Lecture examines works of Percy

first_imgDr. John O’Callaghan, associate professor of philosophy at Notre Dame, discussed the life and literature of author Walker Percy in a lecture Tuesday. The talk was part of the Catholic Culture Literature Series: Strangers in a Strange Land, run by the Center for Ethics and Culture. The four-part series centers around four Catholic-American authors and the contributions they have made to Catholic literature. A recurrent theme in Percy’s works was his feeling that many people knew “how to be in the world and not of it,” O’Callaghan said. Percy’s own childhood was quite traumatic, and it is surprising he was able to step outside this viewpoint, he said. Born in southern Alabama, Percy did not convert to Catholicism until his adult years. At the age of 12, his father committed suicide and not long after, he lost his mother in a car accident, O’Callaghan said. He said these events had a profound affect on Percy and influenced many of his writings. He is well known for works such as “The Moviegoer” and “The Thanatos Syndrome.” O’Callaghan discussed the fact that this Catholic author touches on many subjects, including racism and class. Percy’s moral sense is visible in his outrage “at the cross burning of a Roman Catholic Archbishop of New Orleans who said that segregation was a sin,” Callaghan said. Percy goes farther as to criticize the stoicism of many of his friends and relatives who allowed this to occur, he said. O’Callaghan said this portrayal of ethical strength caused him to reflect on his own education in a Catholic school, questioning why he never read Percy as a part of his curriculum. He said one friend told him Catholic schooling was “all about works and little about faith,” which caused him to ask, “are we any better now?” It is clear after this lecture that whatever Percy was discussing, it was always done with comedy, O’Callaghan said. He said he had a “characteristic humor sly beyond belief,” which gave him a “more universal appeal than just another southern writer.” Callaghan said faith is not something that can be made up, but must be experienced. “We do not produce religious experience,” O’Callaghan said. “[The] sacred comes to us as a kind of message.”last_img read more

St. Liam’s offers treatment for SAD

first_imgStudents depressed by continual snowfall, below-freezing temperatures and cloudy skies can seek refuge in the Inner Resources Room in St. Liam Hall, University Health Services staff psychologist Wendy Settle said. Settle said every year thousands of Americans fall victim to seasonal affective disorder (SAD), a type of clinical depression that emerges during the long and dark winter months. Research shows people need a certain amount of sunlight to maintain their well-being. Settle said light absorbed by the body stops the production of melatonin, a hormone produced to help the body sleep. During the winter, people are drowsier because the body produces more melatonin with fewer hours of daylight. “We become almost like a bear hibernating,” she said. Symptoms of SAD include depression, fatigue, irritability and weight gain, according to Settle. About one to two percent of Americans experience severe symptoms, while 10 to 25 percent encounter the “winter blues,” a watered-down version of SAD with milder symptoms, such as over-eating and over-sleeping. Victims of SAD and the winter blues typically reside in the middle latitude regions of the United States, Settle said. As residents of South Bend, students at Notre Dame and Saint Mary’s are extremely vulnerable. The Inner Resources Room, located on the third floor of St. Liam Hall, was designed specifically to help students suffering from winter depression on campus. In addition to a massage chair, negative ion therapy and a mini waterfall hanging on the wall, the Inner Resources Room offers light therapy. The Light Box provides full spectrum light with no UV rays. While the large lamp does not tan skin at all, Settle said the light box rejuvenates students suffering from depression with its artificial sunlight. The Inner Resources Room has one Light Box on hand as well two others available for rental. Settle said thirty minutes per day could snap light box users out of their winter funk. Most patients use light therapy in the early morning hours, Settle said. “[The light box] is best to use in the morning,” she said, “because it tricks your body into thinking your day has been extended.” Benefits of light therapy include higher energy levels, better concentration, fewer mood swings and a better night’s sleep. The Inner Resources Room is available for students, faculty and staff without any recommendation or official diagnosis from a doctor. Patients start to feel a difference in as little as three to four days, and research shows light therapy’s effectiveness rate is similar to antidepressants, Settle said. Light therapy can benefit an individual feeling the effects of SAD but Settle said professional treatment is still the best option for anyone suffering depression. “Anyone with symptoms of SAD should be evaluated by a physician to determine the best treatment option,” she said.last_img read more

