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Destroy the divisions, deepen empathy

| Friday, November 11, 2016

Dear Notre Dame Student Body,

November 9, 2016 is a day that I won’t soon forget. The day we learned the result of a heated and unflattering general election. Regardless of the outcome, the president-elect was going to face a divided America with people who feel as if they were on the outside of a union that from its founding sought to establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity.

What saddens me most about our current state of affairs is that what has brought joy and jubilation to some has brought fear and trembling to others. What has provided hope for the future has led others to believe that they have none. To make matters worse, these people are not off is some far distant land; they are members of our Notre Dame Family. They walk the very same paths to class, eat at the dining hall, live down the hall, etc.

The beauty of our political process is that the voice of the people can be heard and on January 20th we will witness the peaceful transfer of power. However, there is hurt that must be reconciled here and now. There are divisions that if left unchecked have the potential to fracture who we are and what we seek to be at Notre Dame. Pope Pius XI once said, “It is not the negative forces of civilization that are the great problem of our time, but rather the lethargy of its good people.”

What I love most about the Notre Dame student body is that you are at your best when people are in need. Our community is full of people (student, staff and faculty) who have demonstrated by their lives that lethargy will not win the day. Yet, the type of healing now required will not happen with the mere passage of time. Let’s challenge one another to actively reach out, listen, share our hopes and deepen our empathy.

Politics aside, we are people loved by God first and foremost. What will allow us to lead now and in the future is the sure conviction that each person has inherent dignity by virtue of a God who loved us first.

Fr. Pete McCormick

Director of Campus Ministry

Nov. 10

The views expressed in this Letter to the Editor are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.

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