As students pack Notre Dame Stadium next fall, not only will they be cheering on the Irish in style, but they will also be doing so in a socially conscious fashion. For the first time ever, The Shirt Project is announcing the identity of their vendor: Alta Gracia Apparel. The company will further the tradition of The Shirt Project, promoting both Notre Dame’s tradition and socially conscious identity. Junior Andrew Alea, president of The Shirt Project, said Alta Gracia Apparel went beyond The Shirt’s usual tradition of supporting the Notre Dame community. “The Alta Gracia brand is a socially conscious brand. The shirts are manufactured in a town in the Dominican Republic called Alta Gracia,” he said. “They pay their workers a living wage, which is basically enough to feed, clothe and house their entire family.” Alea said proceeds from The Shirt would go back to students in various ways, ranging from covering medical costs to funding additional clubs and organizations. Revenues would also help pay for students who could not otherwise afford to participate in campus activities, according to the project’s website. “It’s an added message to The Shirt,” he said. “In addition to contributing back to the University, now we are contributing back to the world in a sense.” Alea said he thinks Notre Dame students will appreciate the social significance this year’s Shirt will have. “By supporting The Shirt, you’re not only supporting Notre Dame student body clubs and activities, but supporting a living wage in the Dominican Republic, which is actually a cool message to have,” he said. Alea said The Shirt Project has felt the need to explore socially conscious vendor options over the past few years. This year, the offers were competitive enough to move in such a direction, he said. “Over the past three years, the vendors who have come to present on campus have each been more pushing the socially conscious brands or ideas,” Alea said. “It’s out there, and we felt the time was right to do something about it.” As this year’s vendor inspires a message of social responsibility, Alea said the unveiling of The Shirt is being planned accordingly. “We really want to incorporate the story and the added message to the marketing and unveiling of The Shirt,” he said. Though the vendor and the unveiling may be different this year, Alea said the traditional purpose of The Shirt to inspire Notre Dame fans remains the same. “The design will be based on tradition, it will not be a socially conscious design,” he said. “[There is] the same design process, the same ink process. The Shirt still fits the same. Everything is the same.” Senior Paul Baranay, vice president of The Shirt Project, said the selection of a vendor with strong social concerns ties compelled the committee to make the choice public, a change from previous years. “There has been a lot of discussion about the vendor, and the Committee got the sense the student body was very interested in finding out who the vendor was,” he said. “We think it was a good time to talk to the student body.” Baranay said that although the same vendor has not produced The Shirt every year, Knight’s Apparel, the parent company of Alta Gracia Apparel, has worked with Notre Dame in the past. He said this was crucial in the partnership, citing a level of familiarity behind the choice of a socially conscious vendor. “In some sense, we are getting the best of both worlds,” he said. The Shirt will be unveiled April 20.
Month: January 2021
Thursday afternoon, Archbishop Jean-Louis BruguÃ¨s, secretary of the Congregation for Catholic Education, gave the seventh annual Terrence R. Keeley Vatican lecture, “The Second Vatican Council ahead of us,” in the Eck Visitor Center. Director of the Nanovic Institute A. James McAdams said organization sponsors the lecture to strengthen the relationship between Notre Dame and the Vatican. BruguÃ¨s said the Second Vatican Council has been a central force in the Church since its inception and still impacts Catholicism worldwide. “General [Charles] de Gaulle once said he considered the Second Vatican Council the most important event of the century, but that century is not over,” BruguÃ¨s said. “The effects of the Second Vatican Council can only be appreciated using long-range binoculars.” It is important for Catholics to maintain the perception of the Second Vatican Council as a guiding force for the modern Church, he said. “The title of this lecture could also have been ‘The Second Vatican Council: a compass for our time,’” BruguÃ¨s said. The archbishop also said the “attitude of listening” to and paying attention to “the other” is a legacy of the Second Vatican Council. He said the word “listen” is one of the words used most often in the Bible. Listening came about as a culture of paying attention to what others say, he said. This concern for others extended to those of non-Christian faiths, BruguÃ¨s said. “It was a Copernican revolution in the relationship between the church and religions that do not follow Christ,” he said. BruguÃ¨s said this was part of the council’s call for universal brotherhood. The emphasis on respect for freedom of conscience is important in modern societies, he said. “Countries as pluralistic as the United States can no longer do without religious dialogue, which is an aspect of social peace,” BruguÃ¨s said. “Faith communities have a right to express themselves in the public sphere.” BruguÃ¨s said the ideal for Catholics is to love the Church as a mother. He said the council brings the Church’s laity closer and strengthens understanding through teaching. “The Second Vatican Council made our understanding of the church deeper and more affectionate,” BruguÃ¨s said. He said Catholic schools and universities serve a very important role in the modern church of educating the laity. “I consider a Catholic University an opportunity because the teachers and students are trained to study new challenges,” BruguÃ¨s said. “It is a means to find a way to situate ourselves in looking at these challenges.”
