to emulate that element of it.”White said that Malloy’s presence made the event even more special.“Fr. Malloy had celebrated the first Mass when he was president and the 10th anniversary,” White said. “It was important to have him there. He does that beautiful reflection, especially about going to New York, brining the ambulance. It was really important to me to have Fr. Malloy presiding.”White ended by describing the meaning of putting on such an event.“It’s a big day for our nation to remember in the first place, but we have such a large population of New Jersey, New York, Connecticut kids here at Notre Dame who remember because they have friends and family members whose lives were lost,” she said. “So I think it’s really important that we continue celebrating this even when we no longer have students who can remember it themselves.”Tags: 9/11, Flagpole, Grotto On Monday night, community members gathered on South Quad for a memorial service honoring all of those who died in the 9/11 attacks. The service, held on the 16th anniversary of the terrorist attack, took place under the flagpole and began at the symbolic time of 8:46 p.m., 12 hours after the first plane hit the Twin Towers in New York City in 2001. Former University President Fr. Edward Malloy, who was Notre Dame’s president at the time of the attacks, led the service.“This service will help us remember those who died and their surviving family members,” he said.last_img read more

Sessions help first years find vocations

first_imgThe Saint Mary’s Center for Spirituality is hosting a three-part series for first year students who are interested in gaining a better sense of themselves. ‘Find Your Voice’ invites first year students to a series of three dinners filled with discussion sessions based on the theological concept of vocation. Arlene Montevecchio, the director of the Center for Spirituality, said vocation comes from a higher power. “[It’s] God’s calling about how to live your life,” she said.The Center for Spirituality aims to help students across campus discover their vocation. A program for sophomores, juniors and seniors has already been previously established and is called ‘Real Life’. One’s vocation can be found from utilizing their gifts and talents through their major, and by using their career choice to prominently impact the world, Montevecchio said. She also expressed a hope that, through the realization of vocation, students will continue to use their gifts and talents on campus and in the future. Both programs were created with the intention of students benefiting from purposeful conversations that take place outside of the classroom through small group interactions with peers, faculty and staff members. These interactions within the program allow students to engage in the Catholic intellectual tradition which is defined by where faith and reason meet, Montevecchio said.During the first year at college, students are eager to discover their talents and passions while establishing bonds with peers. Some might be trying to decide what they think they should major in or what career path to take, while others have already known since a young age. Montevecchio said she hopes the Center for Spirituality can help guide students as they make these choices.“First year students will gain a better sense of self — how their own gifts and talents can be used on campus and in the future,” she said. Isabel France, a first year student, said she is very eager to discover how God is working in her life. Not only will her own voice be revealed to her through attending these sessions, but she will be able to hear the voices of other women attending Saint Mary’s.“I think this will open our minds to who we all are, and who we believe God is wanting us to become,” she said.The three sessions will be held on Feb. 4 from 6-7:30 p.m. in Stapleton Lounge, Feb. 18, from 6-7:30 p.m. in Rice Commons and March 3, from 6-7:30 p.m. in Rice Commons. All participants will receive a book and journal to help aid them along their journey. First year students who are interested in experiencing these sessions should contact Arlene Montevecchio before Friday, Jan. 24.Tags: Center for Spirituality, saint mary’s, Vocationlast_img read more

City of Jamestown To Extend COVID-19 State of Emergency

first_imgShare:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window) Stock Image.JAMESTOWN – The City of Jamestown will be extending its State of Emergency for another 30-days starting Saturday at 9 a.m.Mayor Eddie Sundquist made the announcement Friday afternoon.Sundquist says that City Hall remains closed to the public, public garages will remain closed and there will be no downtown parking enforcement through at least May 31.Although, monthly alternate parking regulations are still in effect. Playgrounds and basketball courts also remain closed, officials said.last_img

Photos! Joan Rivers Goes Head-to-Head with Rocky Star Andy Karl

first_img Related Shows View Comments Rocky Andy Karl Show Closed This production ended its run on Aug. 17, 2014 Star Files If there’s one person who could give Rocky Balboa a run for his money in the ring, it’s Joan Rivers! The comedy legend took her grandson Cooper to see the July 11 performance of Rocky at the Winter Garden Theatre, starring Andy Karl, Margo Seibert and Terence Archie. After watching Rocky fight from the heart in the musical adaptation of the hit movie, Rivers and Cooper went backstage to meet the cast and pull a few punches. Directed by Alex Timbers, Rocky features music by Stephen Flaherty, lyrics by Lynn Ahrens and a book by Thomas Meehan and the film’s original writer and star, Sylvester Stallone. Check out these Hot Shots of Rivers going head-to-head with Karl, then catch Rocky on Broadway!last_img read more

This Week’s Picks! Patti LuPone, Piece of My Heart, King Lear & More

first_imgYeah, it’s unpleasantly humid outside, and the apocalyptic thunderstorms sure ain’t helping. But that shouldn’t stop you, the toughest of the tough: The New York theatergoer! Especially when there’s Patti LuPone’s stint at 54 Below, the arrival of a rockin’ new ’60s musical, and a new flying granny at Pippin. It’s all part of this week’s picks! Hail King Lear in Central Park Beginning July 22 at the Delacorte Theater Calling King Lear a terrific family drama is like calling Broadway an entertaining little street, so seeing one of Shakespeare’s major works in the summer air in Central Park? For free? With the amazing John Lithgow in the title role? Who shares the stage with Annette Bening? And Jessica Collins? And Matt Helm? Why are you still reading these rhetorical questions? Get your butt over there! Relive the ’60s at Piece of My Heart Opens July 21 at the Pershing Square Signature Center If you’ve seen Jersey Boys and Beautiful so often you’re combing your hair in a pompadour and making daily trips to the Brill Building, it’s time to check out Piece of My Heart. This bio-musical profiles ace songwriter Bert Berns, who wrote hits for a variety of acts, including the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, and Otis Redding, before dying at age 38. Zak Resnick (Mamma Mia!) stars. Click for tickets! Catch a Pippin Favorite’s Return Beginning July 22 at the Music Box Theatre Replacements lead to healthier knees, tastier sandwiches (have you tried a pesto spread instead of mayo?) and dynamic Broadway experiences. And that’s exactly what’s happening at Pippin, when Priscilla Lopez flies in as feisty granny Berthe. The Tony winner, who played Fastrada in the 1973 production, will perform through August 27. And the icing on the Pippin cake? Original star John Rubinstein has extended his run through August 17. Glory, indeed. Click for tickets! View Comments See Patti LuPone Light the Torch July 24 through August 2 at 54 Below Guys, it’s a Broadway miracle—Patti LuPone is back at 54 Below! In The Lady with the Torch, the Tony-winning legend performs torch songs from the likes of George and Ira Gershwin, Sammy Cahn, Jule Styne, and many more. So bring a handkerchief, as well as a broom and dustpan—your mind will surely be blown to pieces. Click for tickets! Support Youth Rights with B’way’s Best July 21 at the NYU Skirball Center for the Performing Arts Broadway Stands Up for Freedom is a win-win. Why? First, it benefits the New York Civil Liberties Union’s youth programming. Second, you get a concert featuring first-rate talent from the Great White Way, including Lena Hall, Bryce Pinkham, and Justin Guarini. So, this qualifies as an awesome night, especially if any of the performers sing this or this. Click for tickets!last_img read more