Leaving out SMC?
Monica Villagomez Mendez | Tuesday, March 3, 2015
We both remember exactly where and when we heard of Fr. Ted’s death. At one in the morning, I started scrolling through a flurry of tweets relating to his passing and then, 40 minutes later, I received a phone call from our photo editor asking if Saint Mary’s was holding any type of events in his honor. At 6 a.m. the next day, Monica saw a poetic post on Facebook about Fr. Ted’s death. This is all the information that we had got, Twitter and Facebook posts that barely gave details of what exactly had happened. Our yearning to find out more increased. But then and to this day, Saint Mary’s College has yet to formally notify the student body of this great man’s passing.
From day one of entering Saint Mary’s as a student, we are told that SMC Belles hold a special connection with the Notre Dame community. This connection can grow as Saint Mary’s and Notre Dame students alike are allowed to participate in clubs and activities together. However, in light of the situation, Notre Dame has truly become just “the school across the street.”
As of right now, only 100 members of the SMC community are eligible to take part in the mourning of Fr. Ted’s death due to the fact that most memorial services are closed to the public and require tickets. As Monica and I scanned through the scheduling of events for this upcoming week, we quickly realized that we in fact could not take photos of most of these historical events. Each event placed a Notre Dame ID requirement at the end of their descriptions. Along with us as photojournalists, the rest of the SMC student body has formally been excluded from Fr. Ted’s memorial services with the exception of 100 tickets that were claimed in less than two and a half hours.
The tickets themselves were announced at 10:15 a.m., a time when most students were in class. Before this rushed email was sent out, most SMC students and staff assumed that access to this memorial event would be denied. This would be fine if events at Saint Mary’s were to happen for Fr. Ted, but alas, there has been no mention of such. No church services, no moments of silence, no banners, posters, flyers, not even a simple email stating, “Fr. Ted is dead.” It seems as though the news of this man’s passing went over the heads of the leadership of SMC.
Forget the competition and the nicknames; at times like these, the Holy Cross community needs to stand up in understanding of the justice Fr. Ted performed for the world. It is truly saddening to see for both Monica and I that if death cannot begin to bring this community together, it seems as if nothing will.
The views expressed in this column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.