Students foster awareness of illnesses

first_imgBagels, hot coffee and educational brochures about neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) welcomed students filing into DeBartolo Hall on Monday morning. ND Fighting NTDs is raising awareness this week about diseases that plague undeveloped countries around the globe. Club president Emily Conron said these diseases do not receive enough attention because people are not educated about their severity. “When people watch the news, they hear about diseases like AIDS and malaria, not schistosomiasis, and so they think that NTDs are obscure,” Conron said. “Actually, NTDs affect more people than AIDS and malaria combined.” The most common NTDs include leprosy and trachoma, according to the World Health Organization. Approximately 1.4 billion people in developing countries suffer from these illnesses, which could easily be treated in a wealthier country like the United States. “All seven NTDs that we focus on can be treated with safe and effective drugs that already exist and which cost about 50 cents per person,” Conron said. Lymphatic filariasis, a parasitic disease that causes grotesque swelling of the limbs, has already infected more than 120 million people worldwide, Conron said. Treatment is limited in some of the areas that need it most. “The problem is getting these drugs to the people in need,” Conron said. The club’s work on campus is a reminder of the global mission to eliminate NTDs, Conron said, and Notre Dame students can advocate for change. “If the global community makes NTDs a priority, then there is no reason why we wouldn’t be able to eliminate them,” Conrod said. “NTDs are the equivalent of a best buy in global health.” ND Fighting NTDs is putting on a series of events and lectures this week to educate students about ways to fight NTDs. “Our goal is to try to get people talking about NTDs who might not have known or cared about them before,” Conron said. To raise awareness, Five Guys at Eddy Street Commons will donate 15 percent of Wednesday’s profits from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. to NTD charities. Fundraisers around campus this week will include a dessert sale in the LaFortune Student Center on Thursday, a face-painting booth on Irish Green on Friday and a collection at all Masses on Sunday. “Donations are important, but outreach is key,” Conron said. “Contact your government representatives, advocate to pharmaceutical companies and spread the word however you can.” Conron said the club wants to engage the student body in new ways during NTD Awareness Week. “NTDs are an issue that we take very seriously,” Conron said, “But as college students, we recognize that in order for people our age to become fully invested in a cause, they need to be able to approach it in creative and unforeseen ways.”last_img read more

SMC to host international film festival

first_imgThe Saint Mary’s Center for Women’s Intercultural Leadership (CWIL) will host the World Cinema Festival from Jan. 27-Jan. 29 in Vander Vennet Theatre.Associate director of CWIL Mana Derakhshani said the College had offered a film festival to the community for over 10 years, beginning with a French film festival and transitioning to a variety of international films.Derakhshani said the film festival complements the work of the College to internationalize the campus.“[The festival] brings to campus major films from other countries that we don’t usually get to see in the U.S., particularly outside of a large metropolis such as New York or Chicago,” Derakhshani said. “In addition, screening foreign films on campus supports the larger college-wide learning outcomes of intercultural competence and global learning.”The festival will feature three films in their original languages, with English subtitles, over the course of three nights. Each film will start at 7 p.m., beginning with the Arabic-language film “Wadjda”, directed by Haifaa Al-Mansour on Tuesday. On Wednesday, “Queen”, a Hindi-language film directed by Vikas Bahl, will be screened. The festival will conclude with “So Young”, a Mandarin-language film directed by Wei Zhao.​Derakhshani said she hopes students will attend and learn something about the perspective of other cultures.“Films are windows into particular cultures and allow us to gain some understanding of certain aspects of these cultures,” she said.Derakhshani said viewing these films is a way to engage with the larger world and prepare oneself to interact with different cultures.She said there would be much in the films that differ from the realities of Saint Mary’s students, though there may be some experiences that are similar.“These three films specifically portray young women or girls’ quest for agency and voice in three different cultures and in three different contexts,” she said. “Noting both differences and similarities will increase the audience’s ability to encounter difference with an ethnorelative perspective rather than a judgmental ethnocentric attitude.“Seeing the world through someone else’s cultural lens helps us understand our own culture and norms better.”Two of the films are in languages taught at the College, Arabic and Mandarin, Derakhshani said.“I hope students learning these languages — or wanting to learn them — will come to hear the language in an authentic context,” she said.Derakhshani said she hopes many students will take advantage of the opportunity to watch the films. The event is free and open to the public.For the complete schedule and more information on the films, visit https://www.saintmarys.edu/news-events/news-releases/world-cinema-festival-2015.Tags: center for women’s intercultural leadership, Haifaa Al-Mansour, Mana Derakhshani, Saint Mary’s College, Vander Vennet Theatre, Vikas Bahl, Wei Zhao, World Cinema Festivallast_img read more

