To Thom Behrens ’16, barefoot has become a way of life. The house manager at Jerusalem Farm, an urban community rooted in Catholic intentionality, says being barefoot calls to mind the deep connection with the Earth he experiences through the farm’s emphasis on simplicity and sustainability.
A decision on sanctuary status, a commencement speaker, and more campus news.
Creative works by Notre Dame people
Foxes walk on their toes. The female is called a vixen. A group is called a “skulk” or “leash,” although foxes are largely solitary except when nestled as a family with young in their lair. They may weigh 7 to 24 pounds. They are nocturnal. Have vertical slit pupils like cats, see quite well at night. When hunting they stalk and pounce, rarely chasing. Omnivorous, they eat two pounds per day, have a superior sense of smell. They reproduce once a year, have a life span generally of one to four years. These are some of the facts I have gathered about foxes. But it doesn’t mean I know foxes, or understand the fox.
One day in my rambles I found the school’s tiny basketball court in a copse of sassafras and bottlebrush trees. Four boys were playing on it, and I stopped to watch, as I love basketball above all other games, love its grace and humor and creativity and generosity and simplicity, a game that can be played beautifully by anyone of any size, a game that does not reward violence, a game that does reward selflessness and inventiveness and speed and liquidity.
It was a cold spring day in 2011 when Jess, my sister, asked me to meet her at a barn to see the Arabian horse she wanted to buy. “I need your help to decide whether I should take him home,” she said, which really meant Jess had already bought the gelding and needed me to tell her husband that she’d found a great horse. Act first; then assess. That’s her way.
From a distance they looked like new lovers. Their steps didn’t match as they walked in the soft foam and back again onto the sweet wet sand. Their bodies strained toward each other with a kind of unfulfilled longing. Up close an observer could see that he was old and she middle-aged. They shared the same blue eyes framed by dark lashes and brows. His were red and watery; hers set in a new Florida tan. Their conversation was intense with effort.
Dante scholars give Notre Dame’s collection a glorious afterlife
From the day of his ordination in 1943 until he said his last Mass on the day he died in 2015, Hesburgh conducted himself in ways that provided abiding lessons. A few of them are worth remembering throughout this anniversary year — and into the future.
Deaths of Notre Dame graduates
Big dreams can come true. Six months after graduating from Notre Dame, where Aileen Villareal had served as a football student manager, the 22-year-old left her stint as an unpaid marketing development intern for the Houston Astros to begin a successful six-year career in media relations with the Detroit Tigers.
The images of the millions of displaced people living in refugee camps can be overwhelming to those who wish to offer assistance. It hurts even more to know that, as the Refugee Council USA says, “Over half of all recorded refugees are children who have been deprived of their material possessions, statehood, and sometimes even loved ones.” Steve Lehmann ’14MBA had an idea for how to ease the distress of dispossessed children.
Letters from readers
A muse in stone for Notre Dame’s poets
Timothy S. Fuerst, a prolific economist, popular teacher and beloved colleague to his fellow faculty members, died February 21 at age 54 after a 10-month battle with stomach cancer.
In a letter to The Observer after Fuerst’s death, fellow economics professor Joe Kaboski described him as a “saint” and “the most upbeat person I’ve ever known,” for whom laughter and whistling were constant musical accompaniments to his presence.…
Notre Dame alumni in the news
Just as an artist uses negative space to strengthen a composition, Jim Swintal ’79 considers the spaces between race cars to make sure drivers traveling upwards of 200 mph have delineated boundaries. “I see the world a little differently than most people,” says Swintal, who works as the voice of race control with the IndyCar series. In the offseason, he creates highly detailed, commissioned works of art depicting race cars during competitions.
How Notre Dame helps athletes excel in the here and now without losing sight of the future
The problems facing our species at this moment in history, says Roy Scranton, suggest grim passage ahead, although some kind of redemption might be possible through art and the imagination.
‘About the time my son went into Gaza as a soldier with the Israeli Defense forces, I started learning to play Bach’s “Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring,” which expresses in music my own longing to give my heart to God.’
Father Bob Pelton went to Latin America to serve the people there, but he didn’t envision his work for social justice would put his life in danger — as subversive to government efforts there, and here.
When Father Scully launched ACE to send college grads to serve and teach in Catholic schools with designated needs, he wasn’t expecting this.
A trip on the Atchafalaya Swamp prompted this prescription for living the good life.
Gotham Greens helps Manhattan restaurants serve the freshest vegetables from resourceful rooftop gardens right there in the city.
As a kid on visits to Idaho, John Fry ’93 marveled at the stores of honey arrayed on his grandmother’s kitchen shelves. Now an analyst with the U.S. International Trade Commission in Washington, D.C., Fry started keeping bees in April 2010 to guarantee access to the chemical-free elixir he’d enjoyed as a kid.
Our need for food, particularly if it’s fast, is a weighty cause of environmental problems. What needs to be done, one Michigan farmer says, is to teach everyone to eat smarter — and that’s why she came down to campus once a week this spring.
I had great parents. One of the best things they did for me was to talk about stuff. And we had lots to talk about.
America’s agricultural heritage is experiencing a makeover these days as more people get personally involved in old-fashioned field-to-table endeavors.
“This new approach to agriculture is best defined not as organic or sustainable but agroecological and regenerative.”
The classic guide for realists and dreamers. That’s the subtitle of John Seymour’s classic The New Complete Book of Self-Sufficiency. I’m a bit of both. My dream is having a small farm, around five acres. On top of that I’d like to build and fix as much as possible on my own, preferably using materials that I don’t need to go to the store to get. Seymour, in this book, covers all of that — and much more.