All posts filed under: Articles

Echo Alumni Interviews: Sophie Lorenzo

In celebration of the upcoming graduation of Echo 12 on Saturday July 29, Church Life will feature interviews with select Echo alumni. Check out yesterday’s interview here. Today’s interview is with Sophie (Jacobucci) Lorenzo, of Echo 9. Sophie served as an Echo apprentice at the parish of St. Raphael in the Diocese of Manchester, New Hampshire. Church Life caught up with Sophie on her current work, renewing the Catholic Imagination, and her reflections on her time in Echo. CL: Are you currently working in theological education, ministry, or work in the Church? SL: I’m currently working at Loyola Press, a Catholic publisher of religious education curriculum in Chicago. My role is Social Media Specialist in the Marketing department. I coordinate messages to promote our products and content for blogs on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Loyola Press is a Jesuit ministry with a dedicated mission to be “people for others” following the Ignatian spiritual tradition. CL: How would you define the phrase “Catholic Imagination,” and how do you see yourself renewing the Catholic imagination through your …

Echo Alumni Interviews: Beth Franzosa

In celebration of the upcoming graduation of Echo 12 on Saturday July 29, Church Life will feature interviews with select Echo alumni. Check out yesterday’s interview here. Today’s interview is with Beth Franzosa, of Echo 2. During Echo, Beth served at St. Thomas the Apostle Parish in the Diocese of Peoria, Illinois. Now, Beth works at Cristo Rey Jesuit High School in Chicago, finishing up her tenth year there. As the Director of Adult Formation, she oversees religious formation opportunities for faculty and staff. Additionally, Beth teaches a senior Ethics course, and a sophomore class on Sacraments and Hebrew Scriptures for the Cristo Rey religion department. CL: How would you define the phrase “Catholic Imagination,” and how do you see yourself renewing the Catholic imagination through your work? BF: To me, the Catholic imagination seems to be a particular way of seeing the world, especially seeing and cultivating ways that our faith permeates our lives. What is a Catholic approach to work? To relationships? To social media, grocery shopping, commuting? To the big and small problems …

Echo Alumni Interviews: Michelle Ross

In celebration of the upcoming graduation of Echo 12 on Saturday July 29, Church Life will feature interviews with select Echo alumni. Today’s interview is with Michelle Ross, of Echo 10, who served as an apprentice for the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston at Christ the Redeemer Parish. For the past two years she has Served at Nativity Catholic Church in Indianapolis as the Director of Religious Education and Pastoral Associate. CL: How do you see yourself renewing the Catholic imagination through your work? MR: My understanding of the Catholic Imagination is as a way of living and growing creatively in the truth offered to us through a personal relationship with Christ and his Church. When we awaken the Catholic Imagination we can dream and, in a way, play with the rich beauty and history of the teachings and tradition of the Church so that our encounter with Christ is lifted up and made present for the world. A lot of my energy at Nativity is poured into sparking the Catholic Imagination in our parishioners, friends and family. …

Symposia Recap: Summer at the MICL

South Bend is not widely known for its beautiful weather. But summer in South Bend blesses the hardy natives, who patiently bear the brunt of the harsh winters, with a welcome respite, and impresses visitors with stunning skies straight out of a Thomas Cole painting. Pioneers who arrived in the summer, I imagine, were willing to slog through the permaclouded winter simply with the hope of seeing these oil-painted vistas come spring. Notre Dame’s campus hums awake with the sun each morning, as the gym fills up with professors on a swim, the lake-side trails are lousy with high school athletes on morning runs. Above the morning activity, the morning sky shines radiant blue, not a cloud—permanent or transitory—in sight, the sun radiating a cheery sparkle through the clean morning air. On Notre Dame’s campus, the beautiful summer weather provides a backdrop to one of the busiest times of the year. Over 20,000 guests—high school students, ministers, academics, and teachers—and undergraduate students reside in Notre Dame’s dorms throughout the summer sessions. Keeping pace with the …

Announcing: Cultures of Formation, a Pre-Synod Conference

M cGrath Institute for Church Life presents a Pre-Synod Conference: Cultures of Formation: Young People, Faith, and Vocational Discernment March 5–7, 2018 The 2018 Vatican synod dedicated to “young people, faith, and vocational discernment” will address “the process by which a person makes fundamental choices in dialogue with the Lord and listening to the voice of the Spirit (Preparatory Document II.2).” As part of the ongoing preparation for the synod, the McGrath Institute for Church Life at the University of Notre Dame is hosting an academic and pastoral conference with three interrelated goals: To assess the formative influences on young people today To articulate the end to which the Church’s evangelization and formation efforts are ordered To exercise missionary creativity in renewing the Church’s work to form young people for vocational discernment in the present age With these goals in mind, the guiding question for the entire conference is, How do we create cultures in which it is easier for young people to be Catholic? By focusing on “cultures of formation”, we actually intend to …

