Monday, March 5, 2012

Lent At Notre Dame: It's busy in the desert!

Greetings to all of you who are keeping up with my postings!

I remember, years ago while on tour with the Folk Choir, heading to an amazing place called the Sonora Desert Museum. As a displaced New Englander now living in the heartland, I had always thought of the desert as just a place with a lot of rocks and sand. But after spending time at the museum, my eyes were opened to a whole other way of seeing the desert – it was alive with activity! Strange and marvelous creatures, amazing ways of adaptation to a severe landscape, and ingenious patterns of camouflage that defied normal eyesight. I had thought the desert was a lifeless place. But to the trained eye, it is indeed teeming with activity.

And here we are, in our Lenten desert journey at Notre Dame, on the portal of spring break. And while winter continues to keep us in her grip, and our students are deeply immersed in mid-term exams and papers, there is a flurry of activity going on – both in the dorms, and in Campus Ministry. Kind of like all that activity that goes on in the desert.

Sacramental preparation is in full swing – we sent our Catechumens off to the Cathedral yesterday afternoon, where they gained a new appellation: they are now the Elect.

We are honing in on Holy Week, which means that Campus-Wide Stations of the Cross planning is on the front burner. Our student liturgical commissioners have been crafting their stational meditations, so that when they leave for spring break in a few days, we'll have a script ready for this annual event.

In the Folk Choir, our repertoire rehearsals are now fully devoted to Holy Week, Easter, and Ordinations. Repertoire for Lent is solidly in the back pocket, ready to go. Even though we don't sing them in public, "Alleluias" are now wafting through our sectionals.

This weekend, the Liturgical Choir heads off to Rome for the week, and the Handbell and Celebration Choirs join forces, making pilgrimage to St. Joseph's Oratory in Montreal.

And finally, there is my own journey: my wife and I will travel to Wexford and Dublin over spring break, visiting with the community and parish at the House of Brigid, and beginning to discuss the Folk Choir's tour in May and June to the Emerald Isle. And then there's this little party that is now appearing on the horizon: the Notre Dame/Navy game in September, at which the Folk Choir will have a contributing role.

Even in the starkness of our Lenten wanderings, we are preparing table upon table for feasting. Activity is everywhere, for those who have eyes to see.

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