SMC to host French-themed dinner celebrating Moreau

first_imgSaint Mary’s will host a French-themed dinner Wednesday to honor Fr. Basil Moreau, the founding father of the Congregation of Holy Cross. The sisters of the Holy Cross founded Saint Mary’s in 1844.Regina Wilson, director of Campus Ministry, said Moreau is important because he emerged at a time in French society when there was a lot of turmoil and a breakdown of French society structures.“[Moreau] wanted to provide a way for faithful people to address the issues of their time and be educated and be able to address those as people of faith,” Wilson said. “I think that is important because it sounds like the time that we’re in. There’s a lot of challenge to the ways that people have known our life as people in the United States, and some of those ways are being broken down and challenged.”Moreau was born shortly after the French Revolution in 1799, and Wilson said he experienced the demise of education and the diminishment of faith in the public education system through his experiences in the seminary and living post-French Revolution.“He wanted to gather people around him to share in the work he wanted to do,” she said. “His idea was to gather women and men together to do the work of educating and sharing the faith. Eventually the sisters and brothers had to have separate constitutions, but his original vision was for shared ministry and shared life together. That was what eventually became the family of Holy Cross.”She said Moreau’s vision for what it means to live a Christian life is unique and life-giving.“[His vision] has helped a lot of people go out into the world and live with meaning and to establish these great institutions we are a part of — hospitals, grade schools, nursing homes — and especially educational institutions,” Wilson said.Wilson said she attended a Holy Cross college but never heard of Moreau or talked about him until later in her career. She said the importance of Moreau emerged with his beatification in 2007.“It’s really exciting to be in this time because everyone is discovering it together. … All people of Holy Cross can discover something about their heritage together and in a way dialogue and share what it means to them and shape the legacy of that for the future,” Wilson said.A Mass was held Sunday in the Holy Spirit Chapel in Le Mans Hall, Wilson said.“His feast day is on Wednesday, and so for a feast to be transferred to a Sunday, because usually Sunday takes precedent, we have to have permission from the bishop of the Archdiocese,” she said.Sodexo will provide the French-themed meal Wednesday. The Saint Mary’s community, including off-campus students, faculty and staff can celebrate Moreau together from 4:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. in the Noble Family Dining Hall.Tags: Basil Moreau, blessed basil moreaulast_img read more

Right to Life sponsors apologetics training

first_imgNotre Dame Right to Life sponsored apologetics training Monday night to teach students to defend their pro-life beliefs. Apologetics commissioner Luke McVeigh instructed participants on how to facilitate dialogue and articulate pro-life arguments.“What we aim for is to have a friendly, open dialogue with someone about it,” he said. “There’s what you say and how you say it. Obviously, it’s important to be saying the right things, but also how you say it is just as important, if not more important.” McVeigh began the training session by explaining the scientific foundations of the pro-life argument. He said it was important to establish “common ground of what the pre-born are.” “Our development is all self-based, there’s not anything that develops for us,” he said. “It’s self-directed. The mother isn’t directing the development of the child; the unborn is directing its own development.”Understanding stages of human development has become an important facet of pro-life apologetics, McVeigh said.“A lot of times, people bring up the idea of when someone becomes a person — when they have a heart, when they have a brain,” he said. “That would be true if you were talking about a car, which is constructed, and all these parts are added on. Whereas with a development, the blueprints are already there, it’s just developing and growing, like a photograph.”McVeigh said most people agree on the science of the “pre-born” and that most of the discrepancies are rooted in philosophy, specifically related to defining personhood. “Personhood is based on what we are,” he said. “It’s our substance, regardless of functionality.”Participating students brought up counterarguments they had heard which they were unsure of how to answer, such as when the pregnancy is life-threatening to the mother. McVeigh said the pro-life response has centered on the idea that directly killing another human is not acceptable.“But in a situation like an ectopic pregnancy, there are procedures that’ll kill the unborn child. In this case, we’d say it’s okay to perform the procedure to save the mother,” he said. “Unfortunately, it will inevitably end the life of the child. … If the mother died, both of them would pass away anyways.”Monday night’s training was intended to be the first part of a two-part training session for apologetics, McVeigh said. “The second session is going to be about bodily rights,” McVeigh said. “Even if we assume the fetus is a person with the right to live, there are some other arguments that people would make that says the fact that it’s inside the woman’s body gives her the right to end its life. We’ll be going into those issues in depth and explaining why it wouldn’t be okay for that to happen.” McVeigh said it was important to remain compassionate and sympathetic when engaging in discussion without compromising beliefs. “Be proud of your pro-life position,” he said. “We’re not ashamed of it; we’re happy to discuss with people about it. We have a great group here at Notre Dame, and I hope to grow it.” Tags: apologetics, Right to Lifelast_img read more

