Visiting professor connects Lent, ‘Laudato si”

first_imgClemens Sedmak, visiting professor of Catholic Social Tradition and community engagement at the Center for Social Concerns, discussed “Laudato si’” — Pope Francis’ encyclical on environmental issues and consumerism — and how to integrate its teachings into Lenten practices.Sedmak said a monk told him Lent was meant to be a time to form habits which will last throughout the year.“I once met a Benedictine abbot, as one does, and he told me that Lent is something like intensive exercise time for the monks, and it means you try to take something very seriously which will help you throughout the rest of the year,” Sedmak said. “So the idea is that your Lenten exercises and sacrifices will sustain you through the rest of the year, trying to establish habits that you hopefully will bring into your life after Easter.”According to Sedmak, Pope Francis focuses on habits in “Laudato si’” as a means of obtaining a more sustainable world.“Pope Francis encourages us in ‘Laudato si’’ to establish new habits,” Sedmak said. “I think the most sustainable way of changing an institution or any person is habits.“So you change your everyday life. You change what you take for granted, what is familiar, what is regular. You change the space, you change the things you repeat over time and you change your actions.”Last November, Sedmak and 18 of his students experimented with various aspects of their lives in light of “Laudato si’” and tried to live more sustainable lives. Sedmak said this process helped his students to reflect on their habits and question the practices they took for granted.“If you try, as one colleague did, to live without buying plastic for a month, you don’t buy plastic for a month, you will refine certain categories and you will rethink what you took for granted,” he said. “And certain categories all of the sudden become problematic.”Sedmak said Lent offers a time to undergo this process in light of “Laudato si’” and free one’s self from excesses.“I see ‘Laudato si’’ and Lent coming nicely together in the concern of try[ing] to renew yourself so that you’re open for what’s really important in life,” Sedmak said. “And I think most of us have made the experience, and can make the experience that if we forego certain things. We gain a freedom that makes us much more open to the things that really matter in life.”Adapting the mindset of “less is more” helps to be successful with Lenten goals, Sedmak said.“In the spiritual life you have to have some sense of moderation,” Sedmak said. “ … [Ignatius of Loyola] had to deal with over-ambitious, young Jesuits in Portugal. They were overdoing it and fasting too much and sleeping not enough. So they took Lent over seriously.”According to Sedmak, Ignatius of Loyola responded to these Jesuits with a letter, telling them not to exhaust themselves with excessive fasting.“He sent a letter in two parts,” Sedmak said. “The first part basically said ‘Yes, God expects very impressive fruits from us, and yes, should be perfect as your father in heaven is perfect. However, don’t overdo it because if you overdo it, you will break down, ruin your health and not be able to serve the kingdom in the long run.’”According to Sedmak, Lent — viewed in light of “Laudato si’” — challenges Christians to take the suffering caused by environmental degradation and make it their own.“To turn what’s happening in the world into our own personal suffering; that’s how I see, in a nutshell, the Lenten challenge because if you are honest, this is a challenge,” Sedmak said. “ … It takes an effort for me to turn what’s happening in the world into my own personal suffering.“That’s why we need Lent. To make this bridge happen, because here on campus we may not see much of the climate change or the ecological threats that the pope talks about.”Tags: laudato si’, Lent, Pope Francislast_img read more

Orr Fellowship helps students develop careers

first_imgThe Orr Fellowship is a post-graduate professional opportunity in which selected graduates are placed with host companies in Indianapolis. Fellows work with their company for two years, participate in a curriculum meant to further develop their business education, according to the Orr Fellowship website.Emily Rompola, a 2017 alumna, is one of many former Saint Mary’s students who entered the Fellowship after graduation. According to Rompola, she was selected out of 1,100 applicants to the Fellowship. Rompola currently works as a Customer Success Manager at the technology startup Lumavate. She said her time at Saint Mary’s prepared her well for her career. She said her classes helped her learn critical thinking, problem solving and communicating with her peers, skills she said are vital for success.Rompola received her degree in political science, but is excited to work in the technical industry.“Diving into a technical role has been challenging, but also incredibly rewarding because everyday I am learning and discovering new things,” she said.Alumna Lauren Jamieson is also an Orr Fellow, and she began her fellowship in 2016. She works as Chief of Staff at the technology firm ClearObject.“I am working on projects, joining meetings and gaining experience I never thought possible a year and a half out of college,” Jamieson said of her career.She said her classes at Saint Mary’s gave her critical thinking and problem solving skills, and she said her education set her up for success.“Being involved in projects like the senior comp where you have to analyze a real business with a team is a real world experience you get in the classroom,” Jamieson said.Rompola named Jamieson and Lauren Hlavin, who both also graduated from Saint Mary’s and became Orr Fellows, as her primary mentors.“The transition to living and working in a new city has definitely been easier with help from Lauren Hlavin and Lauren Jamieson,” she said. “They have given me advice and guidance during my transition from college to the working world. Everything from best practices in an office environment to the coolest restaurants to visit on the weekends. In my experience, the sisterhood present at Saint Mary’s has continued within the network of Saint Mary’s alums involved in the Fellowship.”Jamieson said the Orr Fellowship is shaped by current participants, which allows it to evolve over time. She said she has seen this evolution in her two years as a fellow, and she is thankful for the people she has met through the Orr community.“There are so many fantastic parts of Orr Fellowship. It is truly hard to pick just one, but the community it offers is unlike anything else. Moving to a new city and having 85 friends to learn from and have fun with is such a blessing.”Tags: Alumni, business, Orr Fellowshiplast_img read more

