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New bishop says Siegfried Mass

Carly Landon | Monday, February 1, 2010

Siegfried Hall welcomed the newly instated Bishop Kevin Rhoades of the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend to say weekly Mass Sunday night.

After Bishop John D’Arcy stepped down last year, Rhoades was selected from the Diocese of Harrisburg as his replacement.  He was instilled as bishop on Jan. 12.

Three students from Rhoades’ former diocese arranged the Mass in an effort to welcome him to his new position.

“David Rudy, Kevin Ortenzio and I drafted a letter welcoming Bishop Rhoades to the diocese and asking if he wanted to say Mass at Siegfried anytime this semester,” junior Brian Patterson said.

“He was very active in our Harrisburg [Penn.] diocese and everyone seemed to like him there. He even spoke at my high school’s graduation,” Rudy, a junior, said,  “We weren’t surprised he was willing to take on new challenges and say Mass here at Notre Dame.”

Rhoades spoke about his connections to Notre Dame and gave a homily focusing on love and charity.

“I was struck in the letter I got from David, Kevin and Brian by one sentence. It made this my first commitment as a new bishop, coming to this hall. I made this before my commitment to come to [University President] Fr. [John] Jenkins big Mass in the Basilica,” Rhoades said in his homily. “It was a letter about the dorm Masses saying something like, ‘At our dorm Masses we connect to Christ and it helps us to grow in faith, hope and love.’ I thought if that is what going to these dorm Masses does, I have to participate.”

Siegfried Hall extended a warm welcome with a packed chapel and held a reception after Mass in Rhoades’ honor.

“Students seemed very excited for his visit, and not only did we have a high turnout of Siegfried residents but also we even had a few people from other dorms attend,” Patterson said.

“We’re very honored to host Bishop Rhoades to celebrate his first dorm Mass at Notre Dame with the Ramblers of Siegfried Hall,” Siegfried President David Surprenant said.

“We’re looking forward to inviting him back to our hall and Notre Dame in the future. We also wish him the best of luck at his new appointment as Bishop in Fort Wayne.”

This was Rhoades’s first event at the University since becoming bishop. Next Tuesday Notre Dame will welcome Bishop Rhoades to the diocese with a Mass at 5:15 p.m. in the Basilica.