Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Our Shepherd prods the Notre Dame Community

Today, Notre Dame officially welcomed His Excellency Bp. Kevin Rhoades to the Fort Wayne-South Bend diocese and to Notre Dame with a Mass in the Basilica of the Sacred Heart. Music was provided by the Notre Dame Liturgical Choir, three members of which are in the New Tractarians. However, this was not the highlight. Fr. Jenkins, president of the University stood up at the end of Mass, thanking the Bishop and giving him a crosier as a gift accompanying it with an explanation that the Bishop was the Shepherd, and often had to "prod" his flock. Earlier in the Mass, the Bishop gave an explosive exposition of what it meant to be a Catholic University in the United States. It was interspersed with why Notre Dame was significant to him. A couple thing stood out. He said very explicitly that Notre Dame was a Catholic University. This is important, considering what many people, many intelligent and respectable people say on the subject. Bp. Rhoades appears to believe in Notre Dame. However, he was emphatic about what the Bishop's role in the University was. An "inside agent" not an outside one. He said that it was his intention to be just that. Another interesting point, especially relevant to the New Tractarians was his declaration that a Catholic University should pervade its teaching, learning, curricular and extra-curricular activities with the Truth. Finally, he used the words "Catholic Identity" at least four times and was extremely pressing in his admonition for Notre Dame to retain its Catholic Identity.

It was a homily worth the read, and if I can get a copy, I will. Don't believe otherwise, but that Notre Dame is fortunate in Rome's pick for its shepherd. Someone who will prod us when we need it, just as Fr, Jenkins said.


  1. Nate: Are you familiar with Sycamore Trust, http://sycamoretrust.org? Your mission appears to coincide with ours. Take a look at our recent bulletin on Bishop Rhoades at http://www.projectsycamore.com/bulletins/100207.php, then at our homepage, http://sycamoretrust.org, and get in touch if you're interested. Bill Dempsey, President, Sycamore Trust, whdempsey@earthlink.net.

  2. I did recently hear about the Sycamore Project. We were talking to David Solomon and he told us that we were definitely not alone in our general mission. The Orestes Brownson Council, Edith Stein Project, and many others. The Catholic Identity issue is so critical. Our specific mission is focusing on the educational and curricular part of Catholic Identity, while some focus on the Catholic Culture and some focus on faculty etc, which seems to be one of your main focuses. We have to unite, of course, to have any full effect. We currently are a non-official group, and mostly freshman, but we are looking to start uniting with different resources from the University.