Fr. Pete McCormick, director of campus ministry, challenged Notre Dame students to share their vulnerabilities with each other and ground themselves in God‘s love in a talk titled “Can Christianity be Cool?” hosted by Campus Ministry on Thursday night.The talk was the first in a monthly speaker series, “Taste of Faith,” which aims to promote the discussion of Christianity in a casual environment. Rosie LoVoi | The Observer Fr. Pete McCormick delivers a talk Thursday night in the LaFortune Ballroom. The event was the first in a monthly speaker series, “Taste of Faith,” hosted by Campus Ministry.The talk opened with a reading from the Gospel of Luke, the story of Zacchaeus the tax collector. After the reading, McCormick asked the audience to consider the significance of Zacchaeus’ interactions with Jesus.“What does it mean to be seen [by Jesus] in the way Zacchaeus was seen?” he asked.Unlike the honest and personable manner in which Jesus treated Zacchaeus, Notre Dame students struggle to be authentic with one another, McCormick said. In today’s culture, individuals have the tendency to “brand” themselves superficially according to how they wish to be seen by others, he added. McCormick said he attributes this inclination to a social pressure to perpetually maintain a facade of perfection. Taken to its extreme, he said, this can lead one to conform to their “brand” completely.The danger in this, McCormick said, is that in doing so, individuals stray from whom God intends them to be.McCormick elaborated by drawing upon his own life experiences. He said the greatest barrier which kept him from pursuing the priesthood was his fear of how the decision would be received by his friends and family.“I let that fear paralyze me,” McCormick said.In order to combat similar fears, individuals ought to strive to be open about their vulnerabilities instead of keeping them unvoiced, McCormick said.“In order for us to truly encounter a sense of authenticity, we need to be aware of those aspects of our lives [and] to share them with the people who are closest with us,” he said.He said he believes sharing insecurities with others is one of the elements of human relationships to be treasured most. A reluctance to share these elements with others, he said, results in not only compromised friendships, but also puts individuals out of touch with themselves and prevents them from achieving their higher purposes in life.McCormick said this also affects academic life at Notre Dame.“How can we learn truly and genuinely on campus if the focus is on being something that [we’re] not?” he asked.A life centered in the Christian faith is the key to overcoming this behavior, McCormick said.“The reminder of God’s great love for us is what we truly need,” he said.Anchoring one’s self-image in this idea, he said, prevents it from being swayed by day-to-day highs and lows, thereby promoting a healthy sense of self. If individuals make an effort to internalize this sense of self-worth, he said, they will find themselves more able to open up to others because they will no longer fear how they are perceived by them.McCormick ended the talk by leaving the audience with another question to contemplate.“Are we willing to be authentic with ourselves?” he asked. “If so, I believe Christianity can be very cool.”Subsequent “Taste of Faith” lectures will be hosted monthly until April. More information can be found on the Campus Ministry website.Tags: authenticity, Campus Ministry, Fr. Pete McCormick, Taste of Faith
Share: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) Photo: PixabayCORNING — Congressman Tom Reed says more stimulus money is likely to be included in a nearly $1.5 trillion Congressional stimulus package.Reed was asked by WNYNewsNow for his thoughts on another package during his weekly media conference Thursday. The Corning Republican says the package should highlight the efforts of American workers during the COVID-19 pandemic.“What we’ve advocated for is that the stimulus benefits go directly to the American workers,” Reed said. “Workers who’ve showed up through the crisis deserve a bonus, in my humble opinion. This is not only just our heroes of our health care workers, but the people that’ve showed up at the convenience stores, our grocery stores.”“What I’ve been advocating for, and trying to push, with the (Trump) Administration and with our Senate colleagues, is we should, if we’re going to do stimulus, let’s give it to the American worker and have them use those monies that they’ve earned in regards to stimulating the economy and making their lives a little bit better off.” Reed previously co-sponsored a bipartisan bill called the “Rewarding American Workers Act” as part of an effort to reword American workers. The bill, however, is currently at a standstill in the House Ways and Means Committee.Multimedia Journalist Justin Gould contributed to this report.
