Faith and Spirituality at Notre Dame
Main office: 319 Coleman-Morse, (574) 631-7800
In the words of Holy Cross founder, Blessed Basil Moreau, Campus Ministry at the University of Notre Dame “seeks to make God known, loved, and served” while assisting undergraduate, graduate and professional students to grow in faith. Programs and activities for undergraduate and graduate students rely heavily upon peer ministry, whereby student leaders, Campus Ministry staff, and Holy Cross priests work together in preparing retreats, days of recollection, preparation for the reception of the sacraments, and ministries in the Basilica of the Sacred Heart. We work closely with rectors and the Office of Student Affairs to assist in developing a strong faith life within residence hall communities.
Liturgical and Sacramental Life
The Catholic character at Notre Dame is most noticeable in the celebration of Mass on campus, which is central to the life of the University, especially on Sunday. Our Lord’s Day celebrations begin in the Basilica with the 5 p.m. Vigil Mass on Saturdays, and continue at 10 a.m. and 11:45 on Sunday mornings. Every residence hall also celebrates
Sunday Mass, generally in the late evening.
In the Basilica, daily Masses are offered at 11:30 a.m. and 5:15 p.m. Monday through Friday, and multiple daily liturgies take place in other locations across campus. Whether in the
Basilica or in a residence hall, these provide many opportunities for students to serve as readers, musicians, servers, and Eucharistic ministers.9
Sacramental Reconciliation also plays an important role in the faith development of young Catholic men and women. Confession is available in the Basilica, Monday through Friday at 11 a.m., 4:45 p.m. and 7 p.m. In addition, chaplains in the residence halls and priests in
Campus Ministry welcome the opportunity to offer this sacrament. Twice each year, during the Advent and Lenten seasons, campus-wide penance services are offered for Notre Dame students, at times publicized well in advance.
In the words of St. Augustine,“Qui cantat, bis orat,” or “to sing is to pray twice.” Liturgies in the Basilica and the residence halls owe much in terms of their astounding quality to our musicians — vocal and instrumental. Each Basilica choir has a fully qualified director and relies on audition to select members.
Liturgical Choir. This ensemble sings regularly at the Basilica Sunday 10 a.m. Mass and Sunday evening Vespers.
Folk Choir. The Folk Choir assists at the 11:45 a.m. Sunday Mass and at other extraordinary University functions.
Women’s Choir. This highly talented choir of women sings regularly at the Sunday Vigil Mass on Saturdays at 5 p.m.
Celebration Choir. This choir sings occasionally at University and in service to the wider community, both on-campus and in the surrounding area.
Community Choir. This choir relies on University and community volunteers. Informal auditions are held for the Christmas Midnight Mass and the 10 a.m. Sunday mass during the summer months.
Basilica Schola. This 16-voice ensemble, consisting of student, faculty, and staff assists occasionally at the Sunday Vigil Mass, Sunday Vespers, and, when scheduled, the 8 a.m. Sunday Mass.
Handbell Choir. Limited to 20 members, this ensemble regularly collaborates with the Folk Choir and also shares its talent and insight with other local and regional groups.
Retreats and Pilgrimages
Campus Ministry provides an extensive series of retreats, beginning with the Freshmen Retreat which is offered several times per year. Additionally, there are many others that meet a wide variety of interests and needs. Some of these are for classes, such as the Sophomore Road Trip and Senior Retreat, and Campus Ministry also offers two silent retreats each year. Other offerings are targeted for specific groups, such as graduate or cross-cultural students, and support is provided for hall retreats as well. We regularly offer several pilgrimages and service trips to various sites throughout the year.
Growing in Knowledge and Faith
Programs of catechetical instruction for those who seek Baptism, those wishing to join the Catholic Church through the RCIA program, and those preparing for marriage are available through Campus Ministry. There are multiple opportunities for faith sharing and fellowship. We also offer catechetical courses in conjunction with the Department of Theology. You will find a wide variety of resources on our website. We offer opportunities for vocational discernment and overall spiritual growth through spiritual direction and provide pastoral support in the form of chaplains for student athletes, ROTC midshipmen and cadets, student organizations, and gay, lesbian and questioning students. Finally, on an individual basis, personal and grief counseling is available through our office.
Religious and Cultural Inclusiveness
Campus Ministry welcomes people of all Christian denominations and other faith traditions to participate in its programs, some of which are explicitly ecumenical or interfaith. It is happy to refer any student to the many other churches, mosques and synagogues in the South Bend area for worship, with information about times of services and availability of transportation. Campus Ministry respects the diversity of Notre Dame which includes many students of an African, Asian, or Hispanic heritage and offers culturally appropriate programs and activities.
For More Information and How to Find Us
We regularly update our website, accessible either from the Notre Dame homepage, under the “Faith and Service” tab, or directly at campusministry.nd.edu. The undergraduate and graduate/cross-cultural Campus Ministry offices are located on the first floor of the Coleman-Morse Center. The third floor houses choir practice rooms and staff offices. Campus Ministry is open 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.