Members of the Notre Dame community joined with Saint Mary’s in Take Back the Night on Thursday evening to break the silence surrounding the violence of rape and sexual assault. Amanda Downey, assistant director for Educational Initiatives at the Gender Relations Center (GRC), said the goal of Take Back the Night (TBTN) is for survivors and allies to publicly stand against all forms of sexual violence. “Men and women break the silence surrounding this violence with voices of prayer, chanting and the sharing of stories,” she said. TBTN began in Philadelphia in 1975 as a way for communities to unite against abuse, sexual assault and rape. Since then, the event has spread to thousands of universities, crisis centers and cities around the country, Downey said. Downey said Notre Dame began supporting the cause with its own TBTN several years ago. This year, the GRC worked with Men Against Violence, the Core Council and the Belles Against Violence Office at Saint Mary’s. “We have worked collaboratively since the early stages of planning,” she said. “Students and staff from both campuses worked together to plan and implement the program.” The cooperation across campuses mirrored the night’s effort of promoting solidarity among women and community members, she said. “We are all united in voices of hope and prayer that this violence will not be tolerated, and that those who have been hurt will someday find peace and healing,” Downey said. “It is important to create a survivor-friendly environment.” The night began with a group walk from Saint Mary’s Lake Marian to the Grotto for a candlelight vigil. A campus march followed the vigil and led to Holy Cross Hill, where members of the Notre Dame and Saint Mary’s communities shared their experiences in a “Speak Out” session. “I [was] really looking forward to the prayer service at the Grotto. It was a moving and beautiful event,” Downey said. “During the ‘Speak Out’ portion of the event, survivors felt empowered by sharing their own journey of healing, or by listening to the stories of others.” Downey said survivors of sexual assault witnessed the outpouring of support from the community at TBTN. She said friends, family and community members were also impacted by the events and shared stories. “The hope for this type of program is always to raise awareness and to create a safe space for survivors and friends,” Downey said. “There are a lot of people on campus who care and want to help.” For more information about on-campus support, visit the Committee on Sexual Assault Prevention’s website at www.csap.nd.edu.