Comments Published on January 21, 2019 at 8:55 pm Contact Andrew: [email protected] | @CraneAndrew Facebook Twitter Google+ As then-No. 12 University of Rochester faced Washington University in St. Louis, Jeff Wittig watched from the stands as the Yellowjackets suffered their worst loss of the season. In that 93-62 defeat on Jan. 13, his son, Jacob Wittig, scored four points, his second-lowest total of the season. A backdoor layup marked Wittig’s only field goal.That weekend, Jeff traveled from Rochester to Chicago for a Friday game, spent the night and flew to St. Louis. In Wittig’s 93 games as a Yellowjacket, Jeff has yet to miss any.Before Wittig furthered his family’s legacy on the court, Jeff forged it on the gridiron and baseball diamond. A graduate from the University of Rochester in 1986, Jeff’s an Athletic Hall of Fame inductee, a two-time All-American and four-year starting quarterback and a four-year starting shortstop and pitcher. His son, a senior averaging 11.1 points and 30.8 minutes per game, is a starting guard on Rochester’s 2018-2019 squad. Through 16 games, he has been an integral part of No. 21 Rochester’s (13-3, 3-2 University Athletic Association) success.“He could carve out his own legacy and not try to do what his dad did in that sport,” head coach Luke Flockerzi said.Jeff was recruited to Rochester by Pat Stark, a former Syracuse University quarterback in the 1950s and a graduate assistant coach on the 1959 National Championship team. Jeff’s initial dream was to play Division-1 baseball either down south or at Cornell University, but jumped at the opportunity to play both baseball and football, even at the Division-III level. He was thrust into the starting quarterback role in week 3 of his freshman year after an injury to the Yellowjackets’ senior starter and proceeded to hold the job for the next three seasons.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textThe game that propelled him to All-American status, he said, came in 1984 against Denison University, a top-25 team in the country. Jeff was 27-50 for 398 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions in the Yellowjackets’ 35-27 loss. Early deficits gave Jeff plenty of throwing opportunities.In baseball, he had a career .336 batting average and went 8-4 as a pitcher, including 3-1 with a team-low 2.97 ERA his senior year.Decades later, as Wittig’s coach in Pop Warner football, Jeff brought the same preparation and discipline. He scouted teams and prepared detailed practice schedules, especially when it came time for regionals.“I’d have to tell him to take it back a little bit,” Wittig said, “because all these guys are my friends. I want them to still like me.”Wittig hurt his shoulder during his senior season of football at Fayetteville-Manlius (NY) high school. He also played baseball and track as a Hornet, but only considered playing football or basketball at the next level. Wittig’s shoulder injury, however, ended thoughts about playing two sports in college like his father. Combined with the overlapping seasons, Wittig stuck with basketball.“He stood out as someone who could come in from day one and lead a team,” Flockerzi said. “He’s been that since the day he stepped on campus.”Susie Teuscher | Digital Design EditorWittig was recruited to Rochester by his strong familial ties and by Flockerzi. He called Wittig a “scholarship-level player,” in terms of talent, but acknowledged that his size compared to other Division-I players put him on the fringe. (D-III does not give out athletic scholarships). Even though he had an offer from Williams, among others, Wittig admitted his father’s history with Rochester eventually was a pull-factor.In the last four years, Wittig has shined as a Yellowjacket. He runs the huddles during timeouts, runs the offense on the court and uses his “uncanny natural ability” on defense to make up for his 5-foot-11 frame. Along with a 50-percent field goal shooting rate as a senior, he’s averaged over 30 minutes per game three out of four years.He’s guarded Michael Mangan every day in practice, locking out the senior’s offensive game to the point where any move Mangan has, he can’t use against Wittig. At times, Wittig’s even ahead of Flockerzi, telling him which plays and calls will work.“For me to genuinely think, ‘No, I didn’t think of that, that’s a great idea, let’s do it,’ might happen only once over my entire career,” Flockerzi said.Inside the basement of the Wittig’s home, some of the first evidence of Wittig’s passion for basketball was filmed. In one video, he wore a Chicago Bulls jumpsuit and threw a small basketball into a play hoop.Now, a picture of Wittig with former SU basketball guard and current assistant coach Gerry McNamara hangs in the home. This photo, along with their trip to Atlanta in 2013, when Syracuse lost to Michigan in the Final Four, are some of the fondest memories Wittig and his father have together.The father and son’s on-court connection carried them last summer, too. Every day, Wittig and his father met in front of the basketball net in their driveway after work. Jeff received instructions for that day’s shooting workout, which many days involved spot-up, catch-and-shoot 3-pointer drills.After every shot, Jeff rebounded the ball and kicked it out to Wittig. They’d mix in some free throw contests and other games, and when it became too dark, they’d flip the spotlight on.Jeff’s been a continuity at every Rochester game the last four years, through the Yellowjackets’ run to the NCAA Division III Tournament quarterfinals two years ago and, this year, through their attempted return. One thing is for sure. Wherever Wittig plays, Jeff will be there watching.