Law professor Richard Garnett, recently named a consultant to the United States Council of Catholic Bishops Ad Hoc Committee for Religious Liberty, said the appointment is an opportunity to help protect religious freedom in America. “I am deeply committed, as a citizen and as a scholar, to the importance — indeed, the centrality — of religious freedom,” he said. “The opportunity to assist the Catholic bishops of the United States, and the Church more generally, in understanding, protecting and teaching about this freedom, is an honor.” The committee aims to “address the increasing threats to religious liberty in our society so that the Church’s mission may advance unimpeded and the right of believers of any religious persuasion or none be respected,” Bishop William Lori, chair of the committee, said in a press release. While he is uncertain what his specific responsibilities will be, Garnett said he believes it will have to do with religion and the law. “I teach and write about church-state relations, religious freedom and constitutional law, so the work of the ad hoc committee is very closely connected to my own scholarly work, and … to the distinctive Catholic character and mission of the University,” he said. Garnett said the subcommittee will approach the issue of religious freedom from an interfaith and international perspective. “I sense that [the committee members] are sensitive to the importance of educating Catholics about the centrality of religious freedom: religious freedom for all, not just Catholics, and not just for Americans,” he said. Garnett said some people underestimate the level of religious persecution in the modern world. “In many places, Christians suffer outright persecution, and I think the bishops want to remind Catholics of the need to pray for and support these victims of persecution,” Garnett said. It is crucial citizens understand that religious freedom is a basic right, he said. “There is also the important need to help not only Catholics, but all Americans, understand that religious freedom is not just a matter of ‘special pleading,’” he said. “It is not a ‘liberal’ or ‘conservative’ concern, but a human rights concern.” The way governments approach the issue of religious freedom has ramifications for its overall human rights policies, he said. “Other freedoms are not secure in a political community that does not protect religious freedom because, at the end of the day, a government that respects religious liberty is one that acknowledges limits on its power and reach,” he said.
On Thursday, Saint Mary’s President Carol Ann Mooney addressed the Class of 2017 as a part of the Common Experience component of the Cross Currents Program to help young women understand the meaning and importance of their Saint Mary’s education, said Patricia Fleming, provost and senior vice president of academic affairs. As a part of Cross Currents Program, the first year students are asking themselves “Why am I here?” and Dr. Mooney can help answer that question, Fleming said. Mooney arrived at Saint Mary’s College 44 years ago, as a first-year herself, and can remember those early days very vividly and how she was very intimidated, coming from a small town, Fleming said. “Basically, I was a country kid, and when I got here, I thought everybody came from Chicago, Cleveland or New Jersey and they were all wiser and sophisticated and I was not.” Mooney said. Mooney spoke of her first mixer, what could possibly be considered a bit like Domerfest, she said, and had no idea what a mixer was. She was not prepared to meet other people, and did not know how. “I never had such an experience,” Mooney said. “I knew everybody in my town. If I went to a dance, it was the same old people I had known since kindergarten. There was no mixing.” She said she eventually overcame her shyness, but not after crying out on the island, leaving the mixer three minutes after entering. A junior, who lived down the hall, helped her through her fear of meeting new people, she said. Mooney said her peer told her, “If you can talk to me, you can talk to other people.” She said French was an important part of her education. She had a strong desire to study abroad in France and attended class five times a week in order to achieve that goal, she said. But after three years of disrupted French in high school, Mooney said she was placed in a class with girls who had taken five or six years of the language. “I studied French every single night, for hours, convinced I was going to fail and never go to France,” Mooney said. However, she said her hard work paid off and she spent an entire year in France. However, she said that did not mean she saw her experience in a positive light from the beginning. With tough French classes and a struggle to adapt to life abroad, Mooney said she learned a lesson. She