Following public requests from students and faculty asking Notre Dame to improve inclusion of its lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning (LGBTQ) community, the University announced Wednesday it would not add sexual orientation to its non-discrimination clause. University Spokesman Dennis Brown declined to provide an explanation for why sexual orientation would not be added and would not say who made the final decision. The announcement came in the wake of increased pressure to create a more inclusive atmosphere for LGBTQ members of the Notre Dame community. Student and Faculty Senates recently passed resolutions asking for sexual orientation to be included in the non-discrimination clause. The Student Senate resolution also asked that the University publicly address why the phrase is not included. When asked when and if the University would provide such a public response, Brown declined to comment. However, Notre Dame announced in a press release it would take other steps to enhance inclusion of LGBTQ members. For example, the University plans to reaffirm and spread awareness about the University’s existing non-discrimination policies. The University’s handbook, du Lac, includes a “Spirit of Inclusion,” which states that Notre Dame welcomes its LGBTQ community and seeks to create an environment in which “none are strangers and all may flourish.” University President Fr. John Jenkins affirmed the Spirit of Inclusion in the press release. “In all of our efforts, we seek within the context of Church teaching to better realize the ideals expressed in the University’s ‘Spirit of Inclusion’ statement – to create an environment of mutual respect, hospitality and warmth,” he said. The University also condemns harassment and discrimination toward LGBTQ individuals in its discriminatory harassment policy, which is designed to protect current students and employees. The non-discrimination clause primarily addresses discrimination against prospective students and employees in areas such as admissions, employment, scholarships and athletics. The current clause states that the University “does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national or ethnic origin, sex, disability, veteran status or age.” In response to student suggestions, the University will make ally training more widely available, improve hall staff training and continue communication between administration and student leaders regarding LGBTQ issues, according to the press release. Notre Dame also plans to improve the structure and functioning of the Core Council for Gay, Lesbian and Bisexual Students, a group comprised of administrators and students that advises the Vice President for Student Affairs on LGBTQ needs. Brown also said some changes have already been made to improve inclusion of LGBTQ students, such as providing Core Council with permanent space in the LaFortune Student Center. “There have been some things that have been done,” he said. “That’s an example.” Brown said the University plans to solidify a specific plan for enhancing inclusion of LGBTQ students in the upcoming months. “Those are going to be things that will be in discussion with students over the summer and early in the fall semester to put details in place,” he said. Vice President for Student Affairs Fr. Tom Doyle said Notre Dame has made progress over the past 15 years in its support for LGBTQ students and said the University appreciates student input on the subject. “We’ve always emphasized the desire to continuously improve and to be responsive to student concerns,” he said in the press release. “The conversations between students and the administration both recently and over the past several years have been very important.” Sophomore Alex Coccia, co-president of the Progressive Student Alliance (PSA), said the University’s release is a step in the right direction. “With such a statement from the University, it is important that each individual respond according to his or her own vantage point,” he said. “I believe that it is important to acknowledge the initiative of the administration both to release a public statement regarding first steps for inclusive and to recognize expressed student suggestions.” Coccia, who is also a columnist for The Observer’s Viewpoint section, is actively involved in the 4 to 5 Movement, an initiative of PSA in which allies promote an environment of inclusion for LGBTQ students, faculty and staff. “I want to commend all of the students, faculty, and staff who, through the 4 to 5 Movement, have worked tirelessly and at much personal expense this entire year for full inclusion of gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and questioning members of the community,” Coccia said. The 4 to 5 Movement released a video in February titled, “It Needs To Get Better,” in which students, faculty and staff call for a more inclusive environment for the LGBTQ community. The video has over 20,000 views on YouTube. The video specifically asks that Notre Dame include sexual orientation in its nondiscrimination clause and that the University approve a gay-straight alliance (GSA) as an official club. AllianceND, which is currently the campus’s unofficial GSA, applied for official club status in February. Brown said the University’s decision regarding the nondiscrimination clause is separate from a decision regarding a GSA, which will be made through the Student Activities Office (SAO). Director of Student Activities for Programming Peggy Hnatusko, who makes the final decision regarding club status, told The Observer on Tuesday that all applications for new clubs were still under review. Hnatusko said she hopes all decisions regarding new clubs will be made by the end of the summer and will send letters to prospective clubs when the review process is finished. However, Coccia said he received verbal commitment from an SAO representative earlier in the semester that a decision regarding GSA’s club status would be made by May 1. Kristen Durbin contributed to this report.
