In honor of the fact that Atticus and I are returning to his alma mater tomorrow for the Navy game, this 7 quick takes is devoted to Notre Dame.
** 1 **
I just want to throw this out there: I love, Notre Dame, but neither I nor my husband supported their decision to honor the President at commencement. In fact, we were both saddened, especially my husband, who came into the Church while at ND, and has described it as one of the holiest places he has ever been.
That said, we still LOVE Notre Dame. School and football. There are many, many beautiful and holy people who study and work there, and that out weighs in my mind, the lack of prudence shown by it’s foolish president, Fr. Jenkins.
** 2 **
This is the Golden Dome. Atop it is Our Lady, keeping watch over the whole of the campus. It’s a truly beautiful thing to behold.
This is the tabernacle inside the Basilica of the Sacred Heart at Notre Dame. This is the most beautiful Church I have ever been inside (granted, I have not yet been to Rome.) The Church Atticus and I were married in is, in our opinion, the 2nd most beautiful.
This is the Grotto. Here you can see is an area for candles, places to kneel in prayer, and a statue of Our Lady, imaging the apparition at Lourdes. This is a very quiet, very holy place to visit.
** 3 **
And to change gears slightly, in case you’ve never heard (what I think) is the best fight song in all of college football…here you go.
** 4 **
Notre Dame has created what I think is one of the most awesome programs for Catholic schools that has come along in quite some time. This program is the Alliance for Catholic Education (ACE) program. It places volunteer teachers in low-income, high-need Catholic schools in the rural south and a few other locations. During the summers of this program, the teachers live at Notre Dame and work on a Masters’ in Education, which the University pays for. It is a similar idea to Teach for America, but, I think surpasses it, because they are working with Catholic schools, and because the teachers live in intentional communities with other teachers in the program.
I was conditionally accepted into the ACE program when I graduated from college, but chose to enter another one instead, which brought me to Chicago. My feelings on that subject are the subject of a separate and quite long post someday.
Anyhow, check out the ACE program; they are doing some amazing work!
** 5 **
Here is the Band of the Fighting Irish, making their famous ND formation on the field. ND’s band is the oldest university band in continual existence and has been on hand for every home game since football started at Notre Dame in 1887.
The kickoff of a football weekend is the traditional Friday evening pep rally. The band historically mustered the students with its march through the campus and arrived as the head of a parade of Irish faithful at the University’s Stepan Center.
And who are these guys, you might ask? They are the Irish Guard; they accompany the band onto the field at each game.
Irish Guard members must be physically strong, mentally tough, well-coordinated, and most importantly, at least 6’2″. Given the popularity of the Guard, tryouts are held annually in August at the beginning of the school year. Up to 60 candidates will try out for the Guard to fill any openings in the 10-member Guard each year.
I remember the first time I went to a game at ND, and saw one of them up close. So cool.
** 6 **
The following blog, Shrine of the Holy Whapping, was started by six Notre Dame grads. They comment on any and everything that has to do with Catholic culture, philosophy, etc. And they’re funny. Go check out what some awesome ND alums are up to!
** 7 **
And last, but certainly not least, the alma mater. The alma mater is what the school song is known as, but in latin it translates to “sweet mother”. And since Notre Dame (which means Our Lady) is named for our Sweet Mother in heaven, only such a song as this will do to honor her and her university.
and our hearts forever, love thee Notre Dame…