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Campus Ministry to celebrate faculty Mass of Remembrance

| Thursday, November 19, 2015

As part of Campus Ministry’s new initiative to strengthen the relationship between Notre Dame faculty and the University’s faith-based roots, a Remembrance Mass for deceased faculty and their loved ones will be celebrated tonight in the Dillon Hall Chapel.

Fr. Mike Connors, senior faculty chaplain within Campus Ministry, said he thinks this is the first time a faculty memorial Mass like this has been celebrated on campus in recent years.

“Will it become an annual tradition? Maybe — this is all brand new,” Connors said. “It’s practically the first event geared towards faculty ever in terms of Campus Ministry or some kind of pastoral outreach to faculty.”

Connors said Fr. Pete McCormick, director of Campus Ministry, produced the idea for the initiative over the past summer.

“I think it’s an effort to draw faculty together around some important things related to the Catholic character of this place,” Connors said. “It’s the very first part of what I hope will be a bigger effort to get us thinking together about what it means to be faculty at a Catholic university.”

November is the month of all souls, a time to remember deceased family members and friends, he said. There will be a memorial book at the Mass for people to write the names of loved ones.

“It seemed to me like a logical place to start,” Connors said. “It’s an occasion where we remember and give thanks for faculty, or any loved ones, who have gone before us.”

After Mass, all faculty members are invited to dinner in the Oak Room of South Dining Hall. Connors said he expects to have 40 to 50 people in attendance.

“It’s for the greater purpose of bringing us all together in prayer,” he said. “Then we’ll get the chance to discuss how the faculty chaplaincy can grow and expand in the future.”

Connors said the faculty chaplaincy team was formed just before the beginning of the school year and consists of 20 Holy Cross priests who expressed interest in the initiative.

The faculty chaplaincy currently has plans for one other event connecting the faculty with Notre Dame’s Holy Cross foundations, Connors said. Brother Joel Giallanza, associate director of the Holy Cross Institute in Texas, will deliver lectures to students and faculty during his visit to campus on Feb. 8.

“Brother Joel is one of the leading experts of Fr. Moreau, the founder of the Congregation of Holy Cross,” Connors said. “ … He’s going to give a talk about the Holy Cross educational tradition and help us make some connections between what goes on at Notre Dame and the inspiration of this place in Fr. Moreau and his writings.”

Giallanza gave similar lectures at Saint Mary’s earlier this fall that were received positively by the campus community, Connors said.

“I hope that it will appeal to a wide variety of people,” he said. “It might seem to have some special relevance for those of us in theology, but on the other hand, there are faculty from other disciplines who love being here, love the fact that it’s a Catholic place.”

Connors said the initiative is a chance for the University to explore topics that have not been discussed much in the past.

“Faculty is a very important part of this community,” he said. “I think it’s very exciting to think this could develop in ways of getting people to talk about how faith and reason go together.”

He said he hopes Campus Ministry will succeed in creating more ways for faculty members to discuss and connect with the Notre Dame’s core Catholic values.

“We haven’t had many vehicles for faculty to talk to one another about it,” he said. “I’m projecting down the road that this could result in a series of conversations that might bring the topic of faith’s relationship to a university more to the surface of discussion.”

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About Katie Galioto

Katie, the Observer's current Managing Editor, is a senior majoring in political science, with minors in Business Economics and Journalism, Ethics and Democracy. She's a former Walsh Hall resident who now lives off campus and hails from Chanhassen, Minnesota. Follow her on Twitter @katiegalioto.

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