The Saint Mary’s Belles Against Violence Office (BAVO) held its annual kickoff picnic to raise awareness of sexual assault and confidential resources available on campus through the organization, BAVO director Connie Adams said.The event was moved inside to the Noble Dining Hall due to weather Wednesday evening, but that didn’t lower the energy of the students, Adams said.“The dynamics of the event change with a new venue, but the integrity of the event remains the same,” Adams said.The BAVO office advocates for a culture free from violence through education, training and support, Adams said.“Our primary goal is to raise awareness and connect students with the office,” she said. We’re excited to debut the Clothespin Project. Students will have the opportunity to decorate a clothespin with paint and sequins and incorporate a positive message. Then, they take the clothespins and give them to others who either seem to need the positive message or exemplify what it shares. The concept is based on enhancing our community and empowering those who are a part of the community.”The kickoff included food services from SODEXO, a DJ, crafts and a photo booth, Adams said.“I hope students who come to the kickoff event have fun and gain a better understanding of BAVO,” she said. “Sometimes these issues can be difficult to talk about, but I hope they learn that we can approach them in a positive way. I hope they take a picture away from the photo booth and flyer from our awareness table and a fun craft to hang in their room or share with a friend.”BAVO Advisory Committee member and senior Payton Moore is in her second year as head of the Outreach and Awareness Committee, whose mission is to spread knowledge to students, faculty, and staff through educational events and discussions, Moore said.“It was interesting to have an event I have always seen outdoors inside the student center,” Moore said. “We were able to make the Student Center and the DH [dining hall] into BAVO Central. I’m really happy that a lot of Saint Mary’s women held up #yesallbelles signs in their pictures. It’s a hashtag that BAVO really wants to promote this year, and I think this kickoff was a great way of doing just that.”Adams said students often approach her with their stories of prevention.“Sometimes it’s after a student seeks support services for herself or her friend,” she said. “Sometimes it’s the Green Dot stories when someone feels empowered to take action and literally prevent violence. I just heard a story from a current first-year who heard about Green Dot when she visited campus last year from the student she stayed with, and it became one of the main reasons she chose Saint Mary’s because of what it represented for our wider community.“More than anything, I want students to know that violence is not inevitable, that prevention is possible, and that we, each of us, are a part of the solution. I hope BAVO helps each student discover what that means for her.”Student body president, senior McKenna Schuster, agreed to have Student Government Association (SGA) sponsor the event after Adams reached out to SGA over the summer, Schuster said.“SGA has offered to sponsor, because Student Government has a large pull on the student body and can really spread the word about events going on more effectively,” Schuster said. “Connie had reached out to me over the summer asking if SGA would want to sponsor the BAVO kickoff event. We’ve helped in the past, [and] we have so much woman power. We have about 35-40 girls in student government.”Understanding what on-campus confidential resources BAVO provides allows students to utilize the office after freshmen orientation, Schuster said.“I find that student government has a really good relationship with Connie in the BAVO office,” she said. “I think Connie has certain outreach in terms of the students she has on her advisory council. I believe she has one girl on the volleyball team, so now the volleyball team has reached out to student government. One of their games [is] raising awareness about sexual assault. I would hope that as student leaders, people would look to us to see what’s going on on campus [and] what are the relevant topics. I really emphasize that girls in student government really try to get the word out there about certain events that are going on.”BAVO organizes year-round events including self-defense classes and Green Dot training to maintain a constant on-campus presence, Adams said.“The first week of classes, we had a Green Dot training with an enthusiastic response,” Adams said. “We also have a … basic self-defense session on Monday, which was co-sponsored by Security, Women’s Health, BAVO, and Athletics.“[Tuesday], we hosted a presentation on Title IX and unveiled our new shirt with the back design of #YesAllBelles. Of course, we have a range of programming offered for incoming students including Sex Signals improvisation program, student-facilitated small groups and a Green Dot overview supported by Student Involvement and Multicultural Services (SIMS) and Student Government Association.”For women and as young adults, it is crucial to know how to prevent and handle uncomfortable situations, Schuster said.“Especially at an all-women’s college with co-ed colleges next door and across the street where a lot of our social scene comes from, it’s just really important to know what consent is [and] know the resources … if something were to happen and to keep yourself safe. You can’t control others, but you can control yourself. I just think it’s really important and pertinent information to carry with you,” Schuster said.The message of BAVO emphasizes how much the organization cares about students, Moore said.“To me, the message of BAVO is quite simple: We care. We know that Saint Mary’s students care about each other,” Moore said. “Thus, we strive to give Saint Mary’s students the skills to recognize and appropriately respond to violence against women which will in turn help decrease the very violence that impacts our community.”Adams said it is the strength of survivors of sexual and relationship violence that inspires her and other mentors to work with students and the Saint Mary’s community.“I feel a calling to do this work, to reduce violence and, more specifically, to do this here, at Saint Mary’s,” Adams said. “It’s a true blessing to work with such incredible, passionate and inspiring women.“When I hear stories of students who take initiative and educate their friends, when a student shares her excitement about intervening in a situation and helping a friend or someone she doesn’t even know [and] when I see the progress we’re making, I’m filled with great hope for the cultural change we’re working towards.”Tags: BAVO, Kickoff Picnic, Saint Mary’s Belles Against Violence Office
