Students elect leaders for SAB, SDB, RHA during Feb. 26 elections

first_imgSaint Mary’s College chose new leaders for the Student Activities Board (SAB), Student Diversity Board (SDB) and Residence Hall Association (RHA). The elections took place on Feb. 26. Student Activities BoardWith plans to “bring a new face to Student Activities Board,” sophomore Jennifer Kline said she and sophomore Allie Courtney are excited to take the reigns as SAB leaders. Courtney and Kline won SAB president and vice president uncontested.Courtney has been a member of SAB for two years. She has served as co-chair of the Entertainment Committee. She also helped bring poet Gabriela Garcia Medina to campus in the fall of 2009.“I am passionate about helping students become engaged in the Saint Mary’s community,” Courtney said. “I want to create an environment where students are excited to come to, and have fun, at events. I think that students deserve great events, and want to be part of the team that plans these events for the students.”Kline has  also been involved with SAB for the past two years. She has served as co-chair of the Traditional Committee for one year. She also attended the National Association for Campus Activities National Convention (NACA Conference) in Nashville, Tenn., last year. This year she attended the National Conference in Boston.“Ever since I began the Board freshman year, I have loved every minute of it,” Kline said. “Last year at the NACA Conference in Nashville, I was able to really get involved in the behind-the-scenes work of planning campus activities. The Conference, both this year and last, reinforced my drive to bring the very best events to campus and put my acquired knowledge to good use.”Courtney and Kline plan to utilize student feedback in order to gain insight as to what is wanted on campus.“We both feel student surveys are necessary and helpful to bring and plan successful acts around campus,” Kline said. Student Diversity BoardWith new ideas to expand the Student Diversity Board, junior Morgan Gay and sophomore Kelly Reidenbach are ready to take office as the new president and vice president.They were the only ticket to run during the Feb. 26 election.Gay has been a member of SDB for two years. She has worked as chair for the SDB Bonfire Committee. She has also served as a member of the Committee for Diversity Desserts and has been the College Track committee member of the Diverse Student Leadership Conference (DSLC). As College Track committee member, Gay has been responsible for recruiting students from other universities and colleges to attend DSLC, which will be held from March 17-19 at the College.“When I came to college, I heard about the Student Diversity Board and I think it’s really important to promote diversity,” Gay said. “It all starts with treating people with respect. With the events that SDB holds, just learning about other cultures and understanding them and their point of view, I think [we] can make a difference.”Reidenbach has been a member of SDB for one year. She has acted as the DSLC Sodexo Chair. She has also been on the SDB Bonfire Committee and the Committee for the Hunger Banquet as well.Gay and Reidenbach said they are planning on having many of the same events that have been held in the past, but hope to expand them.“We just want to try and expand, get more people in the Saint Mary’s community, as well as the Notre Dame and Holy Cross Community involved in what we do,” Reidenbach said.Gay added that they hope to get the word out and generate more interest and involvement.“I think we have really good events,” Gay said. “I really like what we do with them but I’d like to expand them and get more people to come to them because I really think that’s what we’re here for.”Residence Hall AssociationJuniors Marianne Jones and Jessica Robbins will take over as Residence Hall Association president and vice president on April 1. They were the only ticket to run for the office. Jones will take her place on the SGA board, replacing the current president, Cristen Dalessandro.RHA currently oversees activities within the four residence halls on campus as well as the senior living apartment, Opus Hall. Most recently, they held a formal on Feb. 27. Ashley Charnley contributed to this report.last_img read more

Read More »