then shared this lesson with the first-year class: Give it a chance. “Immerse yourself in something.,” Mooney said. “For me it was classwork. I was excited about my classes. I really loved the fact that they challenged me.” Her second piece of advice was a bit simpler: sleep. Mooney said she got all the way through law school without staying up past 11 p.m. “You cannot feel good about anything if you’re so sleep deprived that you don’t know what’s going on,” she said. Mooney continued her speech laying out three important lessons or experiences she hopes students in the class of 2017 will experience over the next four years at the College. “I hope you grow in a sense of awe and wonder at the beauty and the complexity of the created world,” Mooney said. The second lesson Mooney said she hoped students would learn during their experience at Saint Mary’s was empathy for others. “I hope you deepen your understand of what it means to be human and really develop your empathy with other human beings,” Mooney said. “That you have a greater capacity to put yourself in the shoes of another and have empathy for her, for her situation.” Finally, Mooney said she hoped each individual would develop their spiritual life while at College. “Whether you are of a different Christian faith, or you’re Jewish, or Muslim, or Hindu or of no faith tradition at all, I truly believe there will be a hole in your life, a sadness or an emptiness, a hollowness, if we don’t find some sense of purpose that calls you beyond yourself,” Mooney said. Mooney said every Belle chose Saint Mary’s for a unique reason and she knows this institution will continue to have something to offer to everyone. “I hope part of the ‘why’ is that we offer you things that are not available everywhere,” Mooney said. “I urge you to take advantage of what we have to offer … I urge you to please plunge into the rich life available here.” Contact Annemarie Loesberg at firstname.lastname@example.org
Caitlyn Jordan With the upcoming holidays, many families will gather around a table and enjoy a feast together, but some families will have little to no food on their tables.The 10th annual Hunger Banquet was held at Saint Mary’s on Tuesday evening to raise awareness about hunger and poverty.Saint Mary’s Student Diversity Board (SDB) president Callie Brown said her department’s goals were to emphasize the challenges of poverty in local and international communities.“The purpose of the hunger banquet is to raise awareness about poverty and hunger around the world and to provide resources for the community to get involved and give back,” Brown said.SDB sponsored this not so ordinary dinner, which was a part of the Board’s goals in highlighting diversity on campus.Students, faculty and staff drew slips of paper and played different roles at the banquet, according to a press release. One person could be a millionaire, and another could be a single parent working three jobs, barely able to make rent. Once in a role, each participant is categorized into one of three social classes: lower, middle and upper class.The designated class on each slip of paper determines how much food is on his or hers plate, the press release stated.Senior Madison Maidment said the banquet was an eye-opening experience.“The banquet is an opportunity for students to get a feel for the life of those less fortunate, especially when it comes to issues of poverty and justice,” Maidment said. “The hands-on experience helps people better understand those who may not have the same opportunities. Not everyone has a meal plan.”The event was small yet informative, sophomore Erin Hart said.“It was really cool to talk about hunger and poverty not only in our local community but also worldwide,” Hart said. “I also liked hearing about the different ways the community can give back to those less fortunate.”Brown said the Hunger Banquet was a powerful event and she hopes that Saint Mary’s students will contact the Office of Civil and Social Concerns if they would like to get involved in this annual event.“This event, to me, is a sign of solidarity with those who live in poverty and do not have the same access as resources as many in the Saint Mary’s community do,” Brown said.Tags: 10th annual hunger banquet, awareness, callie brown, Diversity, hunger, hunger banquet, poverty, SDB, sdb hunger banquet, Student Diversity Board