Notre Dame’s Nanovic Institute for European Studies hosted journalist Lawrence Sheets to speak about the current situation in Ukraine in a lecture titled “Russia and Ukraine: A View from the Ground,” the third in a three-part series of lectures Sheet gave on the political and historical nuances of Russia.Rosie Biehl | The Observer Sheets, who served as the National Public Radio’s Moscow Bureau chief and currently works for the International Crisis Group (ICG), focused his talk on the political instability that characterizes Ukraine.“What we face is a very, very serious challenge to all of Europe and to the international order,” he said.According to Sheets, the current situation in Russia is product of Russia’s imperialist attitudes, which translates to serious consequences in Ukraine. Sheets said while Ukrainians have a unique perspective on their identity with regards to Russia, they characterize their country as more than an extension of the Russian federation.Sheets said Russia’s ethnic makeup and its variety in language usage make it so difficult to categorize.“If you ask me which country is most difficult to model in terms of stability, I would say its Ukraine,” Sheets said. “Ukraine is a very divided country.”Sheets said it was problematic that many American citizens don’t know what is going on in Ukraine and attributesd this to the fact that around 1992-1993, there was serious discouragement to learn Russian culture or the history of the Soviet Union.“There’s very little expertise on the country,” he said. “It has to do with the fact that there is a decreasing expertise on the former Soviet Union. … There seems to be a conscious effort to avoid discussing what is happening in Ukraine.”Sheets said the nation of Georgia also currently faces problems because its government is characterized by a lose joining of politicians with different ideologies, agendas and political strategies, which leads to destabilization within the country.“If you’ve been noticing what’s been happening in Georgia, there’s a very serious political unraveling in that country, and it’s been predicted for a long time,” Sheets said.According to Sheets, this political unraveling, along with economic destabilization in Ukraine could potentially spell problems for Russia.“This brings up the question of serious destabilization within Russia itself,” Sheets said.Sheets said Russia currently restrains currency interventions to $350 million per day, and that, with a population of 145 million people, this was not nearly enough.“An unstable Russia could easily come about as a result of failed policies in Ukraine,” he said. “The fact that the central bank is restricting its currency interventions to $350 million today indicates that there’s worry about the capacity of the government to hold up National currency.”Sheets said Ukraine also currently faces severe problems with its economy.“It reflects deep divisions within Ukrainian society and issues of Ukrainian identity,” he said. “This history of Ukraine, militarily, is not a classical military history; it’s a history of partisanship.”Tags: Lawrence Sheets, Nanovic Institute for European Studies, Russia, Ukraine
Tags: Emily McManus, global music, Julia Crant, Rachel Schwartz Saint Mary’s College started the new semester off with the reintroduction of an old course in the music department: global music.Assistant professor of musicology and ethnomusicology Emily McManus reimplemented the class, which is open to both music majors and students in other fields.“It is fascinating how much we can learn about other people and cultures through the music and dance that they perform,” she said.McManus said the class, through music, discusses different cultures and places across the globe each semester.“This class prepares students to engage with an increasingly globalized world and to recognize and think critically about navigating cross-cultural interactions and communications,” she said.The course, which has currently only has four students enrolled, has two components, McManus said. The first focuses on case studies from around the globe.“Case studies range from the Aymara indigenous community in Peru/Bolivia/Chile to global hip-hop, and from music and nation formation in Israel to music as form of political resistance in the Islamic Republic of Iran,” McManus said.McManus said the second component involves learning research methods and writing case studies on music in South Bend.“Part of this project is realizing that this kind of research can be conducted anywhere and that our local communities are increasingly globalized,” McManus said. “Ideally, students will leave this course with a greater understanding of the cultural diversity of South Bend.” Senior Rachel Schwartz, who is taking the class to finish her music minor, said the small class size helps facilitate discussion and opens the door to all students to get a word in.“I’m hoping to come out of this course having learned more about music from other cultures and other parts of the world, as well as just learning about music from a more academic point of view,” Schwartz said.Julia Crant, a junior psychology major taking the class as an elective, said the course helps her think in a more global context and develop a better understanding of music and cultures from across the globe.“[The course] makes me think of music in a different way,” she said. “I wasn’t aware of all the different styles of music each culture has.McManus said the course does not require any previous experience with music, since many of the cultures that the students examine do not use the same musical system Saint Mary’s students learn.“Non-majors and majors will all be starting in the same place and will need to learn techniques for analyzing music that are not culture-specific,” McManus said. “These are methods that can easily be applied to the music of your daily life. More importantly, I think non-majors will gain a great understanding of the ways in which music and dance function in their own daily lives, as well as the lives of people across the globe.”
