When I heard last March that we would be teaching online for at least a few weeks, like many teachers, I worried about how I would translate in-person learning to online. I was relieved to remember my years facilitating online courses in the McGrath Institute for Church Life’s STEP program and everything I had learned from the program’s leaders and other facilitators about how to welcome students, communicate online, and see the meaning we find together even without in-person connection.
Corby Hall is the primary residence for the priests and brothers who work at the University of Notre Dame. It is our home in the heart of campus. Most members of Corby Hall actually live in student residence halls, which means that Corby Hall is not a house in the typical sense. Instead of a shared roof, what brings the men of Corby Hall together is our practice of having prayer and meals in common. It is through our worship and fellowship that we are restored and renewed for our ministry at Notre Dame.
We’ve considered some problems with our contemporary political discourse and made some suggestions about how a “Catholic political discourse” can improve the present situation. We are left to consider: At the end of the day, what can the Catholic truly expect from politics? The great American Catholic writer Walker Percy answers this question best by suggesting that humans both must learn to be at home in their homelessness and find some rootedness in imperfect communities.
Hearts are everywhere in our culture. We use the emoji in texts: “I ❤️U,” or on bumper stickers: “I ❤️NY.” Instagram and Twitter let you click a heart to ‘like’ a post. And let’s not forget the ‘hand heart.’ Notre Dame’s Domers, of course, love the Basilica of the Sacred Heart, the central place of worship on campus. So what is this Sacred Heart? And what does it mean? In my work with teenagers and young adults, I sense this devotion is poised for a great renewal.
We’re all craving connection, community, communion, and love in our broken and virus-wrecked world. We seek a heartfelt relationship with something, or rather Someone, bigger than ourselves. This is the power and attraction of the Sacred Heart. The heart of our Catholic faith is not an idea, but a person: Jesus. And he has a living, beating human heart right now. He has a risen Body and his Heart is filled with love for you and me.
I’m currently competing with myself to see how many days I can go without grocery shopping. I’ve used food that has worked its way to the back of the pantry, previously hidden and overlooked. Reduced trips to my local co-op have helped me take stock of what’s already in my kitchen. Limited grocery shopping is just one of many changes that have dramatically increased the amount of time that I spend in my home. In turn, the challenges and gifts of staying at home have increased my understanding of the reason for the monastic vow of stability.