As part of the faculty colloquium, Cassie Majetic, associate professor of biology, and Aaron Moe, assistant professor of English, presented their research.Majetic discussed her research in plant evolutionary ecology, and specifically on how the odor given off by different plants attracts pollinators and how a plant’s environment shapes its evolutionary trajectory over time.“I’m particularly interested in this [evolution] as mediated by pollinators for plant reproduction purposes,” Majetic said. “The main role, the main type of [reproductive] assistant [plants] have are insects and small mammals and other types of organisms like birds, that come to a plant based on information the plant is providing and then pick up pollen. … What’s important is that the plant provides the right type of information to those potential pollinators so that they show up in the first place and then find a suitable mate.”Majetic said that while there are multiple ways for plants to give off that information, she has focused on floral odor. She said historically, scientists have focused on visual cues — such as color — but plants do not necessarily use visuals as much as humans do. Instead, Majetic said the plants give off an odor, which pollinators detect.“That’s a piece of information that the insect uses and decodes,” she said. “They come and visit the plant. Plants that have the preferred characteristic are more likely to reproduce, so that when we get to the next generation, I’ve got more of the smelly [plants.] Over time, that will lead to larger scale changes of patterns, and that leads to the patterns of evolution that we see historically.”Moe’s research focuses on a book by Jody Gladding, called “Translations from Bark Beetle,” and the book’s relationship to biosemiotics.“Semiosis precedes consciousness,” Moe said. “That is…there’s a knowing but not knowing that you know. And this semiosis has its own agency apart from human consciousness.”Moe said the “biosemiotic project” focuses on the fact that all life is characterized by communication, which “places humans back in nature as part of the richly communicative global web teeming with meanings.”“But, to foreshadow,” Moe said, “we forget, or at least I forget, that something as tiny as a bark beetle also has its own vastness of fractal membranes. It too, on a different scale, is a super-organism, teeming with biosemiotic activity in its own cells, as well as in the coexisting swarm of microbial activity of its own gut.”Moe said he read Gladding’s book after spending numerous summers in Colorado. Her book incorporates the physicality of bark beetles from their effect on trees and translates it into human language. Moe said Gladding took the grooves that these beetles left on trees and interpreted these markings as poems themselves.“Though the grooves are not part of the beetle’s semiosis, the vibrations caused by gnawing through the wood are,” Moe said. “They respond to each other’s vibrations, seeing those vibrations as having semiotic implications. In other words, the poem is not there. The poem is gone, and we just have this trace. … And if we think about semiosis as taking place at the membrane level, these beetles participate in an active awareness and interpretation of what those membranes of the outer surface of their bodies feel.“We cannot pretend to articulate the substance of the knowing of the beetle, but, to echo Pierce and Wheeler, an abductive reasoning is at work. The beetles respond to the vibrations of another beetle, and “know” that another beetle is gnawing on either side, and they don’t cross paths.”Tags: biology, communication, faculty, research
University President Fr. John Jenkins released a statement Sunday offering his sympathies to those impacted by the Tree of Life Congregation shooting in Pittsburgh on Saturday morning.“On behalf of the University of Notre Dame, I extend my deepest condolences to the families and friends of the shooting victims at Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, and to their extended family among the Jewish students, faculty and staff here at Notre Dame and in South Bend,” he said in the statement.The shooting took place when a man shot and killed 11 people and injured six more at a synagogue, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.The Anti-Defamation League said in a statement that the shooting is believed to be the deadliest attack on the Jewish community in the history of the United States.In his statement, Jenkins condemned anti-Semitism and pledged solidarity with the victims of the shooting.“A mass shooting again bloodies the American landscape, but now with the venal ingredient of anti-Semitism as a motive,” he said. “On this, the Sabbath for our Catholic university, intercessions were offered today at Mass in the Basilica and at students’ resident chapels on behalf of the Tree of Life departed and their surviving loved ones.“In the days ahead, Notre Dame will look for ways to mourn in solidarity with our friends and to address the venomous hatred directed at them because of their faith and identity.”Tags: mass shootings, Pittsburgh, Squirrel Hill neighborhood, Tree of Life Synagogue
