Come Holy Spirit

By Kerry Temple ’74

Life at Notre Dame is an invocation. It is a prayer, a petition, a benediction. It is a blessing of grace and community, lives devoted to a higher calling, a sense of the divine threading through the strands of human endeavor here. Notre Dame is a place where God is spoken—and not just as some enigmatic concept but as a real and living force, a participant in daily affairs. Notre Dame can be a sacrament of holy initiative, of sacred creativity, blessed learning and ancient wisdom. It has soul. The spirit is palpable. The expressions of faith are abundant and diverse, commonplace and rare.…

Read More

The State of the University

By Kerry Temple ’74

My first job at Notre Dame was as a development writer for the Campaign for Notre Dame. I started on Halloween 1977. In early 1981, the books closed on this fund-raising effort, with $180 million raised toward the $130 million goal. It was a staggering sum to those of us in development in those days, and a stunning achievement we were all proud of. So I was surprised one day when two department heads came to my office and said, “Now that the campaign is over we have no need for a development writer.”…

Read More

Paying the Price

By Kerry Temple ’74

Congratulations. You got in. Or your son or daughter got in—one of the 1,985 fortunate ones to enroll at Notre Dame from among the 14,430 applicants. That’s a huge accomplishment. Given the competition and the narrow gateway and the impressive profiles of those who made it and those who didn’t, the achievement is pretty awesome.…

Read More

What One Man Started

By Kerry Temple ’74

moreau.jpg

In August 1857, when the Very Reverend Basil-Antoine Marie Moreau made his one trip to Notre Dame, he was wracked by the kind of bipolar tussle that defined his life and dogged him all his days.

The man was a contrary vessel of charisma and violent temper, holiness and torment, humility and self-righteousness. He was a priest of vision, kindness, equanimity. He was also a priest of severity, zealotry, imperiousness. During his three-week stay at Notre Dame, amid the swells of great achievement and promise, were swirling—in America and in France—the countercurrents of his demise, the wrestling for power, money and authority that would prompt his displacement from the religious order he had established and lead him toward sainthood.…

Read More

Some thoughts while waiting on the microwave

By Kerry Temple ’74

There are now 35 years’ worth of Notre Dame Magazines stacked on the shelves in the little room where I obsessively reheat my coffee. I often thumb through a back issue while waiting for the microwave to beep. Each edition is a time capsule that resurrects memories of people and stories, that reminds me of the misfires and triumphs, and (I hope) offers evidence of the magazine’s growing sophistication. Excursions into the past also underscore the continuity of this magazine’s place within the University community.…

Read More

Going, going, gone: Campus' lost places

By Kerry Temple ’74

paycaf.jpg

A guy came in my office the other day. It was a football Friday afternoon, and he wanted to show his son the room in Grace Hall where he had lived in the 1970s. I was happy to accommodate the walk down memory lane.

I remembered going into Farley Hall, revisiting the familiar corridors and niches. Even spinning down the stairwell from fourth floor to first brought back a flood of memories—hurrying to class, catching up with the guys for dinner, running to play football on the fields by the library. The sound of the footfalls, the handrails and worn stone steps—the very details and smells of the place—carried me across time to those faraway years.…

Read More

A Good Read

By Kerry Temple ’74

And then, before I knew it, carried by the words, I found myself with a group of people in the cold January desert night in southern Colorado, watching the moon.

The passage across time and space wasn’t immediate. It took more than a few paragraphs to get my head out of the papery clutter and psychic noise of my office. At the time I was immersed in the swirl of getting the autumn issue done, thinking about the portrayal of Jimmy Carter and the writer’s take on the thorny, hot-button Israeli-Palestinian affair. I had a couple of articles of my own to write (hadn’t started) and was thinking about that proposed piece on abortion and presidential politics. I faced a backlog of emails, a dispute needing finesse, a squabble needing a referee. I pondered what the magazine might do with Iraq, Iran, global warming. I could hear the echoes of barking readers, the wishes of family, the argument between my health and morning donut and, well, I was fretting over my lineup for the fantasy baseball finals.…

Read More

Having coffee with Cornelius Eady: Authentic voice

By Kerry Temple ’74

eady.jpg

Cornelius Eady is a poet. One of his eight books, The Gathering of My Name, was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize in 1991. Another, Brutal Imagination, was a finalist for the National Book Award in Poetry in 2001. He and jazz composer Diedre Murray have collaborated on several works of musical theater, including Running Man