Lecture focuses on Christian unity

first_imgSaint Mary’s welcomed best-selling author Thomas Cahill as the speaker for the fifth anniversary of the revival of the Christian Culture Lecture Wednesday. Cahill’s lecture, “The End of Christian Divisions: Achieving Reunion Through Truth-telling,” focused on the three divisions of Christianity — Orthodox Christians, Roman Catholics, and Protestants — and the characteristics that form barriers between them. Cahill said Orthodox Christians have a strong liturgical component, but also said they adhere to the Julian calendar, instead of adapting to the Gregorian calendar as the other Christians have. Cahill said it was time for the Orthodox Church to switch to the Gregorian calendar, a move that would help them unite with other Christian factions. Cahill said the Roman Catholic priests do not have roots founded in the Bible. It may have been an invention of the early church, he said. He suggested changing the name of Roman Catholic priests because Christians only have one father: God. “Let’s stop calling them ‘father.’ Jesus would certainly approve,” he said. For the Protestants, Cahill spoke about their narrow focus on scripture. The Bible is full of contradictions, he said. Cahill said it is important to acknowledge questions of each division, but each Christian tradition also has merit. Orthodox Christians have consecrated tradition, Catholics have the necessary insight of a universal church and Protestants show the importance of the Bible, Cahill said. He said the next step should be toward admitting the gaps of Christianity and admitting the faults of each division. “When we are certain we are right, are we not in danger in alienating anyone who does not agree?” Cahill said. The decisions people make to embrace other Christians or to continue excluding them will have immense consequences in the not-so-distant future, Cahill said. The Christian Culture lecture’s goal is to explore the impact of Christianity on western culture, College President Carol Ann Mooney said. The lecture has hosted over 100 speakers since its commencement in 1957. Each lecture is specifically written for the occasion and later published by the College, she said.last_img read more

Read More »

Architecture professor leads Taj Mahal preservation

first_imgImagine if we could have known the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World — what they looked like, how they were built. Assistant professor of architecture Krupali Krusche laments not having the opportunity to study these architectural phenomenons, which is why she has undertaken the task of digitally documenting World Heritage Sites such as the Taj Mahal. Krusche founded the Digital Historical Architectural Research and Material Analysis (DHARMA) team in 2007. The team, comprised of Krusche, assistant professor of architecture Selena Anders and graduate and undergraduate architecture students, studies and documents historical sites in order to create highly detailed, 3-D images that can later be used for the preservation of the sites. “These historical sites have just never been documented very well before,” DHARMA team member Jack Bangs said. “As they age slowly, in order to repair them we need to know what they looked like otherwise we might repair them wrong.” DHARMA’s initial project of documenting four tombs in Agra, India, including the Taj Mahal, began in 2008 and is ongoing. Krusche said the process consists of multiple methods of measurement and documentation that are fused together to form a complete digital image of the site. “Our biggest investment has been in the 3-D scanning technology,” she said. “It is a 3-D laser scanner that allows you to create and capture the 3-D coordinates of every surface you want to document.” Anders, who co-founded DHARMA as a graduate student, helped the University acquire the scanner, a high-end device that not many schools have access to. The DHARMA team works with the Center for Research Computing (CRC) to access the technology needed to create 3-D views of the site. “If anything happens to the site in the near future, there are exact data coordinates available about the site that allow you to reconstruct it without any information being missed,” she said. The DHARMA team is also working with the Office of Information and Technology (OIT) to employ GigaPan technology. “This is when you take a multitude of photos, say 500, and you put them together to create an image that is in gigapixels,” Krusche said. “It is very heavy, but very detailed.” Krusche said this technology has the ability to zoom in extremely close on pictures that were taken from very far away. “We use this technology to document the site in such a way that when you come back you have all possible information about it, including what you would possibly not see when you are there,” she said. “You can look at cracks on the surface, other sorts of damages or even make offsite discoveries about the site itself.” After these two steps, Krusche said the teams from CRC and OIT merge the data from the 3-D scans with the GigaPan images to create 3-D views that are photo real. The third form of documentation is hand measuring, which the DHARMA students complete while on site. For the project in India, Krusche said the majority of the sites have been hand measured, and the team will be traveling there for 10 days in January to 3-D scan the tombs of Akbar and Itmad-ud-Dauluh. “Our hope is that this is an ongoing process in helping the local authorities there to get trained in such technology and at the same time to be able to digitally document as many sites as possible so there is information about them for their prosperity,” she said. The DHARMA team is also working on another project, the documentation of the Roman Forum. Krusche said the team has already taken 3-D scans of the Forum, and they are currently creating vellum drawings and watercolor palates of it. Anders, who has been involved with both the India and Rome projects, said people are often surprised at how little is known about such familiar buildings as the Forum and the Taj Mahal. “By documenting these things from the large scale to the minute, we have these examples for the rest of history,” she said. “I think we take for granted these wonderful things that we’re familiar with visually, but surprisingly are not as well documented as they could be.”last_img read more

Read More »