Senate convenes in person, vice president for student affairs pays visit

first_imgThe Notre Dame student senate met in person Thursday evening. This week’s meeting was centered around an address from vice president for student affairs Erin Hoffmann Harding. Hoffmann Harding spoke about campus reopening and the restructuring of student gathering spaces on campus including social spacing of Duncan and LaFortune student centers, and the introduction of many new outdoor spaces for student gathering such as the tents in front of North and South Dining Halls and Library Lawn.Hoffmann Harding mentioned certain aspects of student life that got modified in the reopening process such as an option for students to live off-campus while still earning credit towards the University residency requirement and the opening of secondary residence locations to offer on-campus housing to all students who requested it.In addition to the modifications to campus life, Harding talked about ways to address safety concerns in a way that did not cause divisions within the University community, new Title IX regulations and racial injustice within the community. Hoffmann Harding said the University is hosting conversations with Black student organizations regarding racial injustice in four main areas: campus policing, student mental health, programming funds and space and providing training for inclusion and diversity issues for faculty.Hoffmann Harding fielded many questions regarding issues like dashboard changes, surveillance testing, concerns about Saturday’s home football game and flu season. Following Hoffmann Harding’s informative address, there was an update on the Community/Campus Advisory Coalition (CCAC) in that the CCAC has now finished the election process and the council is finalized.Next, the senate moved to the appointment of 14 members to the Committee on the Constitution. This motion was put in block by parliamentarian, junior Thomas Davis and was passed without debate. Davis said he is very excited at the appointees.“Today is a very exciting moment for me,” he said. “This is a special part of the Committee on the Constitution being able to nominate or appoint members and at large members of the student body. It was a very thorough process and I’m very happy with the appointments I’ve been able to make.”Subsequently, the senate discussed order SS 2021-16: A resolution to Commit to Anti-Racist Action at Notre Dame. This order contained a statement in which the sponsors acknowledged the presence of racial injustice and discrimination on our campus and affirmed their continued desire to engage in open and constructive conversation with leaders of the Black Student Association, Notre Dame Socially Responsible Investing and the organizers of the Notre Dame Strike for Black Lives pertaining to their organizations’ goals and steps forward to foster an anti-racist campus community.Order SS 2021-16 received some push back from Dillion Hall senator Mike Dugan who called for more aggressive resolution that actively calls for more than just conversation pertaining to racial injustice.(Editor’s Note: Mike Dugan is a former News Writer and Systems Administrator at The Observer.)“We need to do something to remove the structures that are posing barriers to students of color and prohibiting them from getting the experience that they deserve here,” Dugan said. “We’re punting, or saying, Notre Dame, talk with people, but we ourselves are not taking a stand.”Despite dissent from Dugan and others, order SS 2021-16 was passed with a vote.This week’s senate meeting concluded by a motion to move order SS 2021-07 pertaining to the availability of $10,000 from the Student Union COVID-19 Response Financial Account to next week’s meeting.Tags: Erin Hoffman-Harding, Senate, Student Lifelast_img read more

