Categories
News

Notre Dame alumna begins new ministry at Saint Mary’s

Nicole Labadie, who became the new director of campus ministry at Saint Mary’s in October, hopes to find new ways to evangelize and accompany students on their faith journeys during their time at Saint Mary’s College She said the job combines her passions: the charisma of the Congregation of the Holy Cross, the focus of an all women’s school and the work of campus ministry.

Labadie, originally from New Braunfels, Texas, studied social work and religious studies at St. Edward’s University in Texas before earning a master of divinity at Notre Dame. She first became involved in campus ministry at St. Edward’s, where she said she appreciated the mentorship she received on profound questions regarding her faith.

When she came to Notre Dame, Labadie was an assistant rector in Pasquerilla East Hall and she worked on liturgical and spiritual programming in the dorm.

“I really loved journeying and walking with women, so, I think in a lot of ways it’s cool that I’m back at Saint Mary’s now,” Labadie said.

Labadie entered her eighth year of campus ministry work when she took the job at Saint Mary’s. Previously, she was the director of campus ministry at University of St. Thomas in Texas and was a campus minister at the Rice University Catholic Student Center. 

She is also married to a Notre Dame graduate and has two sons, who are three years and three months old. Labadie said the job at Saint Mary’s was attractive partly because South Bend was where they wanted to raise their family.

Labadie, who began her term Oct. 17, described adjusting to her new job as “a little bit like trying to drink water from a fire hose,” but has enjoyed getting to know students and learning about their needs since they arrived back on campus from fall break.

“Saint Mary’s has been so welcoming so far,” she said. “I’ve heard a variety of things from the students, like building on the strong community of Saint Mary’s and continuing on the legacy of the sisters, especially since religious communities are declining in numbers and the pandemic really affected the ability for students to be able to connect with the sisters of Holy Cross.”

As director of campus ministry at Saint Mary’s, Labadie hopes to foster productive dialogue on campus for students to grow in their faith. The dialogue, she said, could take shape in the form of small group communities, something which she said students have expressed to her over the past week. 

“We know that God is a mystery, and any way that we want to put limits on that, God is ultimately beyond those,” Labadie said. “It’s one of my great joys in campus ministry is to get to walk with students and accompany them as they sort of ask those big questions.”

Her purpose as the new director of campus ministry, she said, is centered around providing students hope surrounding faith and she is intent on listening to students to find out how best to do that.

“It’d be my desire that every student at Saint Mary’s knows how deeply they are loved by God,” Labadie said. “So whatever we can do to help bring that about, I’m open to hearing.”

Contact Liam at lprice3@nd.edu

Categories
News

University leader and Holy Cross priest Richard Warner dies

Fr. Richard “Dick” Warner died Wednesday at the age of 83 at Holy Cross House, according to a University press release.

Warner was a part of the Congregation of Holy Cross since 1962, the same year he graduated from Notre Dame, the release said. Warner became a part of the University’s Board of Fellows and Board of Trustees in 1979 as a part of his role as the provincial superior of the Indiana Province. In 1988, Warner was appointed a counselor at the University by then-president Fr. Edward “Monk” Malloy.

Warner also served as the director of campus ministry from 1989 until 2010 before he was elected the 12th superior general of the Congregation of Holy Cross, the release said.

“Father Dick Warner was a consummate priest, a servant-leader in Holy Cross, fiercely loyal to Notre Dame, and he had an abiding love for our students — a love that was richly reciprocated,” University President Fr. John Jenkins said in the release. “He was to me and many a model, mentor and friend who generously gave his life to the mission of Notre Dame and the Congregation of Holy Cross.”

The University will hold a wake and funeral mass Tuesday for Warner at 2 p.m. and 3:30 p.m., respectively, at the Basilica.