Journalist explores history of racism in America, connection to modern-day

first_imgJournalist Jelani Cobb explored America’s history of racism as well as its present existence Tuesday night. Cobb, a professor in the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, has been published in The Washington Post and has written a series of articles centered on race, the police and injustice for The New Yorker.Kathryne Robinson His lecture, titled “The Half-Life of Freedom: Race and Justice in America Today,” was hosted by the Dean’s Fellows of the College of Arts and Letters. Cobb said race replays itself constantly as a theme in history.“It’s not simply an issue,” Cobb said. “We can’t fundamentally understand how the country came into existence or what the country is without looking at this subject. … This idea of ‘We the People,’ this founding creed, that the ultimate authority is ‘we.’ But the more important question is who is this ‘we’? It’s a question we have never reconciled.”Cobb said he previously taught at Moscow University, and it was there that one of his colleagues mentioned a particular optimism he thought defined Americans. He said it’s this sense of optimism that is applied to our understanding of the past. However, he said he stands firm on the belief that progress is not permanent, and there’s always the potential of moving backwards.“Progress doesn’t look like a straight line,” Cobb said. “It looks more like an EKG. We’ve seen these great moments of peaks which have been followed by valleys with the hope that the peaks are higher and the valleys are shallow.”Cobb said the rise of hateful organizations like the Ku Klux Klan and acts such as lynching was fueled by an underlying objective to eliminate a sense of racial progress and was part of the resistance to racial integration and equality.Cobb said discrimination was not limited to African Americans and cited examples through history such as the Chinese Exclusion Act. He talked about inequality for African Americans among areas such as health care, life expectancy and unemployment rates.“We find that race matters in all these kinds of ways and that it continues to replicate the hierarchies that are baked into this country’s history,” Cobb said.Cobb said it is people’s responsibility to move the world in a desired direction. He said 2.9 million people took to the streets to protest after President Donald Trump’s inauguration, which demonstrates that movements come about when “abstract principles become concrete concerns.”“Despair is the ally of the people who you are fighting against,” Cobb said. “The whole point is to break people’s will and to leave people dispirited. But keep in mind the victories people have achieved against really large odds. Optimism is the fundamental building block of anything that comes after.”According to Cobb, that optimism is tragic because he believes racism will never fully disappear, but that it will turn from a fatal illness to a chronic ailment as people find better ways of addressing it.Cobb said there is no notion of a “post-racial society.” According to Cobb, there was an anxiety felt among some white groups who felt other racial groups were becoming more advantaged after the election of President Barack Obama in 2008, but that anxiety was a result of racism.“[If] you are defining your citizenship by your cumulative advantages over this group of people, then yes you will find progress to be threatening,” he said. “There’s no other word for that than racism.”Cobb said it was particularly the testing times of racism and injustice that acted as an impetus of moving forward with social progress.“The place where I find optimism is in each moment where we have encountered these values, where we find ourselves moving backward [that] has had a catalyzing effect on people of conscience who have come together and demand that we create a more decent, equitable and more democratic world,” he said. “We have seen that shockingly small number of people summon the will to perform acts of importance far beyond their numbers.”Tags: Discrimination, Jelani Cobb, Journalism, Obama, Politics, post-racial, Racismlast_img read more

Sexual assault reported at Notre Dame

first_imgA third party reported a sexual assault to the University’s deputy Title IX coordinator, according to an email NDSP sent to Notre Dame students Thursday morning.The alleged sexual assault occurred Saturday in a men’s residence hall on the east side of campus, according to the email. The email also said that the victim is familiar with the alleged assailant.Information about sexual assault prevention and resources for survivors of sexual assault are available online from NDSP and from the Title IX office.Tags: NDSP, rape, Title IXlast_img read more