ND supports interfaith acceptance

first_imgNotre Dame Campus Ministry wants to provide opportunities for members of all faith traditions to encounter God in their daily lives. Brett Perkins, head of Catholic Peer Ministry and Protestant Student Resources, said Notre Dame seeks to remain steadfast in its mission, and provide opportunities for those of other faiths. Perkins said groups like Iron Sharpens Iron (ISI) helps to provide those opportunities. “Iron Sharpens Iron operates as both a Student Activities [Office] club, and as the principal interdenominational Christian ministry at Notre Dame,” Perkins said.  “ISI responds to the need felt by our Christian students who aren›t Catholic, to have a place where they can come together for prayer, praise and worship and fellowship.” Perkins said Iron Sharpens Iron also ministers to a large number of Catholic students who are looking for a ministry that focuses on all that unites followers of Christ, regardless of church affiliation or denomination. Campus Ministry also offers opportunities to answer the questions of non-Catholic students about Catholic culture and faith. “The ‘Catholicism 101’ sessions have been offered a few times over the years to provide an opportunity for non-Catholic students of various backgrounds to ask questions about the Catholic Christian faith that surrounds them on campus,” Perkins said. Freshman Annaleigh McDonald said her transition from her home in Ohio to Notre Dame had an effect on her faith as a United Methodist Christian. “I never feel like my faith is being suppressed at [Notre Dame], if anything, I attend Mass more, because it’s so convenient in the dorms,” she said. “However, sometimes it is difficult, because in order to go to a Protestant Mass, I’d have to go off campus.” Perkins said Campus Ministry offers students resources to attend church services in their denomination. “We have an online church directory and ride list that helps students find local churches or other places of worship, including those for Jewish or Muslim students,” he said. “The directory includes entries for churches of over 25 different traditions and denominations.” Even with resources like the church directory, many students attend Catholic Mass with their friends. “The presence of so many of our fellow Christians at Catholic Masses on campus means especially that Catholic Christians need to be ever watchful for ways that they can make the Mass more inviting and/or accessible to others, that all might find there a welcoming spiritual home,” Perkins said. Notre Dame has other faith-based organizations for students, such as the Jewish Club, which offers opportunities to celebrate the holidays and attend lectures off campus. Freshman Ali Buersmeyer said students on campus are respectful and often eager to learn about her Jewish faith, though many do not know much about it. Even with the acceptance she feels, Buersmeyer said it is not always easy to observe her faith on a predominantly Catholic campus. “Last week I observed the Passover by following the traditional diet free of any wheat, corn, beans, rice, pork, or shellfish for eight days – it was very hard to find Passover-friendly options in the dining hall, ” she said. According to the Campus Ministry website, there is also an active Muslim Student Association (MSA) at Notre Dame. The goal of the organization is to provide resources for Muslims, as well as to cultivate understanding and respect with other faiths. In the past, MSA has arranged Quran reading group, dinners, lectures, films and comedy shows. Contact Sarah Very at svery@nd.edulast_img read more

Read More »

SUB stamps out stress

first_imgStudents overwhelmed by finals pressure can relax during Stress Relievers next Sunday in the LaFortune Student Center ballroom, sponsored by the Student Union Board (SUB).   SUB board manager Ashley Markowski said the group has been sponsoring this event, which features relaxing activities for students, for years. “There will be free Buffalo Wild Wings, Panera, Chipotle, Papa John’s, Kilwin’s and more,” Markowski said. “There will also be massage therapists offering massages in the ballroom.” SUB will only host one event during finals week or reading days because University policy prohibits student organizations from offering programming during that time, Markowski said.   “There is an exception made for Stress Relievers because it is an event grandfathered in from before the rule, and all of the planning and programming for Stress Relievers is completed before reading days begin,” Markoswki said. “Also, the purpose of the event is to eliminate some of the stress and anxiety that students feel towards upcoming exams.” Markowski said she expects the attendance at this event to match or outrun numbers from previous years. “Every year this event has outstanding attendance … we are expecting 750 to 1,000 students this year,” Markowski said. “This event is a tradition designed specifically for students to find a place to relax before the hectic finals week begins. It is an opportunity for free food and relaxing massages.” SUB has 13 programs planned for this year, Markowski said. “Each program chooses its events based on tradition, student feedback, campus surveys and information from the National Association of College Activities,” Markowski said. “Each dorm on campus has a SUB rep that is responsible for collecting feedback at their hall council and gathering responses to a SUB rep question of the week. We also welcome any feedback to the SUB email at sub@nd.edu.” Markowski encouraged students to look for the SUB’s events planned for next semester. “The Notre Dame Literary Festival will occur January 22 and 23 with a bestselling author whose novel has been turned into a major motion picture,” Markowski said.  “Ideas and Issues will have their second speaker of the year in January, after the well-attended appearance of criminal profiler Pat Brown in November … the SUB is currently working on the spring Movies Line-up and the large-scale spring events such as the concert, Holy Half, Collegiate Jazz Festival and AnTostal.last_img read more

