News » Archives » 2008

I want to tell you Margaret’s story

By Janice A. Thompson ’05Ph.D.

My 3-year old son Matthew has pushed aside the clutter of theology books in our living room and is carefully lining up his blocks in the neat rows of a cemetery. He has made grave markers for all his little friends, and one by one he reads off their names. I can see some of these friends happily racing around outside as he works. The only child in Matthew’s play-cemetery who really is dead is Matthew’s little sister, Margaret.

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Saving grace

By Paul Johnston

I was elated when my wife, Anna, was awarded a fellowship from the Erasmus Institute at Notre Dame. Within six weeks of our arrival I sought out the campus leader of the church’s Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults (RCIA), and by the following spring I took my First Communion.

I think I would have joined the Catholic Church in good time whether we spent that year in South Bend or not. In our 20 years of marriage, I often accompanied Anna to Mass, and we had discussed Catholicism and things religious in general. But surely the openness, the beauty, and the thoughtfulness and intelligence I experienced at the Basilica of the Sacred Heart were central to my conversion experience.…

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Letting go of God

By Nancy Mairs

I am fed up with feeling sorry for God. “Poor God,” I sigh in response to one horrific headline after another, “the things they are doing in your name."

The world is being battered senseless by bad news. God will love you on condition that you believe that Jesus will personally save you from the inconceivable horrors God has cooked up for everyone else. God will love you if you submit totally to God and use whatever means you can to expand the territory in which everybody else does so too. God will love you unless you permit the aforementioned expansionists to encroach upon the territory where you worship God. God will love you as long as you fight to the death to protect the land God gave you 3,000 years ago, no matter who else lays claim to the same area and how many of them you have to kill in performing this sacred duty. All these messages reveal a great deal about human nature—the guilt, the fear, the territoriality, the arrogance—but virtually nothing about the Creator.…

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Meeting the Almighty

By Lawrence S. Cunningham

Few words are more abused or misused today than “mystic” or “mysticism.” Go to the local Barnes & Noble’s section advertising that topic, and one will find a farrago of works: sacred pyramids, various forms of yoga, New Age directories on energy spots around the globe and overheated tracts by the Swami of the moment. Hollywood stars, equipped with red strings around their wrists, pay huge sums to be instructed into the mysteries of Jewish Kabbalah. Folks at dude ranches transformed into retreat centers walk labyrinths, get massages or meditate.…

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The Public Servant

By Jerry Kammer ’71

He is a Republican who nevertheless defied party leaders during their push to impeach President Bill Clinton. He is a practicing Catholic, staunchly pro-life, who has bitterly skirmished with church leaders over illegal immigration.

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The Social Worker

By Walton Collins ’51

There are a lot of things that Ron Gregory ’61 finds puzzling.

He wonders why $175-a-pair gym shoes are marketed to kids in the projects who can afford them only by selling drugs.

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The Pacifist

By Sheila Provencher ’01M.Div.

On a Baghdad roof in the summer heat, small voices of sparrows still chirped amid the gas fumes of generators and the roar of helicopters. A distant bomb shook the air, and smoke rose over Baghdad University. Our landlady sobbed because her son was there taking his final exams. Thank God, he was okay.

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Commencement 2006

By Notre Dame Magazine staff

A couple of surprising elements injected an air of festive spontaneity to the pomp and circumstance of typical graduation ceremonies, bringing a lively sense of celebration to Notre Dame’s 161st Commencement May 21, 2006.

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The defender

By David McKay Wilson

Sean Litton ’97J.D. feared for the worst when he headed to the Philippines six years ago to work for the International Justice Mission (IJM). The then-fledgling human rights group staffed by Christian lawyers was giving missionary work new meaning in the 21st century.

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The Humanitarian

By Matthew McGarry ’00

It has been more than a year since I stepped off of the plane that brought me to the Sudan to take up a position as area coordinator for Catholic Relief Services (CRS) in the northernmost sector of West Darfur. Of that, I am certain. Beyond the date of my arrival and a few seminal events, however, the entirety of the last 14 months seems cloaked in an impenetrable haze of the surreal.

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Earth movers

By Anthony DePalma

When I spoke to Bill Moyers about his life and work several years ago, he took pains to describe the one thing he believed had most set apart his work on public television from the kind of journalism practiced by other commentators and reporters. All journalists can be divided into two basic groups, Moyers told me: those who explain the world, and those who strive to change it.…

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Can you help?

By Kerry Temple ’74

There are troublemakers among us. They step out of line, go against the grain. They challenge the status quo, do not accept the way things are. They are dissidents, discontents, even malcontents. They do not sit at the back of the bus. They can be instigators, agitators, innovators. Rebels, radicals, revolutionaries, martyrs. They challenge the “group think.” They are a pain in the butt. They make us think. They sit in. They protest and demonstrate and perform outrageous acts for their cause, to get attention, to shake things up. They stare down a tank in the village square. They stand on the lawn of the president’s ranch until they get an explanation. They do not ask why it would be a crazy thing to do—they get in the car and go.…

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From Recounting the Seasons: Poems, 1958–2005

By John Engels ’52

“Poems are by definition lively creatures,” writes John Engels ’52, and through the years his many creatures have enlivened the pages of The New Yorker, Harper’s, Prairie Schooner, Ploughshares, Sewanee Review and many other magazines of note. Recounting the Seasons: Poems, 1958–2005 (University of Notre Dame Press) offers the collected work of the award-winning author, along with new and previously unpublished poetry.