U.S. News & World Report released their list of “Best Colleges 2016” on Wednesday, and Notre Dame and Saint Mary’s earned spots on the “Best National Universities” and “Best National Liberal Arts Colleges” lists, respectively.Notre Dame came in at 18th in the university category, and Saint Mary’s ranked 82nd out of the liberal arts colleges that made the list.According to a College press release, Saint Mary’s has been ranked consistently in the top 100 liberal arts colleges for the last seven years.Saint Mary’s President Carol Ann Mooney said in the press release that the ranking met the goal she set early in her presidency to move Saint Mary’s into the national liberal arts rankings.“We know that national rankings are important to many high school students in their college search. I am very pleased that Saint Mary’s College continues to be ranked in the top 100 Best National Liberal Arts Colleges,” Mooney said in the press release. “Students graduate from Saint Mary’s with an education that challenges their minds, awakens their imaginations and instills in them the desire to leave the world a better place. They are supported by dedicated faculty and a campus community that helps them to succeed.”According to the press release, U.S. News uses many factors to capture schools’ academic vigor, including assessment by administrators at peer institutions, retention of students, faculty resources, student selectivity, financial resources, alumni giving and graduation rate performance.Saint Mary’s strong graduation and retention rates are among the factors that contribute to its performance in the U.S. News rankings, according to the press release. At Saint Mary’s, approximately 94 percent of students graduate within four years. Tags: Best Colleges 2016, college rankings, President Mooney, saint mary’s, US News
During its first year on campus, the College’s chapter She’s the First, which supports women’s education in low-income countries, has 80 members and is still attracting interest, senior club member Christine Germann said.“College chapters of She’s the First are vocal advocates for girls’ education who educate their peers through documentary screenings, panel discussions and innovative campus events that raise awareness about the cause,” Germann said. “They raise funds through creative and unique events to support girls in developing nations and make sure they receive opportunities for empowerment.”The club’s first meeting was with a Peace Corps representative about joining together with “Let Girls Learn,” an initiative that combines efforts by the White House, USAID and Peace Corps to promote female education across the globe, she said.Germann said the club plays an important role on Saint Mary’s campus because it reminds people that education for girls is important, no matter the circumstances or location in the world.“One factor that inhibits girls from completing a secondary education is plain and simple, funding,” she said. “She’s the First attempts to alleviate this financial barrier and provides a way for us, here in the United States, to play a part in the solution.”The club gives students an opportunity to address the issue, club vice president junior Elizabeth Murray said.“The club is important at Saint Mary’s to help us to understand how fortunate we are to receive an amazing education, but also to put our leadership skills to practice and empower girls internationally through education as well,” Murray said.Members of the Saint Mary’s chapter inform the community and collaborate with other organizations and departments on campus to spread the message about the importance of education for girls, Germann said.“The very opportunities that education provides lead to global socioeconomic benefits,” Germann said. “In this club, work is done to be a part of the solution to a problem girls face all over the world, the lack of access to quality education.”On Thursday, “She’s the First” is collaborating with the College’s department of justice education to show the documentary “To Educate a Girl” and raise money for the She’s the First organization through cupcake sales. “To Educate a Girl” was produced by the United Nations, and is a credible, accessible resource to share the message, Germann said.She said money raised during the event will be sent to “She’s the First” and then redirected to the chapter’s sponsored scholar.“Supported by the UNGEI [United Nations Girls Education Initiative] this film promotes equity in education and global gender justice,” she said. “It provides three narratives that bring the issue home in a personal way. Sometimes it is very hard to imagine, living here, in the United States, that we have so many privileges that others do not, such as basic education rights.”Murray said she hopes attendees leave the event with a greater understanding of the value of women’s education.