FTT senior writes historical play exploring sexuality and faith

first_imgCourtesy of Joseph Larson The cast joins for a live reading of “Compassion Cries the Moon King” on Zoom. The 82-page play based on the life of King Ludwig II of Bavaria is the work of senior film, television and theatre major Joseph Larson.“I’ll never forget, we were walking down from the palace and my hosts were explaining to me how he supposedly had an affair with the composer Richard Wagner,” Larson said. “Of course, I learned through my research that that’s not true, but he did have several romantic relationships with other men, and he was Catholic so immediately I was like, ‘Wow, that’s so interesting, and that’s so relevant.’”Larson’s final product had been in the works long before he decided to pursue a senior thesis.“[Ludwig II as a person] just caught my interest, so I wrote some scenes for a playwriting class I took at Notre Dame and you can still see some of that writing that still exists in the play, as it is now.”To cast for his 12-person production, Larson garnered the help of members of the Not-So-Royal-Shakespeare Company. Senior Nicholas Taylor, who read the stage directions, said he wanted to be a part of the production due to its unique representation of sexuality.“I had actually gotten a chance to read parts of his play before auditions, and within the first ten pages of the script, I knew that it was something special that I wanted to be part of,” Taylor said in an email. “LGBTQ+ representation is important in theater and it’s something that isn’t always handled well on this campus.”Freshman Christina Randazzo played the role of Princess Ludovica, who attempted to orchestrate a marriage between her daughter and Ludwig II. Randazzo described Larson’s work as “the most historically accurate play” she’s been cast in.“Joseph did incredible research into the lives and letters of each historical character in order to bring them back to life,” Randazzo said in an email.Freshman Vincenzo Torsiello played the role of Richard Hornig — Ludwig’s chief equerry and main love interest. Torsiello said he thought the strongest part of the story was when Ludwig gives a monologue talking to God while Richard is fast asleep beside him. “[Ludwig’s] profound pleas in searching for guidance and acceptance during that scene were pivotal in defining not only his persona but also the work’s thematic whole,” Torsiello said in an email.Originally scheduled as a live staged reading, Larson was forced to move his production online. The performance took place April 17 over Zoom. Taylor said the move online made his role more essential for the tone of the play. “Reading the stage directions was a fun challenge because I had to set the stage for everyone,” he said. “In a typical performance, you can have a set, costumes, lights, music, etc. set the scene for you. But when doing this as a staged reading on Zoom, the stage directions really helps to sell the story.”Larson said that while having the performance virtually was not ideal, he did not have to change a whole lot and the cast adapted well to make the most of the situation.“I was very impressed with everyone turning the screen off and on depending on what scenes they were in,” Larson said. “That was a decision I made pretty early on, just to distinguish who’s in what scene, so we don’t have to look at people’s faces while they’re not reading.”Even though the play had to be performed away from campus, Torsiello said the experience had a profound impact on him.“I feel so blessed to have had the opportunity to be an instrument in his telling of this incredible story,” Torsiello said. “I feel even more compelled to take part in productions here at Notre Dame because of it.”For Larson, the entire experience of researching, writing and producing the play has reaffirmed his long-term career goals. “I’ve always been a writer and I’ve really found kind of my real love in playwriting and so I want to do that long term,” Larson said. “This whole experience has really helped cement this idea that that is what I want to do for the rest of my life.”Tags: Compassion Cries the Moon King, FTT, King Ludwig II, senior thesis, zoom During a 2017 visit to Switzerland, senior Joseph Larson, took a day trip to Munich, Germany, where he learned about King Ludwig II of Bavaria — the man who would eventually become the subject of his original play three years later. Entitled “Compassion Cries the Moon King,” Larson crafted the 82-page play for his film, television and theatre senior thesis project. Larson, who has a supplemental major in theology, chose Ludwig as the main character because of the King’s complicated relationship with his sexuality and faith.  last_img read more

WNY Region Officially Moves To Phase Two Of Reopening

first_imgShare: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),Please open nail salons & massage. Owners are suffering WNY News Now Stock Graphic.MAYVILLE – During his press conference Tuesday, New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo announced that the Western New York Region has entered phase two of reopening. The Western New York Region includes Allegany, Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Erie and Niagara Counties.“I am excited that we have entered Phase 2 of Reopening,” said PJ Wendel, Chautauqua County Executive. “This gives small businesses the opportunities they need to get back on their feet. I urge everyone to support our local businesses as together we are CHQ Strong.”In addition to the previously designated businesses, phase two allows the following businesses to reopen: All office-based jobs (professional services, administrative support, and information technology);Retail (in-store shopping; and rental, repair and cleaning);Real estate services (building and property management; and leasing, rental and sales services);Barbershops and hair salons (limited to hair services only with no massages, hair removal, facial and nail services), andMotor vehicle leasing, rental and sales.Before Phase two businesses reopen, they must complete New York State’s guidance documents available at forward.ny.gov. guidance includes summary guidelines for employers and employees; detailed guidelines, which contain a business affirmation component; and a business safety plan template, which must be completed and posted at the premises.Local businesses with questions about the guidance and reopening are asked to contact the County of Chautauqua Industrial Development Agency (CCIDA) at (716) 661-8900.Meanwhile, the Chautauqua County Health Department announced one new case of COVID-19 Tuesday.Officials say the case involves a man in his 80s. There are now 15 active cases, down three from Monday. So far 69 people have recovered from COVID-19, with 88 cases total in Chautauqua County.last_img read more

Older Posts »