Read More

Having coffee with Linda Przybyszewski: What to wear

By Kerry Temple ’74

lindap.jpg

We had agreed to meet for coffee and talk fashion. I was wearing khaki chinos and a green plaid shirt—pretty much my daily uniform (though I don’t usually have toothpaste sprinkles on the front of my shirt as I do today). I don’t know what Linda Przybyszewski looks like (or how to pronounce her name), but I suspect she will be wearing something nice. I also suspect she may have made it herself (tipoff from a mutual friend) but know better than to ask (tipoff from my mother—years ago, the thinking being that your inquiry suggests the outfit must look suspiciously homemade).…

Read More

Editor's note: What's Happening Here?

By Kerry Temple ’74

It hit me at Jim Wensits’ retirement dinner.

Jim is Carol Schaal’s husband — Carol ‘91M.A. being this magazine’s managing editor and a colleague of mine for 20 years. Jim was retiring from the South Bend Tribune after 41 years. During his career Jim had covered the police beat, politics and government. He had written a country music column for 14 years and had served as an editorial page writer and editor. It was Jim’s scrupulous reporting that helped lead to the arrest and conviction of a local sheriff who had been taking bribes from a South Bend madame.…

Read More

Editor's Note: What's a person to do?

By Kerry Temple ’74

It’s always bothered me that we’ve never used recycled paper to produce the print issue of Notre Dame Magazine.

On our pages, many writers have expressed an appreciation for the environment, its beauty and its gifts. Some of these authors have gotten us to think seriously about the spirituality of the universe and a kind of theology of the natural world. I have a deep love of the land, too.…

Read More

One Guy's Point of View

By Kerry Temple ’74

I don’t know what it was like to be one of the first women undergrads to enroll at Notre Dame. But I was a junior in 1972-73, so I know it was hard. They were oddities, and they were treated as such—stared at and scrutinized and asked for “the woman’s point of view” in class. They formed a small scouting party of aliens on a primitive, all-male planet. Most of us guys hardly knew how to talk to them—if we’d be so bold as to break ranks and actually venture into conversation with them (a leap into cross-gender social interaction almost always involving beer).…

Read More

Marks in the Sand

By Kerry Temple ’74

I saw the tarantula first. I saw only the black, hairy legs groping toward my face as I opened my eyes from a nap in the desert. Light-blinded and startled, my head flat to the earth, I watched it creep menacingly closer. The deliberate movements of its legs were robotic, exploratory, wary. I dared not move. I felt the burn of the sunlamp sky and felt the perspiration rise from the pores of my bare skin. Then, a few inches from my face, the tarantula stopped, stood still and rigid for what seemed like an eternity.…

Read More

Editor's Note: Good deeds

By Kerry Temple ’74

The phone calls, letters and e-mails come pretty regularly these days. They routinely bring good news; it is always a cordial interchange. But they do present a problem, and I find myself dodging, cringing and politely apologizing. They come from Catholic school administrators with young Notre Dame grads having profound effects on wayward youngsters. “You’ve got to do a story!” They come from social workers whose clients are touched deeply by Notre Dame students staffing soup kitchens and homes for unwed mothers. “You’ve got to do a story!” They come from alumni — people hammering and sawing with Habitat for Humanity, doctors performing life-changing surgeries on the least fortunate people in the world, friends telling of lives dedicated to society’s most forgotten. “You really should do a story!”…

Read More

Going for story

By Kerry Temple ’74

One of the best things about journalism is the field trips. You get to travel to different corners of the world, meet new people, have interesting conversations, get a taste of places you wouldn’t normally go.

Read More

The Cairn Builder

By Kerry Temple ’74

cairn

The words were out of my mouth before I could stop them. “An English major?” I blurted out. “Why would you want to do that? What are you going to do, how would you get a job with a degree in English?” That’s when I stopped, because I heard my father’s voice echoing in my own, because I’d had this conversation already — 30 years ago, except that last time I was on the other side of the table, looking at my dad, trying to explain to him why I wanted to be an English

Read More

Walking the Woods: An excerpt from _ Back to Earth: A Backpacker's Journey into Self and Soul_

By Kerry Temple ’74

backpacker.jpg

It really isn’t much, as parcels of nature go: an ordinary wedge of land, common in appearance. But it is to me a hallowed place. For eight years I ran my dog here; we didn’t miss a day. No matter how surly or mean the weather, we’d come to these woods tucked into the crescent bend of a slow, brown river. We would walk a loop, a meandering circle, with my dog racing ahead, galloping after groundhogs, sniffing out squirrels, treeing raccoons.…

Read More

Those angry readers

By Kerry Temple ’74

“Dear Editor,” the note began, “after reading ‘Bush Country’ in which R. Bruce Dold spent several pages licking George Bush’s shoes, I have lost all respect for your magazine. Please cancel my subscription.”