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Poetry

By Notre Dame Magazine

“Poems are by definition lively creatures,” writes John Engels ’52. Recounting the Seasons: Poems, 1958–2005 (University of Notre Dame Press) offers the collected work of the award-winning author, along with new and previously unpublished poetry.

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Alumni Briefs

By Notre Dame Alumni Association

Notre Dame Travel
Order an Alumni Travel catalog and browse through the world. More than 30 trips to six continents are sponsored by the University in 2007. Alumni and friends who have not received a travel catalog in the past can request a copy at 800-634-2631 or sheets.7@nd.edu

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Books by Notre Dame people

By Carol Schaal '91M.A.

Notre Dame Inspirations: The University’s Most Successful Alumni Talk About Life, Spirituality, Football—and Everything Else Under the Dome, Hannah Storm ’83, edited by Sabrina Weill (Doubleday). Why does Notre Dame exert such a powerful hold on its graduates? CBS’s The Early Show co-anchor Storm here presents the reflections of more than 30 alumni, from Rabbi Albert Plotkin ’42 and Regis Philbin ’53 to comedian Jimmy Brogan ’70 and WNBA

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Architect captures the shape of change

By John Monczunski

Doug Garofalo ’81 says he strives to create forms that have never been seen before. If you doubt that, consider the Chicago architect’s design to update the Manilow House in rural Wisconsin, pictured here. Oh, sure, the gabled main house and red-barn wing of the family’s summer home may look like a conventional Midwestern farm house at first glance. Yet there’s certainly nothing traditional about that titanium-clad roof oozing over and around the home.…

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Painting a bull’s eye on bacteria

By John Monczunski

Notre Dame Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry Bradley Smith and his colleagues recently found what may be a new way to target drugs and image sites of bacterial infection. While examining a series of low molecular weight zinc (II) complexes, the Notre Dame researcher found that the zinc compound could differentiate between mammalian cells and such disease-causing bacteria as E. coli

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The physics of flix

By John Monczunski

A savvy Hollywood movie mogul would be wise to consult Cesar Hidalgo before investing in any film sequels. The Notre Dame physics graduate student and his colleagues have developed a mathematical model that describes the life cycle of a film’s popularity. In the process, it renders a quantitative indicator of a film’s commercial value.…

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The girls’ dream matchup

By John Monczunski

Hillary Rodham Clinton versus Condoleezza Rice ’75M.A. Would that race for president excite your political imagination? A study by two Notre Dame political scientists suggests that such a match-up between the Democratic senator from New York and the Republican secretary of state likely would be the dream race for teenage girls in the United States.…

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When “men” came off the menu

By John Monczunski

The fossil record suggests that our ancestors had an unfortunate habit of becoming breakfast, lunch and dinner for other beasts. Holes in hominid skulls match saber-toothed tiger fangs, and piles of fossil bones have been found in South African caves where ancient predators apparently dragged our forebears and dropped them. But Notre Dame anthropologist Agustin Fuentes notes things began to change mysteriously for the better about two million years ago, when, he says, “predation rates on other species went up, while ours declined.”…

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The world is no longer MAD

By John Monczunski

During the Cold War, neither the Soviet Union nor the United States held the upper hand when it came to nuclear weapons. The world’s two superpowers kept each other in check for 50 years through a stalemate known as Mutually Assured Destruction (MAD), in which either side could destroy the other if attacked. But that is changing, and the shift has profound consequences, says an article co-authored by Notre Dame political scientist Kier Lieber. The article was published last March in the journal Foreign Affairs

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For some at ND, violence in Lebanon hit home

By John Nagy ’00M.A.

bualuan.jpg

Nearly a million people fled the destruction caused this summer by the fighting between Israel and Hezbollah militants in Lebanon; most were Lebanese civilians who returned to find their homes and lives destroyed. Among the estimated 60,000 who left the country altogether were several people with close ties to the Notre Dame community.…

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Honor exam to put brakes on cheating

By John Nagy ’00M.A.

Sad to say, but it’s not hard to find evidence of cheating these days in America’s high schools and colleges. A 2005 study conducted by the Center for Academic Integrity at Duke University polled 50,000 undergraduates on more than 60 campuses and found that 70 percent of the participants had engaged in some form of cheating.…

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Wanted: Catholic scholars

By John Nagy ’00M.A.

Why don’t more Catholic scholars apply for faculty positions at Notre Dame?

A Notre Dame student asked historian Brad Gregory that question after a talk last year, and the associate professor recalls going straight, though affably, to the point.

“Because,” Gregory said, “students like you at Notre Dame decide to go to law school or medical school or business school. You guys are the ones who, in numbers, are going to have to commit to scholarship not only as a career but for broader reasons such as serving the faith and a commitment to the truth, to knowledge and the Church.”…

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Civilizing kids sports one Catholic at a time

By John Nagy ’00M.A.

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If you’re a red-faced hockey dad in Massachusetts, a high-strung cheerleading mom in Texas or some other species of overzealous sports parent, be warned. A Notre Dame educator is deploying a small army of coaches to change the tone of kids’ sports—starting with Catholic youth leagues—and they agree that you are a big part of the problem.…

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ACE teachers cycle across America

By John Nagy ’00M.A.

If you’ve ever wondered whether it’s harder to bike up the Rocky Mountains after battling the flu or to teach high schoolers for a day, you might ask Tony Hollowell ’04, ’06M.Ed.

“Oh, teaching, any day,” says a laughing Hollowell while standing in a steady rain at the foot of the Main Building’s front steps. “Absolutely. I feel much more tired after a day of teaching than I do after riding a bike.”…

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