New Website Launched To Track Reopening

first_imgImage by – A new way to monitor the status of reopening regions in New York State was released this week.The state launched a new website on Monday to monitor where each region stands in its reopening process.Previously, the Governor set seven criteria for reopening and each region must maintain each of those criteria to progress towards a full reopening:Metric #1: Decline in Total HospitalizationsMetric #2: Decline in DeathsMetric #3: New HospitalizationsMetric #4: Hospital Bed CapacityMetric #5: ICU Bed CapacityMetric #6: Diagnostic Testing CapacityMetric #7: Contact Tracing CapacitySo far, only four regions met all seven criteria’s for reopening: the Southern Tier, Mohawk Valley, the Finger Lakes and North Country. Western New York currently meets five of the seven benchmarks, falling short with the first two metrics for decline in total hospitalizations and deaths.Phased re-openings will depend on the ability of each region to achieve 30 tests per 1,000 people per month, consistent with the recommendation of Dr. Deborah Birx of the White House Coronavirus Task ForceThus far every region has met or is expected to meet the contact tracer requirement and New York City is the only region that did not meet the 30 percent hospital bed capacity criteria.Each region must maintain their seven metrics qualify for a new reopening phase. If they fail to maintain one of those criterias they will be forced to reset their reopening.It’s unclear how often the region by region status tracker will be updated by the state. Share:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)last_img read more

News Round-Up: Kristin! Audra! And Nathan Lane’s No Longer in The Money!

first_imgWelcome to our round-up of news stories, your daily guide to all the latest buzz in and around the Great White Way! First up? Two-time Tony winner Nathan Lane, Tony nominee Billy Magnussen and Broadway alums Rosemary Harris, Mamie Gummer and Ray Liotta are no longer in The Money. According to Deadline, David Milch’s HBO pilot The Money is no longer moving forward. Nathan Lane Kristin Chenoweth Rosemary Harris View All (5) Finally, the complete cast has been announced for Guys and Dolls at Carnegie Hall. Joining the previously reported stars Nathan Lane, Patrick Wilson, Sierra Boggess and Megan Mullally will be Tony winner Len Cariou (Sweeney Todd) as Arvide Abernathy and Tony nominee Lee Wilkof (Assassins) as Harry the Horse. Other cast members also now on board for the one-night-only event include Allison Blackwell, J.D. Webster, Linda Mugleston, Joseph Torello, Glenn Seven Allen, Manuel Herrera, Adam Jepsen, Jason Mills, Curt Olds, Nicholas Rodriguez, and Cody Williams. Adam Alexander, Nicolas Dávila, Rebecca Eichenberger, Constantine Germanacos, Gaelen Gilliland, Juan Jose Ibarra, Denis Lambert and Brian Charles Rooney. Star Files Over in Washington, The Kennedy Center has set dates for the previously reported productions of the Susan Stroman helmed Little Dancer and the Broadway-bound Gigi. Little Dancer will play October 25 through November 30. Gigi will play January 17 through Feburary 15. Meanwhile, Kristin Chenoweth has revealed her decade-long struggle with asthma in the hope of bringing asthma awareness. The Tony winner told E! Online that it’s had a very real impact on her career as she can suffer from “shortness of breath” or “wheezing” before an important performance. View Comments Five-time Tony winner Audra McDonald will present and Tamara Tunie emcee at The League of Professional Theatre Women’s 2014 Awards Celebration and Big Mingle Reception. The event will be held March 10 at The Irene Diamond Stage at The Pershing Square Signature Center. Zoe Caldwell, Judith Dolan, Joanna Sherman, Sondra Gorney, Meiyin Wang and Katherine Kovner will all receive awards during the evening. Audra McDonald Billy Magnussenlast_img read more

Broadway Theaters to Dim Lights in Honor of Elaine Stritch

first_img “Elaine Stritch’s big personality was matched by her big talent,” Broadway League executive director Charlotte St. Martin said in a statement. “Collaborating with some of Broadway’s greatest playwrights and composers throughout her lengthy career, her signature numbers and singular style created a memorable legacy.” Great White Way theaters will dim their lights to pay tribute to Elaine Stritch, the legendary Tony-winning Broadway performer who died on July 17 at the age of 89. Marquees will go dark on Friday, July 18 at 7:45 PM for one minute. Stritch’s many Broadway credits included Tony-nominated performances in Bus Stop, Sail Away, Company and A delicate Balance. She made her Great White Way debut in 1946 in Loco, and last appeared on its boards in A Little Night Music. In 2002, her one-woman retrospective Elaine Stritch at Liberty won the Tony Award for Best Special Theatrical Event. A documentary was made of the show, which brought Stritch her second of three Emmys (the other two for guest appearances in Law and Order and 30 Rock).center_img View Commentslast_img read more