Notre Dame head women’s basketball coach Muffet McGraw is making headlines across the nation after calling for gender equality Thursday in a press conference at the Final Four in Tampa, Florida.“I’m getting tired of the novelty of ‘the first female governor of this state,’ ‘the first female African American mayor of this city,’” McGraw said at the conference. “When is it going to become the norm instead of the exception?”McGraw launched into the speech after a reporter asked her about comments she previously made about not hiring another man for her coaching staff.“Did you know that the Equal Rights Amendment was introduced in 1967 and it still hasn’t passed?” McGraw said. “We need 38 states to agree that discrimination on the basis of sex is unconstitutional.“ … How are these young women looking up and seeing someone just like them preparing them for the future? We don’t have enough female role models, we don’t have enough visible female leaders, we don’t have enough women in power.”McGraw is in Tampa for her ninth Final Four as head coach of Notre Dame women’s basketball. The Irish will take on the UConn Huskies on Friday at 9 p.m. for a chance to play in the NCAA national championship.Though the press conference began as a conversation about the upcoming semifinal, McGraw’s comments pivoted the discussion to the subject of female leaders in sports and positions of power.“All these millions of girls that play sports across the country, they could come out every day and we’re teaching them great things about life skills,” McGraw said. “But wouldn’t it be great to teach them to watch how women lead?“Girls are socialized to know when they come out gender roles are already set. Men run the world. Men have the power. Men make the decisions. It’s always the man that is the stronger one. And when these girls are [growing up], who are they looking up to, to tell them that that’s not the way it has to be?”McGraw commented on the lack of female representation in leadership positions beyond sports, as well, using the United States Senate, the House of Representatives and Fortune 500 companies as examples.“When you look at men’s basketball, and 99% of the jobs go to men, why shouldn’t 100 or 99% of the jobs in women’s basketball go to women?” McGraw said. “Maybe it’s because we only have 10% women athletic directors in Division I. People hire people who look like them — and that’s the problem.”Her comments quickly went viral, prompting responses from public figures like former President Barack Obama, South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg and sports broadcasters such as ESPN’s Rachel Nichols.“A voice everybody should hear,” Obama tweeted in response to the NCAA women’s basketball posting of the video.Buttigieg, a potential contender in the 2020 presidential election, tweeted a similar sentiment.“A powerful statement from a leader I admire,” Buttigieg said.Former NBA player Tracy McGrady weighed in on Nichols’ ESPN show “The Jump.”“She dropped the mic on that one — she hit the nail on the head right there,” McGrady said.The Irish will face the Huskies in the NCAA semifinal Friday at 9 p.m. The winner will advance to the NCAA women’s basketball championship, which is scheduled to take place Sunday.Tags: gender equality, Muffet McGraw, NCAA semifinal, women leadership
Six new and two returning department heads will complete The Observer’s 2020-2021 Editorial Board, incoming Editor-in-Chief Maria Leontaras announced Saturday.The eight editors will join Leontaras as well as incoming Managing Editor Mariah Rush and Assistant Managing Editors Maeve Filbin, Claire Rafford and Sara Schlecht in directing the editorial responsibilities of the paper.Juniors Hayden Adams, Ryan Israel, Mia Marroquin, Diane Park and Serena Zacharias and sophomores Ellie Dombrowski, Nelisha Silva and Allison Thornton will lead their respective departments beginning March 16.Adams will be filling the role of Sports Editor. A junior from Lexington, Kentucky, Adams is majoring in physics and film, television and theatre while pursuing a minor in Journalism, Ethics and Democracy. Now in his second year in the department, Adams has covered football, volleyball, fencing and hockey, as well as men’s and women’s basketball and soccer. He currently resides in Zahm House.Israel, a Stanford Hall resident hailing from Detroit, Michigan, and currently studying abroad in London, England, will take over as Scene Editor. A connoisseur of all things arts and culture, Israel has spent his time at the paper as a critic and reporter covering music, movies, television and campus events. Israel is majoring in sociology and television.Marroquin, a Holland, Michigan, native, will take on the role of Saint Mary’s News Editor. Marroquin is majoring in communication studies with minors in PR and advertising and Spanish. She has written for The Observer since her sophomore year and has covered a range of topics including Miss Kenya USA’s visit