Read More »

Speakers assess impact of mass incarceration

first_imgSaint Mary’s hosted the Symposium on Women’s Incarceration on Tuesday to discuss how the current increase in female prisoners affects American society, according to Dr. Adrienne Lyles-Chockley, a lawyer and coordinator of the Justice Education program at Saint Mary’s. “Saint Mary’s College is founded on four core values: learning, community, faith and spirituality, and justice. This event is designed to affirm each of these,” she said. “The symposium [provides] a context for talking about women’s incarceration, for examining the intersection of issues including gender, race and poverty that underlie the crisis of incarceration, and for developing solutions to the crisis grounded in justice, equality, dignity and solidarity.” Fr. David Link, a current chaplain in Northern Indiana prisons, said mass incarceration in the United States especially affects women. “The overall rate of incarceration is going down slightly, while the rate of female incarceration is rising at an alarming rate,” Link said. “For several decades America has been waging a so-called war on crime. Nonetheless, many aspects of the crime cycle have been in fast-forward since the 1980’s, despite this so-called war on crime.” Link said describing the issues within the criminal justice system and incarceration in military terms is a part of the problem. “Strategies for winning are parallel to desperate tactics that we have used in military campaign,” Link said. “Panicking, we have tried tactical maneuvers, such as ‘lock-em-up and throw away the key,’ longer sentences, adding crimes to the list of felonies. “Significantly these ineffective strategies have violated many constitutional rights. These tactics have wasted countless lives and cited exaggerated, negative public opinion about the prisoners of this curious war.” It is important to recognize the people in jails and prisons suffer from a social sickness, he said. “They’re not bad people,” Link said. “They’re good people who have made some disastrous mistakes in their lives. They have deviated from society for a wide range of reasons. “We need to think about prison as an intensive care unit in a hospital because a lot of people need that level of care.” Link’s Crime Peace Plan would oblige all lawyers to contribute to criminal defense either in defending criminals or paying into a fund that would support criminal defense as money is often large factor in incarceration, he said. “Justice is not always the child of truth, but of economics,” he said. Link said he was ordained as a priest at the age of 71 after the passing of his wife. Before his ordination, he was Dean Emeritus at Notre Dame Law School. “Even if I were not a priest … and was still practicing law, I would be promoting that Americans change their criminal justice system so that we can return to the origins of our legal professions,” Link said. “Our profession was never to be a profession of punishment, ours was to heal and make amends.” Pat Hosea, a former prisoner, used her incarceration experience to talk about the issues female ex-offenders face upon their release from prison. Hosea said she came from an abusive family. “I looked for a form of escapism,” Hosea said. “When I became a young adult, I turned to alcohol and drugs.” Despite Hosea’s family situation and alcohol and drug abuse, God was always an important part of her life, she said. “Through my life’s journey I would always call on God for help,” she said. Hosea said she serves as a female ex-offender mentor through her church in the South Bend community. “What I would like to do is make it better for each and every female who is in any correctional facility, simply because it’s not a good place to be,” Hosea said. “Respect is not a part of the penitentiary.” Patricia Marvel, assistant director, counselor and volunteer coordinator of St. Margaret’s House, said women face particular gender issues within the criminal justice system. “Historically, women have been underrepresented at all levels of the criminal justice system,” Marvel said. “Until recently, research has focused on crime perpetrated by males with male offenders viewed as the norm. “Thus, correctional programming for women was based on the profiles of males’ criminality and their paths to crime. Therefore the programs, the services, etc., failed to look at the options that would be gender responsive to the needs of women.” Women often are drawn into crime to support their families, Marvel said. “Among women, the most common path to crime is based on survival ­­- survival of abuse, survival of poverty and survival of substance abuse,” she said. Many gender issues continue to affect incarcerated females’ prospects for reintegration when they are released from prison, Marvel said. “So we have housing, employment, health, transportation and family,” she said. “These are the factors that determine whether a person will succeed or fail as a law-abiding citizen. For some of our women, they decide that it may be easier to go back to prison.” Contact Haleigh Ehmsen at hehmse01@saintmarys.edulast_img read more