“We would like them to recognize their own education as a blessing, but also help us in the attempt to bring this same education to others,” she said.Along with a sense of purpose, the film will help people understand why it is important to care about girl’s education and the barriers they face, Germann said.“Ultimately, I hope attendees are reminded of what a blessing it is to be educated and, in turn, will help to impart that blessing on others who only want the same opportunity,” she said.The documentary showing is free, and will take place on Thursday at 7:30 p.m. in the Vander Vennett Theatre.Tags: girls’ education, she’s the first
Even though nearly all students will be off-campus for Christmas, the Basilica of the Sacred Heart will still offer Masses on both Christmas Eve and Christmas Day this holiday season. Even though the Basilica will operate on a reduced schedule for break, Mass will be held on Christmas Eve at 5 p.m. and midnight, as well as on Christmas Day at 10 a.m.Chris Collins | The Observer Katie Barrett, the associate director of campus ministry — who is in charge of liturgy, including the Basilica — said in an email that there are numerous special events this December to mark Christmastime.“We had Advent Lessons and Carols this past Sunday night as we do each year on the weekend after everyone returns from Thanksgiving. We will have Advent Vespers next week, too, at 7:15 pm,” Barrett said. “Anyone who has never experienced Vespers … should come — either on Dec. 10 or any Sunday when the University is in session. Another very special evening will be on Tuesday, Dec. 12 at 5:15 p.m. when we will celebrate another great Feast during this season — the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe.”Barrett said this year there will have to be a “quick turnaround” on Christmas Eve. Since Christmas Eve falls on a Sunday this year, the fourth Sunday of Advent will be celebrated in the morning before the other two Masses later in the day. The later service on Christmas Eve will feature a community choir. All of the Christmas Masses will be officiated by Fr. Peter Rocca, the rector of the Basilica.“We have a lovely community choir of volunteers who comes together to sing for lessons and carols (11:00 a.m.) and midnight Mass, since the student choirs will be gone at that time,” Barrett said.Beyond that, some aspects of the Christmas Masses will be different than typical Basilica services. Other than the midnight Mass, there will be less music than usual, owing to the absence of the student choirs. The congregation of people will also be different than usual, Barrett said.“The assembly changes a lot for these Masses. Some people come as visitors because they’re from out of town and here to visit family. Others from the Notre Dame faculty and staff choose to go to their home parishes in the area, and of course, some of them travel as well,” Barrett said. “I should also mention that a fair number of Notre Dame students are from the South Bend area, and some of them come, and even help out in the various ministries over Christmas break, which is very kind. Our community members are always very generous about helping with all the ministries, especially when most of the students are gone.”Barrett said that although most students will not be present for the Christmas services, the decorations will be left up until students come back.“The decorations will be beautiful — and we leave them up so that students can see them upon their return to campus,” Barrett said.Once the Christmas Masses are complete, the Basilica will be closed as all of the church’s lighting is due to be “replaced and upgraded,” Barrett said. There will be no Masses between Dec. 26 and Jan. 5 as workers take advantage of the academic break to carry out the replacement of the lights.On the whole, Barrett expressed a hope that the Basilica’s Christmas programming will help people to grow in their faith.“We always just hope that everyone who attends is brought closer to God, and closer to each other. We are all the body of Christ, and Christmas is a very special time to remember that — especially when we know that so many right in our local community are suffering without proper shelter, food or clothing, just as Jesus did at the Nativity.“Our worship should always lead us to live our lives of faith with more gratitude and a deeper desire to love as Christ loves us. Hopefully, the Basilica will be a place that opens people up to the Holy Spirit through hearing the scriptures and celebrating the sacraments together.”Tags: Basilica of the Sacred Heart, Campus Ministry, choir, christmas, Music