An Interview with Rev. Stephen Giannini

The following interview with Rev. Stephen Giannini, of the Archdiocese of Indianapolis, appears in conjunction with the second annual John M. D’Arcy Program in Priestly Renewal happening this week at the McGrath Institute for Church life on Notre Dame’s Campus. Rev. Stephen Giannini was a participant in last year’s inaugural John M. D’Arcy program. Rev. Giannini was ordained for the Archdiocese of Indianapolis on June 5, 1993. Currently serving as pastor of Ss. Francis & Clare of Assisi Church, Greenwood, Indiana, he also serves as an associate judge for the Metropolitan Tribunal, confessor for the Little Sisters of the Poor and Sisters of Loretto at St. Augustine Home, and associate spiritual director at Bishop Simon Bruté College Seminary, all in Indianapolis, Indiana.   Note: The following interview has been edited for length and clarity. How do you understand your priestly vocation? As all Christians are called to love God and to love their neighbor, I believe that the priestly vocation lives out this command through celebrating/officiating at Sacraments; teaching/preaching the Good News; and being a …

Priestly Renewal at Notre Dame

While John Paul II is perhaps best known for his role in the collapse of the Communist bloc in Eastern Europe or for what is popularly referred to as the “Theology of the Body,” the case can be made that his Apostolic Exhortation of 1992, Pastores Dabo Vobis, has in fact affected the lives of most Catholics throughout the world in even more significant ways.  For in that document, the now sainted Holy Father laid out a vision for the formation (note, not merely education) of priests, and this radically revamped the way seminaries prepare men for ordained service.  He spoke of formation not merely in terms of theological education (what might be called intellectual formation) but also in terms of spiritual, pastoral, and human formation.  This in turn reshaped the way seminaries function and work to prepare men for ordained ministry.  This past December, the Congregation for the Clergy issued a new Ratio Fundamentalis, or basic schema, for the formation of priests.  It too speaks very much of the training of priests in terms …

Summer Symposia Recap: Forming the Person as Icon

In late June, the Center for Liturgy of the McGrath Institute for Church Life facilitated a summer symposium designed to creatively explore the senses of Scripture. Drawing from Sofia Cavalletti and Gianna Gobbi’s Catechesis of the Good Shepherd, the Notre Dame Center for Liturgy sought to nurture and develop the sacramental imagination of the symposium participants and, consequently, the faith communities to which these individuals would return and catechize. While the symposium offered intellectual formation pertaining to the literal, allegorical, moral, and anagogical senses of the Scriptures, the structure of the week allowed participants to experience these senses. According to the principles of Catechesis of the Good Shepherd, it is this paradoxical structure of the human person’s physical and spiritual natures that allows the child to experience, and, more importantly, participate in, the story of sacred history. Here it is helpful to turn to Cavalletti’s own writing: [Sacred history] seems to unite elements derived from two different worlds. . . . Indeed, the expression “sacred history” could appear to be a contradiction in terms. But …

Saying God Sacramentally

My God my bright abyss Into which all my longing will not go Once more I come to the edge of all I know And believing nothing believe in this: Christian Wiman begins his memoir of faith, My Bright Abyss, with the above poem. The short verse elegantly and poignantly captures the impossible project of trying to define the ineffable mystery of God whom Wiman, as a Christian, throws his entire life into believing. At the end of this past June, Notre Dame’s Institute for Scholarship in the Liberal Arts hosted a literary gathering entitled “Trying to Say ‘God’: Re-enchanting the Catholic Literary Imagination.” This gathering commenced as the Notre Dame Center for Liturgy’s annual Liturgy Symposium, “Encountering Jesus Christ in the Bible and the Liturgy,” concluded. Both the literary gathering and the liturgy symposium meditated on words and the Word at the heart of the Christian life. As Bishop Daniel Flores remarked in his opening address at “Trying to Say ‘God’”: “The whole Christian life is a participation in the expressiveness of the WORD. …

A House Built on the Rock

Tucked into the eastern slope of Mount Zion is a beautiful church called St. Peter in Gallicantu (Peter at Cockcrow). It boasts beautiful, panoramic views of the city from its expansive grounds, which reveal the rolling contours of the Judean hills still undulating gracefully beneath the urban development which saddles them. The church’s location on the mountain’s shoulder does more than invite visitors to admire the view. Through its multiple levels, built one upon the other, St. Peter in Gallicantu invites pilgrims on a journey through its architectural explication of redemptive love. A visit to the church begins at its base, under the foundations. At this deepest level of the church, a visitor can access the archeological excavations which were traditionally believed to be the system of prisons underneath (or nearby) the first century house of the high priest Caiaphas, in which Jesus was kept the night of his arrest. The site was venerated by early Christians, as witnessed by the fourth century Pilgrim of Bordeaux, who, in 333, bears testimony to this site, remarking …