Read More »

Graduation orator gets good review

first_imgWhile Notre Dame’s 2014 commencement speaker might not be a household name on this side of the Atlantic, many of the seniors who will hear Lord Christopher Patten’s address on May 18 look forward to hearing the speech the prominent British politician will deliver.Patten serves as chancellor of the University of Oxford and chair of the BBC Trust, and his last appearance at Notre Dame came during the 2012 Nanovic Forum, when he delivered a lecture titled “Europe, America and the Changing World Order.” Senior Francine Kim said although she did not initially recognize Patten’s name, she did some research on his background and now looks forward to hearing his address.Photo courtesy of the BBC Trust “My first reaction was, ‘Who is that?’” Kim said. “I wished it was someone who I think is significant, especially because many of us have watched great innovators like Steve Jobs and Oprah Winfrey speak. However, after doing a bit of research on Lord Patten, I feel that he offers a unique perspective as a politician who has accomplished a great deal at an international scale.”Kim said the graduation ceremony in May is important to her regardless of the speaker.“Of course we all want our graduation ceremony to be special, as it signifies all we have accomplished here at Notre Dame … so I hope he can offer us a little bit of advice and inspiration as we begin a new journey.“I’m not particularly happy or unhappy about Lord Patten being named our commencement speaker because I feel that graduation from Notre Dame and celebrating the time that I have shared with my friends is enough to make graduation feel special.”Senior Steve Fox spent last year in close proximity to Patten while studying abroad at Oxford University, although he said he was never able to interact with the chancellor while he was there.“I had a fantastic experience at Oxford, but it’s a fairly large university and I didn’t have the chance to hear him speak or anything while I was there,” he said. “I think he has an interesting background, and I’m looking forward to hearing him … [though] I’m not really sure what to expect.“I think I might be a bit more excited than others about having Lord Patten come, given my time at Oxford.”The announcement of the commencement speaker was a much-anticipated event for senior Victoria Kay, and though she had not heard of Patten before yesterday, she said she is excited to hear his speech.“Perhaps I put too much emphasis on this one person’s role, but I think that the commencement speaker has the unique opportunity to provide culminating thoughts on the end of our chapter here at Notre Dame and inspire us for our future ahead,” she said. “I hope to hear a little bit about his story, his passions and what inspired him to get where he is today. I want to hear about how he felt at our age and where he envisioned his future would take him.“Lastly, I hope he can give us advice on how to approach this difficult but exciting transition in our lives. If he could get us laughing too, then I’d say he’d be a success.”Although Kay said she was originally disappointed that Patten was not a name she recognized or had previously been interested in, she decided to keep an open mind and listen to what he has to say.“You cannot deny that this man has had a wealth of experience, so I’m excited to hear his speech come graduation day,” she said.A. James McAdams, director of the Nanovic Institute for European Studies, said he is “delighted” that Lord Patten will be returning to Notre Dame after his previous lecture in 2012, which was sponsored by the Institute.“He is an incredible person, someone who has had a huge impact on the world stage,” McAdams said. “At the same time, as a Catholic leader, he is a natural fit for Notre Dame. On his last visit, I was impressed with how well he connected with the students.“He has special insights into the kind of education we are seeking to provide, and I know how glad he will be to return to Notre Dame. He is a terrific choice to be our commencement speaker.”Contact Ann Marie Jakubowski at ajakubo1@nd.eduTags: 2014 Commencement, Christopher Pattenlast_img read more

Read More »

