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First year retreat spurs faith and friendship

first_imgThe first of five freshman retreats directed by Notre Dame Campus Ministry took place this weekend at the Sacred Heart Parish Center. Campus Ministry organizes freshman retreats each year to help first-year students reflect on what brought them to Notre Dame and what personal and spiritual goals they have. John Paul Lichon, retreat coordinator for Campus Ministry, said the goal of the retreat is “to be an entry point for students for their faith life” and to “introduce the spirituality of the Holy Cross.” Lichon said students at the retreat are challenged to ask the question, “What does it mean to be complete in Christ?” According to the Campus Ministry website, this year’s retreat centered around the famous quote by Holy Cross founder, Fr. Basil Moreau, “Education is the art of bringing young people to completeness.” Tiphaine Delepine, a freshman business major, said activities ranged from awkward family photo contests to trips to the Grotto. She said adoration was particularly moving for her. “It was so powerful that everyone was sitting in silence for over an hour, just praying and being with God,” she said. Delepine said she initially signed up for the retreat to bond with her roommate. But after reflecting on the weekend, she said, the retreat took on more significance. “I learned about myself, I learned how I want to grow in my four years at Notre Dame, I learned about different opportunities to grow in my faith, and I made friends,” she said Danielle Thelen, a sophomore retreat leader and a music and business major at Saint Mary’s, said the retreat was an absolute success. “I wanted [the freshmen] to feel welcomed and for them to feel like they had a family and that they belong here at Notre Dame,” Thelen said. “I truly believe that we achieved this. You could tell by watching them becoming friends with people from different dorms and walks of life, talking about faith and opening up about their lives.”last_img read more

GRC celebrates 10th anniversary with panel discussion

first_imgLast night, the Gender Relations Center (GRC), along with Shades of Ebony, hosted an alumni panel to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the GRC. The five panelists were crucial to the founding of the GRC and included Kaitlyn Redfield Ortiz ‘06, Zach Ortiz ‘06, John Corker ‘07, Lizzi Shappell ‘07 and Heather Rakoczy Russell ‘93. Christine Gebhardt, director of the GRC, served as the moderator.The panel began with a discussion of what prompted the panelists to realize an organization such as the GRC was necessary. Redfield Ortiz said the behavior of a male classmate made her realize what a problem gender relations were at Notre Dame.“I was sitting in my freshmen writing class, and this guy had a shirt on like one of those old Snickers commercials, except it said ‘Hungry? Grab a SMCer,” she said. “I was shocked that this was acceptable, so it seemed kind of natural that this is what we would work for.”The panelists then talked about the issues they faced when building up the GRC. Rakoczy Russell said it was hard to collaborate with other groups because they had preconceived notions about what they were standing for.“The Gender Relation Center, and probably me specifically, were regarded with suspicion by pretty much everyone,” she said. “Gender was a really loaded term at the time and it was really hard to get anyone to sign on as a panel.” Rosie LoVoi Panel of alumni discuss issues they faced as members of the GRC during their time at Notre Dame in Geddes Hall on Monday.They also talked about their early goals for the GRC and the primary issues they were trying to combat. Shappell said they tried to emphasize reaching as broad an audience as possible.“One thing that I found was really important was trying to bring the Gender Relations Center, for all of its impressions and and people’s stereotypes about whether we were left or we were right, or what we were doing, was to make the GRC more mainstream,” she said.Ortiz, one of the founders of Men Against Violence (MAV), said another goal was to get men more involved in issues that males did not associate as “men’s issues.”“We were still at a time where sexual assault was still considered to be a women’s issue,” he said. “It was very interesting to see how different groups within campus would try to work together with these different ideologies.”Corker, another founder of MAV, said there was a problem with men simply ignoring issues pertaining to gender.“There was a tacit, cop-out view of ‘that sort of stuff doesn’t happen at Notre Dame’ and ‘I don’t do that kind of stuff so I don’t need to take a stand against it,’” he said.To close, Corker encouraged students to be proactive about finding and creating dialogue about gender issues. He said students need to challenge their own ideas.“Don’t just be open to, but seek out conversations with other people for the express purpose of challenging the beliefs that you may have, that you may feel are right or are valuable,” he said.Tags: 10th anniversary, GRC, MAVlast_img read more

