Stepping inside the Basilica of the Sacred Heart is like showing up at a family reunion in full swing. The Basilica’s walls and ceiling are crammed with images of the Catholic family in paint and stained glass: Saints and martyrs, prophets and patriarchs, so many forebears of the faith.
Every four years Americans learn anew that a presidential election is less a national fencing match than an array of brass-knuckle fistfights in a few select states.
People often think the Parable of the Workers in the Vineyard is about the generosity of the landowner. Hardly.
I was introduced to Winesburg, Ohio as part of Notre Dame’s American Studies curriculum. Over the past 40 years, I’ve been to Anderson’s fictional Winesburg and back a couple dozen more times, and I’ve enjoyed the chance to roam those streets.
For two years straight, my wife and I made the rounds to all the Welcome Weekend activities, meals and presentations. It was all very informative, very reassuring. But I’ll tell you, nothing could top those first enthusiastic greetings we received as we pulled into the parking-lot staging areas for drop-off.
Hush, hush. Keep it down now. Voices carry.
Nearly everyone in Shakespeare’s The Tempest is imprisoned by illusions, and the Notre Dame Shakespeare Festival’s production of it is full of them. But as director West Hyler points out, breaking free of illusions requires something beyond violent struggle and a desire for retribution.
When historians write their accounts of the 2016 presidential campaign, they will be able to rely on adjectives with the prefix “un” to explain what happened during the hurly-burly nominating and general election seasons.
Earlier today, quite by chance, I ran into another Missionary of Mercy. He was here at Notre Dame leading a workshop. We both recognized that this Jubilee Year of Mercy has been a tremendous gift and blessing from God. And people don’t want it to end.
When I picked up Good Omens, I expected the sharp satire of Pratchett and the insightful world-building of Gaiman. I expected laugh-out-loud humor and quieter, more thoughtful moments. I didn’t expect a profound statement on human nature, free will and the miracle of everyday life. But that’s what I got.
Remember 1981, when Molarity predicted the implosion of an offensive, impulsive and irresponsible presidential candidate?
It’s here. It took ten years of planning, nail-biting and hopeful angst at Notre Dame; three-and-a-half years of designing, pipe casting and precision carpentry at the Paul Fritts workshop in Tacoma, Washington; and a cross-country journey of some 2,100 miles spanning three time zones and the Continental Divide. Now, at last, the Murdy Family Organ has reached its permanent home inside the Basilica of the Sacred Heart.
It may be, as my father warned me on the eve of my marriage — marriage being an apt metaphor for the indissoluble relationship among the races in America — that the very struggle to achieve the common understanding that eludes us is intensifying our frustrations.
Two months out of college, and six weeks into the corporate world — I’m now officially “adulting.” I’m by definition a grown-up, living, working, playing on my own in Chicago.
“Friends, Romans, Countrymen!” Christy Burgess calls, raising one arm to command attention. “Lend me your ears!” the students shout back. And thus does one of Shakespeare’s most memorable lines settle Shakespeare summer campers at Notre Dame.