“Please cancel my subscription,” said the second. “I cannot recall perusing such a steady diet of trivia in the face of the criminal behavior of our country in the slaughter of Iraq.”…

Read More

The Impact of the Generations Campaign

By Kerry Temple ’74

Salvatore J. LaPilusa ‘41 came to South Bend from Bayonne, New Jersey, as a freshman in the fall of 1937. It was his first time away from home. His father, a bricklayer, had come to America in 1912; his mother, a seamstress, had come in 1914. Young Sal traveled alone by train to the Midwestern city, then took the trolley up the hill from downtown. “Seeing the dome,” he recalls, “made my heart pound faster.” He checked into freshman hall, roomed with a kid from Denver in a hothouse little cubicle with steel bunks and no chairs. Sal wanted to be a doctor. The tuition that year, he figured, was $25 per week — his father’s weekly pay. His two older sisters worked to help get Sal through school.…

Read More

God Is Where You Find Him

By Kerry Temple ’74

It occurred to me, then, ripping along at 85 miles an hour, engulfed in the darkness of the night, that one thing I like best about driving is that you are nowhere and everywhere at once. Even though you are bound, to some degree, by geography and law and physics, these are not rigid constraints. Their power ebbs and flows with time, leaving you untethered and free, “passing through,” as they say, and therefore tied to no here

Read More

A Magazine of Many Parts

By Kerry Temple ’74

The other day I was telling a friend about a person I admire. I summed it up by saying, “He is a man of many rooms.” My friend looked at me quizzically, and I tried to explain a concept that had come to me some years ago.

The idea emerged at a time I lived in a big three-story house and had kids to play with and dinners to cook and the occasional need to be alone. It seemed that different rooms required different roles and that filling those various roles enabled me to inhabit different parts of me.…

Read More

Notre Dame Football: The Indisputable Importance of Saturday

By Kerry Temple ’74

footbguard.jpg

My heart was first broken on November 28, 1964. I was 12.

I was in the car with my dad listening to the closing minutes of the Notre Dame-USC game on the radio. It was the season finale for Notre Dame, because the school did not go to bowl games then. So Notre Dame, undefeated and ranked No. 1, was in Los Angeles for that wondrous season’s climactic face-off, and a 17-0 Irish lead had dissolved into a 17-13 cliffhanger. USC

Read More

Breaking News: The Perils of a Quarterly

By Kerry Temple ’74

We stopped what we were doing on Tuesday, November 30, even though we were in the final harried days of getting the winter issue done. Word had come down that Tyrone Willingham, after three seasons as head football coach, was being fired. The press conference was being carried live on local TV, so we turned on the little set in our office and watched.

Read More

Clear Moment

By Kerry Temple ’74

The first time I backpacked with Don Nelson I got mad at him. He would lag back on the trail, falling so far behind the rest of us that he’d disappear from sight. Periodically I would sit and wait for him.

Read More

ND Athletics in 2002

By Kerry Temple ’74

In the early 1950s, near the end of the Frank Leahy era in Notre Dame football, the University’s new young president, Theodore M. Hesburgh, CSC, had just been interviewed by a reporter when a photographer tossed a football to the priest and asked him to pose with it. Perhaps, it was suggested, you could pretend to be hiking the ball. Hesburgh bristled; he would have none of it. His dream was for Notre Dame to earn its place among the nation’s finest universities, and such foolishness would only perpetuate the perception of Notre Dame as a football school.…

Read More

Letter from Campus: Wish You Were Here

By Kerry Temple ’74

To some residents of northern Indiana, the sight of a crocus, daffodil or robin signals the arrival of spring. But I watch the Stepan basketball courts for the first signs of hoopster activity. From my fifth-floor Grace Hall window I will spy a couple of guys in T-shirts and shorts shooting in the breezy air, followed later — as the afternoons warm and the days lengthen — by games of two-on-two, then some full-court up-and-down, and then by that climactic spring tradition called Bookstore.…

Read More