Monk keen to build Swansea legacy

first_img Monk has been touted as a potential candidate to succeed Sam Allardyce at Upton Park this summer with uncertainty surrounding the future of the Hammers manager. Allardyce’s contract expires at the end of the season and may not be renewed and Monk, at 36 the youngest manager in the top flight, is said to have his admirers in the West Ham boardroom, with Swansea equalling their best Barclays Premier League points total of 47 with six games still to play. But Monk says his only focus is on winning matches for a club who gave him his break in management when he was promoted from being a player 14 months ago to succeed Michael Laudrup. “You are either successful or you get sacked, it’s as simple as that,” Monk said. “Of course you have got that longer term plan but I am also mindful that you only have seven or eight game periods that you work to, as I know that if you lose those eight games then it is a totally different conversation. “That is the nature of the beast. It’s juggling both, having that long term plan but also fighting for today as today is important.” Monk insists that West Ham already have a “fantastic” manager in place in the shape of Allardyce and accepts – like his predecessors Roberto Martinez and Brendan Rodgers – that he will continue to be linked with other clubs if Swansea continue to progress on the pitch. But former defender Monk, who played 270 games in a 10-year playing career at Swansea, says he wants to continue building what he has started at the Liberty Stadium. “I am ambitious and it would be nice to go and do things in this game, but I’m in no rush,” Monk said. “I want to stay and build something and what’s important is my relationship with the club. “Even before I did the job I always thought about coaching or managing at this club and working my way up. “I always said I would like to manage this club, though I thought it would be a long time in the future. “But in terms of building something like a legacy it takes time and I’m not in a rush, thinking I have to take this step or that.” Monk has just over two years left on the deal he signed last May and spent time in Switzerland this week as he works towards completing his UEFA Pro-Licence later this year. And he admits the UEFA get-together opened his eyes as to how fortunate he is at Swansea. “I was at a convention this week and saw stats on managers over how long they are in their jobs and how many don’t get another job,” Monk said. “I am mindful of that and how lucky I am here. I know the chairman Huw (Jenkins) and the board really well and they know me, but in terms of longevity I have been here for 11 years and could be here for much longer as well. “I know I am only ever working to a short game period as those games dictate what you do in the future, and my only focus is on this job. “I look to the future about the team but never at what I will be doing in four or five years’ time because the problem at this level is that in five games’ time it could be a totally different story. “I’m mindful of that and clever enough to know that and there is still a long way to go at this club.” Swansea manager Garry Monk has revealed he is more bothered about keeping his current job than finding a new one at West Ham. Press Associationlast_img read more

Donations sought to help struggling people in the Philippines

first_imgDarling is collecting donations of clothing, toys and books for children, and clothing for adults as well, to send to the people of Taguig, a city in Metro Manila in the Philippines. He said he has been there many times to visit family and friends, and is compelled to do something to help people there who are desperately in need.”When you go there, you can’t help but see the need,” he said. “You see an elderly gentleman with his legs pretty much inoperable and he is dragging himself across a road. You see kids on the side of the road naked, and you can see clearly they haven’t had a bath in who knows how long – you have to do something.”Darling said all types and sizes of clothing are needed – from socks and shorts, to underwear, shirts and pants.- Advertisement -“People think that because it’s such a warm climate there, everybody likes to walk around half-naked, but they don’t, they have their pride,” he said.He said the condition and size of clothes donated isn’t even really that important because they will make use of anything they are given. He added shoes and boots are especially valuable.”Honestly, I don’t know how those people walk with just bare feet out there – it just kills me, because it so dangerous with stuff on the ground.”Advertisement “I’m in a drought. I’m getting a little antsy because I would like to send something out right away, but I have maybe one box I can send. I have lots of boxes to fill.”For those interested in donating items, Ian Darling can be reached at 250-719-2500. Darling said he collects donated items at the airport and when he has enough he packs them in boxes and arranges for transport to either Calgary or Vancouver, where they will then be taken to the Philippines. He said Central Mountain Air graciously waives the freight fee for shipping boxes to Vancouver.He said once the items arrive in Manila, he has a friend who lives in Taguig who arranges to have them sent to people in need. He said she doesn’t operate through an international charity or organization, but rather through local churches, schools and orphanages, and by just giving to people she encounters on the streets. “It’s random, but it’s working, and I’ve been over there lots of times to see that it is working,” said Darling. “It’s interesting when you walk down the street and you can see clothes that you’ve given away on children there, and even adults.”He said he will be accepting donations year-round, but right now especially he is eager to receive whatever help the community can give him.Advertisementlast_img read more