to the College, access to grief and loss support groups on campus and new dining services initiatives.Park has designed for The Observer since her freshman year and became the Graphics Editor last year. Continuing her position as department editor, Park is excited to contribute her creative background to The Observer. Studying industrial design, sociology and a minor in digital marketing, she hopes to lead new creative content with her design team.Zacharias, a native of Mequon, Wisconsin, will take over as Notre Dame News Editor. A neuroscience and behavior major and Journalism, Ethics and Democracy minor, Zacharias has written for the Notre Dame News department since her freshman year. Throughout her time with the paper, she has reported on a number of events, including co-founder of Black Lives Matter Opal Tometti’s visit to campus, the 2020 student body government elections and James Mueller’s mayoral election, in addition to writing features on a variety of topics such as Notre Dame low-income student admission experiences.Dombrowski, a New York City, New York, native, will serve as Social Media Editor. A program for liberal studies major, she has written for Viewpoint and served as the newsletter manager. As the newsletter manager, Dombrowski has covered a variety of topics, including the Iowa caucuses. She enjoys listening to The 1975, reading any and all books, cuddling with cats and drinking too much coffee. Dombrowski is currently a resident of Lewis Hall.Silva, a native of Las Vegas, Nevada, will take over as the Viewpoint Editor. She is majoring in English and global affairs, concentrating in civil and human rights, with a minor in the Hesburgh Program for Public Service. Silva currently works as a copy editor for the department and serves as the vice president of Pasquerilla West Hall. She will be studying abroad at Trinity College in Dublin during the fall semester.Thornton will be returning as Photo Editor. At Saint Mary’s she is studying environmental studies and anthropology and is a native of South Bend, Indiana. Thornton is currently studying abroad in Maynooth, Ireland. She has photographed many events during her time at the paper, including the Camping World Bowl football championship this past season.Tags: department editors, Editorial Board, Observer editorial board
Ben Vereen as King Charles in PippinPippin’s original magic man has become a household name since his breakout stint as the Leading Player in 1972. Vereen returned in ’74 for a return engagement, but it’s high time this Broadway legend makes an encore appearance in the show that made him a star—this time, as King Charles. He’s already got experience playing the ruler of a kingdom on Broadway and on TV, and the 67-year-old can still bust a move! Now can he ride a unicycle? Constantine Maroulis as Dennis in Rock of AgesHas it really been nine whole years since Constantine Maroulis wailed “Bohemian Rhapsody” on American Idol? We’d love to see him return to the show that made him a Broadway mainstay, Rock of Ages—but this time, instead of playing wanna-be rocker Drew, we think he’d really kick ass as Bourbon Room honcho Dennis. He’s got the comic timing, the luscious locks and the chest hair for the gig. Joe Machota as Sam Carmichael in Mamma Mia!After making his Broadway debut as the very first flipper-wearing husband-to-be Sky in Mamma Mia!, Joe Machota deftly switched career paths to become a successful Broadway talent agent. Now that he’s tried a different side of the business, we invite him to return to the Greek Isles—but this time, no wetsuit! We think he’d really be able to nail “S.O.S.” as Sophie’s possible papa Sam Carmichael. There’s a mysterious new trend sweeping the nation—first, Bebe Neuwirth returned to Broadway’s Chicago to take on the role of Matron “Mama” Morton after playing both Roxie and Velma. Two days later, Colm Wilkinson made a cameo as the Bishop in the Toronto production of Les Miserables. This crazy epidemic could revolutionize Broadway as we know it, and we are perfectly OK with that. Here are eight more stage favorites we’d love to see shake things up and return to the show that made them a star in an unexpected new role. Casting directors, you’re welcome. Terrence Mann as Old Deuteronomy in CatsWhile Ben Vereen is enjoying his stint as King Charles, we’d love to snag Tony winner Terrence Mann to star in a new revival of Cats—not taking on his original role of Rum Tum Tugger, but Old Deuteronomy! These days, Mann has been rocking the all-natural white locks and beard, and his booming baritone would be perfectly suited to sing the wise cat’s Jellicle proverbs and rhymes. Frances Ruffelle as Madame Thenardier in Les MiserablesShe hasn’t appeared on Broadway since her Tony-winning turn as Eponine in Les Miz, but over the last 25 years, Frances Ruffelle has inspired