Nanovic Institute announces winner of book prize

first_imgAnnmarie Soller The Nanovic Institute for European Studies presented Jerrold Seigel with the Laura Shannon Prize in Contemporary European Studies on Wednesday for his book entitled “Modernity and Bourgeois Life: Society, Politics and Culture in England, France and Germany Since 1750.”Seigel is professor of history emeritus at New York University.Peter Holland, the McMeel Family Chair in Shakespeare Studies, sits on the jury that reads the books nominated for the Laura Shannon Prize. Holland said Seigel has a special talent for highlighting illuminating details while maintaining a broad view of a topic that facilitates enriching connections to other topics and disciplines.“The lot of a jury member for a book prize is not always, and might I say not usually, a pleasant one,” Holland said. “Many of the books one is required to read are hard work, some are downright disappointing. Few are gripping and enjoyable. ‘Modernity and Bourgeois Life’ is an extraordinary exception. It was quite simply a pleasure to read.”James McAdams, director of the Nanovic Institute for European Studies, said the jury looks for specific criteria, and any book that wins the award demonstrates potential to enhance our understanding of the complex body of Europe.“[This award] captures what’s so special about the Nanovic Institute and Notre Dame as a whole,” McAdams said. “That is to say, a focus on interdisciplinary approaches to scholarship and intellectual engagement, a focus that is mainly humanistic and focuses on the questions that matter for humanity. We also look for a focus on current-day Europe as a product of centuries of development.”Seigel was able to give the audience insights into his current work concerning individuals who have attempted to blur the lines of culture and live “between cultures” in rich and distinct ways.“The subjects of my work are individuals who, without seeking to depart from their cultures of origin, tried to live in a second culture,” he said. “These are people whose association with their second culture becomes part of their belonging to the first. They sought to carve out an intercultural space where they could develop two identities and self-consciously impose them with each other.”Seigel cited Louis Massignon, a French Catholic scholar who studied Islam, as an example of an individual who worked to combat cultural divides. Seigel said Massignon’s work illustrates of the importance of reaching a higher level of understanding about culture in relation to one’s self.“In our own historical moment, when the relations between western culture and Islam are questions of great moment, I think Massignon’s attempt to draw the two forms of life together in his own person has a certain relevance,” Seigel said. “Massignon’s career and thinking suggest that deepening our involvement in the cultures that form and nurture us can be compatible with the ability to acknowledge that the values and practices found in other ways of life may make up for the defects in our own.“Surely that is a better formula for relating ourselves to the demands cultures make on us, to the essential nurture they offer and to the intellectual and moral limits they impose, than the unthinking identification with a single one with which too many of us remain content.”Tags: contemporary european studies, jerrold seigel, laura shannon prize, modernity and bourgeois life, nanovic, Nanovic Institute, Nanovic Institute for European Studieslast_img read more

Read More »

Cardinal Joseph Tobin speaks on immigration

first_imgCardinal Joseph Tobin, Archbishop of Newark, N.J., asked listeners to consider the causes and solutions to the hardheartedness affecting many in the Catholic community during a lecture hosted by Notre Dame’s Center for Social Concerns in the Carey Auditorium on Thursday.Tobin is the second predecessor of former Archbishop of Newark Theodore McCarrick, a former cardinal who left the ministry after an investigation found substantial evidence supporting accusations that he had abused a teenager over four decades ago. As a result of the investigation, Tobin’s name has become entangled in the narrative as the Catholic community and many Americans look to answer questions such as who knew about the abuse and why more serious action was not taken. In light of these questions, Tobin acknowledged the news of the abuse and its impact on the Church. Kendra Osinski Archbishop Joseph Tobin of Newark, N.J., called for Catholics to act compassionately towards immigrants and work for change in a speech in Carey auditorium in Hesburgh Library on Thursday.“In the last month, it seems that our Church has been brought to our knees by the bitter fruits of a toxic culture of clergy sexual abuse and cover up,” he said. “As Catholics we look on aghast, and we ask, ‘How did it ever get to this point?’ … but that’s not the topic I’m going to talk about tonight.”Tobin then moved on to the main topic of his lecture — immigration.“An issue that has stood out to me in particular the last three years or so especially has been the harshness, callousness and cruelty that has come to characterize the attitudes of many, including many Catholics, towards immigrants,” he said.Instead of using the lecture time to discuss the union we share with immigrants as a “nation of immigrants,” Tobin’s objective was to try to understand the foundation upon which many Americans have become unsympathetic to the suffering of men, women and children who immigrate to the U.S.Tobin said these hardhearted attitudes say a great deal about the priorities of American people.“We’ve reached a place where compromise is unthinkable because everything is simply too important. … People are treating politics and policy agendas as their God — their idol,” Tobin said.For this reason, Tobin said, very little agreement can be found between either side of the debate on such religiously controversial issues as immigration.“From a practical standpoint, it’s worth noting that this river is flowing in the wrong direction,” he said. “That is, the teaching and values of our faith should be informing our politics. Not the other way around. Political means are to serve the common good.”Tobin said Catholics are encouraged not to abandon their political beliefs and parties but to stay and try and advocate for change from the inside.“When politics become your idol, there are at least three variants on how this can go terribly wrong,” he said. “First, people let their bad politics overtake their faith in terms of what holds the most sway in their conscience. … Secondly, people let their ideas warp the actual proclamations of their faith.”To this point, Tobin examined the justification of separation of families at the border through the use of scripture. As Satan tempted Jesus in the wilderness by quoting the Bible, he said, many Americans are pulled astray by a similar perversion of scripture.“The third variant, people discarding faith altogether, leaving the political realm unchallenged,” Tobin said.Though secularization has allowed a great amount of progress and acceptance to arise in the U.S. toward the LGBTQ community, Tobin said it has also changed people’s attitudes toward immigrants.“Research shows that Evangelicals who don’t regularly attend church are less hostile to gay people than those who do, but they’re more hostile to African Americans, Latinos and Muslims,” he said, quoting an article from The Atlantic.Referencing a speech from Pope Francis, Tobin said fear is hardening the hearts of so many Americans to the suffering of the people who immigrate to the U.S. to escape the dangers of their homeland for the safety of themselves and of their families.According to Jesus’s teachings, Tobin said, it should not be so.“You see, friends, a Samaritan sees the world differently,” he said. “The ancient man by the roadside is not seen as something potentially dangerous or unclean, but is someone whose sufferings we are called to share.”Tags: cardinal tobin, Church and Immigration, sex scandallast_img read more

