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Un-Christian behavior at Mass

| Thursday, April 12, 2012

First off, I would like to commend everyone involved in the Easter Triduum at the Basilica of the Sacred Heart for such beautiful Masses. I highly suggest it for anyone who hasn’t yet gone; words cannot describe the experience. However, there was an aspect of Easter Vigil that I found particularly distasteful. Since it is such a special and unique Mass, a large line had built up outside of the Basilica, à la Disney World. Once the church bell tolled at 7:30 p.m., however, any semblance of order immediately broke down. In a fashion reminiscent of a Black Friday opening at Wal-Mart, everyone ran in a haphazard scramble to claim a pew. For a few minutes, an unspoken mob mentality seemed to rule. When the dust settled, everyone sat solemnly as they waited for Mass to begin at 9 p.m., as if that shameful display a couple of minutes ago never happened.

I don’t wish to place myself on some moral high ground, or be some kind of Jeremiah of Notre Dame; we each have our own sins and faults which only we and God can ever truly know. However, I want to point out the bitter irony of this un-Christian action in such a holy environment. One would think that in certain places, like the Basilica of the Sacred Heart, people would be more mindful of God’s presence and of their actions to their fellow neighbors. If you are sprinting into the Basilica to get a “pew with a view,” perhaps you should reevaluate why you are coming to Mass in the first place. The Mass is a time when all members of the Notre Dame family can come together and unite under the Roman Catholic faith that this University was founded upon. I did not see a spiritual family during the opening of the Basilica doors on that Saturday evening.

David Smith


Keough Hall

April 11