Friday Week: Reflections on Holy Week

Author: Andy Fuller

Note: Dated communications are archived here for reference, but may not reflect the most up-to-date information available.

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This edition of Friday Week is being published today, Thursday, not on Good Friday. Above, the interior of the Basilica of the Sacred Heart, Holy Week 2020.

Fr. Jenkins: Reflections in a Difficult Time

FOX Business News today asked Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C., president, to reflect on the separations caused by coronavirus during Passover and Easter.  He discussed the opportunity for prayer and reflection in this difficult time and, while apart, remind friends and family why we love them.  See the broadcast here.

Dr. Burish: As Summer Approaches

Provost Tom Burish this week advised faculty planning to teach courses to Notre Dame students over the summer to be prepared to offer remote instruction for the entirety of their courses.  In-person class meetings and research for enrolled or matriculating students, at undergraduate and graduate levels both, may be a possibility for select programs in the second half of the summer, beginning July 6.  This would include some courses and programs that will begin the summer online.  A decision regarding the second half of the summer will be made by May 15, and will reflect health and safety guidelines pertaining to the coronavirus at that time.

The provost’s letter is here.

Father Sorin: Dam Buster

Notre Dame is living through another pandemic. In 1918, 200 in the Notre Dame community were infected by the “Spanish flu,” and nine died.  In mid-19th century, cholera struck Notre Dame with a vengeance as C.S.C. brothers, sisters, priests, postulates and seminarians were felled, some fatally by the disease. Rev. Edward F. Sorin, C.S.C., tried to convince a neighboring property owner to stop damming a small stream that accommodated the outflow of St. Mary’s Lake to the St. Joseph River.  In damming it, the neighbor caused the lake to fill with stagnant water—a perfect breeding ground for cholera.  After a few more deaths, and all else had failed, Father Sorin instructed a half-dozen workers, on Holy Thursday 1855, to equip themselves with axes, hatchets and crowbars to dispatch the offending dam.

OPAC’s Dennis Brown reached into the archives to uncover the fascinating account as documented by Rev. Arthur J. Hope, C.S.C. in “Notre Dame-100 Years” published in the University’s centennial year of 1942. The story can be found here.

Coach Kelly: “Voice of Reason”

CBS Sports paid tribute to Notre Dame Football Coach Brian Kelly for his pep talk about battling the coronavirus.  “We have not won yet,” Coach Kelly said.  “We’re just getting to halftime.  We have a second half to play here.  Really good job in the first couple of quarters, but we’re just getting into the locker room.  Let’s look forward to having a better second half.  If we have a better second half, we’re going to win this game.” CBS’s Dennis Dodd wrote: “It wasn’t exactly ‘win one for the Gipper,’ but these aren’t exactly normal times.”  Dodd went on to say that Kelly’s comments were in sharp contrast to, “most (in the) college football coaching profession, which hasn’t covered itself in glory lately…”

Dodd’s full column is here.

Online, On Duty

More from athletics:  Abby Heck, a Notre Dame junior on the women’s golf team, starts her days online at 7:20 a.m., and later reports for duty at the West Cancer Center in Memphis, Tennessee.  Abby is a pre-med student, with an interest in oncology, just like her dad, an orthopedic oncologist.  Over Christmas break, she shadowed a doctor who contacted her recently to say help was needed due to understaffing in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.  Here is her story.

Fighting the Virus in 3D

Faculty at Notre Dame strung 40 3D printers together from around campus to manufacture approximately 1,000 face shields each week for hospitals in the region.  Notre Dame police officers and firefighters also use them.  Research Associate Professor Matthew Leevy, also serves as director of the Innovation Lab at the IDEA Center, was assisted by Lab Program Manager Tony Van Avermaete in coordinating and managing the project.  Other contributors include: the College of Engineering’s Chandler Nuttal, manager of the MakerSpace 3D Print Lab in Stinson-Remick Hall; Andrew Bartolini, assistant visiting professor; Shreya Kumar, assistant teaching professor, Department of Computer Science and Engineering; Robert McLaughlin, Department of Computer Science and Engineering; Department of Art, Art History and Design’s Digital Fabrication Lab; Adam Heet, digital projects specialist in the Navari Family Center for Digital Scholarship, Hesburgh Libraries; Joe Admave, program manager from the Radiation Laboratory Machine Shop; and local 3D printers at the MakerHive in Elkhart with the assistance of Jim Spencer, Notre Dame’s education support technician in the Mendoza College of Business, and equipment and assistance from Mike Pace at Purdue University Polytechnic Institute South Bend. Link to full story.

An Unwanted Delay

Brett Perkins of Campus Ministry writes about one of the regrettable aspects of social distancing for a very special group.  They were 39 Notre Dame students and one faculty member who, for months, have prepared to profess their faith and be received into the Catholic Church through the year-long Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults and semester-long short course. The 40, who include candidates (previously baptized) and catechumens (unbaptized), were to be welcomed into the Church this month and receive Sacraments of Initiation, some of them at the Basilica’s Solemn Easter Vigil Mass on Holy Saturday.  As in cases elsewhere in the U.S., the celebrations and sacraments were postponed indefinitely. Link to story is here.

Love and Support from Student Affairs

The Division of Student Affairs sent out its weekly e-newsletter today which included a heartwarming video message of love and support from division staff.  It also provides resources for health and well-being, career development, and for virtually celebrating the Triduum and Easter.  The complete newsletter can be found here.

Silent Lights

If you were anywhere near Memorial Hospital or St. Joseph Regional Medical Center on Wednesday evening, you may have thought the worst had arrived at their doorsteps.  Scores of emergency vehicles, Notre Dame police cars and fire trucks among them, illuminated the night sky with flashing, emergency lights, but no sirens.  It was one large, silent tribute to the dedicated employees of both hospitals, and the heroic work they are doing in the face of the coronavirus pandemic.  It was also a collective “thank you” from their fellow first responders. Drone video courtesy of St. Joseph County Police Department.

Postcard from Home

(A tribute to familiar ground)


Paul Browne, vice president, Office of Public Affairs and Communications