Tickets Now Available for Blank! The Musical Off-Broadway

first_img View Comments Blank! is co-created by Michael Girts, Mike Descoteaux and T.J. Shanoff. The production is a collaboration between Uprights Citizens Brigade and Livecube, a mobile technology app that will be utilized by theatergoers during the show. Blank! The Musical Related Shows Show Closed This production ended its run on Nov. 30, 2014 At each performance Katie Dufrense, TJ Mannix, Nicole C. Hastings, Andrew Knox, Tessa Hersh, Matthew Van Colton and Douglas Widick will hit the stage without scripts or rehearsals to perform a brand new musical that audiences help create. Those in attendance will use their smartphones to choose a title, write lyrics and compose a score. Tickets are now on sale for the new interactive theatrical event Blank! The Musical off-Broadway. Performances will begin at New World Stages on November 1, with opening night set for November 17.last_img

Alexander Gemignani Replaces Injured John Dossett in Chicago

first_imgAlexander Gemignani will return to razzle dazzle ‘em in Broadway’s Chicago on January 25 for a limited engagement through March 13 at the Ambassador Theatre. He steps into the role of Billy Flynn for John Dossett, who sustained an unrelated injury earlier this week and who will now begin his run on March 14.Gemignani’s Broadway credits include Les Miserables, Sweeney Todd, Assassins, The People in the Picture and Sunday in the Park with George. His off-Broadway credits include Road Show, Headstrong and Avenue Q.The current cast also includes Charlotte d’Amboise as Roxie Hart, Amra-Faye Wright as Velma Kelly, Raymond Bokhour as Amos Hart, NaTasha Yvette Williams as Matron “Mama” Morton and R. Lowe as Mary Sunshine. As previously announced, Jennifer Nettles and Carly Hughes will join the company beginning February 2 as Roxie and Velma, respectively. from $49.50 View Comments Chicago Related Shows Alexander Gemignani Star Fileslast_img read more

Jake Shears at Work with Elton John on New Musical

first_img View Comments Jake Shears, who can currently be seen on the Los Angeles stage in Bent, is at work with another musical theater-inclined rock star! In a recent interview with The Advocate, the Scissor Sisters front man revealed that he is collaborating with Elton John on a new musical, the details of which he can’t yet reveal.Bent, currently playing at the Mark Taper Forum, marks Shears’ stage debut. He previously penned the score for the musical adaptation of Tales of the City. He also wrote songs for the upcoming P.T. Barnum movie musical The Greatest Showman on Earth, starring Hugh Jackman.John, whose life will be told on stage in a forthcoming bio-musical, won a Tony Award for the score of Aida. In addition to his numerous classic rock hits, his film and stage credits include The Lion King (which won him an Oscar for “Can You Feel the Love Tonight”), Billy Elliot and Lestat.In the interview, Shears referred to a certain East German transgender rock goddess when discussing writing for theater: “It’s like Hedwig. There’s a character that’s just fleshed out over an entire show…everyone’s got their own Hedwig inside of them.” If he needs a break from songwriting, we wouldn’t mind seeing him in pumps and fishnets after Taye Diggs.last_img read more

Pitch Perfect Matches! Skylar Astin, Laura Bell Bundy & More Get Engaged

first_imgThe holidays are prime proposal season, and there was no shortage for Broadway faves this year. Skylar Astin proposed to his Pitch Perfect co-star Anna Camp, Tony nominee Laura Bell Bundy is getting hitched to longtime boyfriend Thom Hinkle, and Wicked ensemble member Josh Daniel Green said yes to fiancé Daniel Robinson, who proposed on the Gershwin Theatre stage in a flying monkey costume.Astin shared the news on Instagram with a post-engagement selfie accompanied by the caption “I asked. She said yes!!!” The actor, who made his Broadway debut in Spring Awakening, will return to the New York stage for Carnegie Hall’s presentation of West Side Story this March. In addition to Pitch Perfect, Camp’s credits include True Blood, Mad Men and The Help on screen and Equus and All New People on stage.Bundy kicked off 2016 by posting a collage on Instagram showing off her ring and a few shots with Hinkle. “His thoughtfulness, massively generous heart and the fact he switched from Scotch to KY Bourbon has kept me falling in love with him more every day,” the countrified Legally Blonde star wrote.On Christmas Day, Robinson surprised his boyfriend by sneaking into a post-curtain call photo at Wicked. Green finishes the show as a flying monkey, so Robinson followed suit by wearing head-to-toe flying monkey garb, mask included. Is there anything more romantic than being proposed to in matching, vaguely terrifying winged creature outfits? Check it out below to see we’re not making this up.Congratulations to all the happy couples; may you have an aca-awesome, Omigod-worthy and thrillifying 2016! View Commentslast_img read more