countless pre-teens to belt “On My Own” in their bedrooms (OK, we still do this once in a while. Fine, we did it this morning). Ruffelle returned to New York to star in a solo show at 54 Below in 2013, which is a great warm-up for a Broadway return as Eponine’s mean momma, Madame Thenardier. Sarah Brightman as Carlotta in The Phantom of the OperaIt’s been over two decades since Sarah Brightman made her Broadway debut as Christine Daae in Phantom, but judging from her solo concert extravaganzas, she’s totally still got that high E. From her lavish stage shows to her lunar vacation plans, we’ve got more than enough proof that Brightman should graduate to the role of the ultimate Prima Donna at the Opera Populaire. She could even provide her own costumes. Kristin Chenoweth as Madame Morrible in WickedKristin Chenoweth first floated onstage in Glinda’s bubble 10 years ago, but her star has only been on the rise since then—we think it’s time she makes a deliciously sinister return to Oz. She’s a master comedienne, she knows how to work those hair extensions and she’s not afraid to let her inner mean queen shine. Plus, she’ll look striking in that green mink! Joel Grey as Herr Schultz in CabaretBroadway legend Joel Grey played the Tony-winning role of the Emcee in two productions of Cabaret—the original 1966 Broadway mounting and the subsequent 1987 revival. Nearly five decades after his first “WIllkommen,” it would be a treat to see him return to the Kit Kat Klub as pineapple-toting dream date Herr Schultz. Ah-ah-ah-ah-ah… Star Files View Comments Kristin Chenoweth
Show Closed This production ended its run on April 27, 2014 View Comments Ready to examine your relationship with the truth? Tickets are now on sale for the world premiere of Scott Z. Burns’ The Library. Directed by Oscar winner Steven Soderbergh and starring Chloe Grace Moretz, the off-Broadway show will play a limited engagement March 25 through April 27. Opening night is set for April 15 at the Public’s Newman Theater. After Caitlin Gabriel (Moretz) survives a deadly shooting at her high school, she struggles to tell her story to her parents, the authorities and anyone who will listen. But there are other narratives that gain purchase in the media and paint her in a different light. The play asks us to examine our relationship to the truth and the lies that claim to heal us. Acting in films since she was only five years old, Mortez’ credits include The Amityville Horror, Kick-Ass, Let Me In, Hugo, Dark Shadows, Carrie and Kick-Ass 2. She will soon be seen in The Equalizer, Dark Places, Laggies and If I Stay. The Library Related Shows
The River The River will feature set design by Ultz, lighting design by Charles Balfour, sound design by Ian Dickinson for Autograph and music by Stephen Warbeck. Star Files Related Shows Show Closed This production ended its run on Feb. 8, 2015 Jumbo received the Emerging Talent Award at the Evening Standard Awards for her self-penned solo show Josephine and I. Her additional stage credits include Julius Caesar, for which she received an Olivier nomination, A Doll’s House and As You Like It. On screen, Jumbo has starred in the TV series Vera and the film Remainder. Both Donnelly and Jumbo will make their Broadway debut in The River. View Comments Jackman won a Tony Award for playing Peter Allen in The Boy from Oz and has also appeared on Broadway in A Steady Rain and Hugh Jackman: Back on Broadway. The star’s many film and TV credits include Australia, Swordfish, Kate & Leopold, Real Steel, The Prestige, Les Miserables and the X-Men series, including The Wolverine. The Oscar-nominated star is also planning to channel P.T. Barnum in a long-in-the-works movie musical The Greatest Showman on Earth, featuring a new screenplay by Oscar winner Bill Condon. Hugh Jackman In addition to the Royal Court production of The River, Donnelly has appeared on stage in Judgement Day, Romeo and Juliet, Dancing at Lughnasa and Boston Marriage. Her film credits include Heart of Lightness, Hello Carter, Dread, Insatiable and Right Hand Drive. He’s prepping to host the Tonys, but that’s just the beginning of Hugh Jackman’s return to the New York stage! Dates have now been announced for the previously reported Broadway production of Jez Butterworth’s The River, starring the Tony winner and Oscar nominee. The play will run for a limited engagement from October 31 through January 25 at the Circle in the Square Theatre, with opening night set for November 16. In addition to Jackman, The River will star Laura Donnelly and Cush Jumbo. Directed by Ian Rickson, The River is Butterworth’s follow-up to the Tony-nominated Jerusalem. The play, which had an acclaimed run helmed by Rickson in 2012 at London’s Royal Court Theatre, tells the story of a man and a woman in a remote cabin on the cliffs on a moonless night.