Read More »

College recognizes those living the SMC mission through new initiative

first_imgSaint Mary’s vice president for mission Judith Fean emailed the College community to announce a new initiative Nov. 22. The Mission Moment Appreciation is a new program based around recognizing small and regular instances of the College’s mission within the Saint Mary’s community. Recognition will occur based on nominations.According to the email, the criteria for nominations are that the student reflect either the Saint Mary’s mission statement or the core values of “learning,” “community,” “faith/spirituality” and “justice.” The full mission statement can be found on the College website. It focuses on themes of intellectual vigor for women and fostering an “inclusive, academic community where students discover and develop their talents as they prepare to make a difference in the world,” according to the website. Saint Mary’s is dedicated to embodying the mission and practicing it contemporary life, the website says.“We wanted an opportunity where each member of the community could recognize and appreciate their peers, those they work with and those who mentor them as we continue to build a learning community where faith and justice leads to building a more inclusive and equitable community,” Fean said in an email to The Observer. “Mission Moment Appreciation is one way [of] personally showing your appreciation and gratitude.”There has already been some interest and buzz in the community around the initiative, and several nominations from the community, Fean said.“After the announcement was made, many members of the community sent emails to me thanking the [mission] council for offering this opportunity to recognize those who they see living the mission of the College,” Fean said in the email.Each year, the College selects one of the four values and highlights it around campus through banners, photos and actions. Though the Mission Moment program honors people serving all of the core values, according to Fean, the College is highlighting the core value of “community” this year.According to an attachment included in Fean’s email, the program seeks to continue the vision of the founding Sisters of the Holy Cross, as well as honor their legacy. It is one way to connect the history of the mission statement to its modern-day applications, Fean said.“We hope the Mission Moment Appreciation Initiative will be one way to celebrate the many members of the Saint Mary’s Community [as] you continue to share their gifts, talents and knowledge to create an inclusive and welcoming community as we continue to honor the legacy of the Sisters of the Holy Cross and shape our future,” Fean said in the email.Fean said the initiative serves its purpose by recognizing those she considers to be continuing God’s gift of stewardship.“I see this initiative continuing to recognize the commitment to foster an environment of academic excellence, learning [and] sustain a community where each member is valued … [to] support [our] spiritual needs as we spiritually grow and lead lives of faith and respect all persons because of their God-given dignity … [and] act as responsible stewards of resources and advocate social action with compassion,” she said in the email.Every semester, the Office of Mission will recognize all the nominees through an email to the entire community.Nominations are accepted at the Office of Mission in 131 Le Mans Hall. A brief written statement describing how the person is living the mission in the Mission Moment Appreciation book is required. The office then will give the nominator a pin and card to give to the nominee.Tags: Division for Missionlast_img read more

Read More »