Unifying Prayer at Notre Dame

Did another piece for MSPS’ Convos of Color blog on the power of prayer when it comes to race relations.  Check it out!

Prayer and faith is one of life’s most powerful unifying forces — especially at a place like Notre Dame.  Prayer offers us a unique opportunity not to put aside our differences, but rather to celebrate them coming together for a common purpose.

I saw that last week at the Asian American Association’s semestral Multicultural Rosary, at which 10 students gathered together to lead half a decade of the rosary each in a language they’ve studied or grew up with: from European (Spanish, German, etc) to Asian (Indonesian, Korean, etc) to even ancient (Latin).  It’s a tradition we revived last year, and it was touching for me last week to see how much it’s grown.  Though hosted by an Asian organization, participants included members from La Alianza and white students who had seen posters around campus.  It was a truly multicultural event.

Multicultural programming is a difficult task.  Minority students are always wondering how to reach out to other minority groups as well as to the majority.  How do we bring different people together and get them to talk so they can understand, empathize with, and support each other?

Here at Notre Dame, we have a unique advantage.  Notre Dame emphasizes faith, service, spirituality, and prayer like no other elite university.  It’s an important reason — if not THE reason — that students come here.  Prayer is one of the special ways that vastly different Notre Dame students come together.  It’s one of the special ways that diverse students can learn from each other and support each other without fear, nervousness, or awkwardness.

It doesn’t have all the solutions to fostering multicultural dialogue and understanding.  But it’s a good first step.

This’ll be the last time you hear from me this semester.  It’s been a pleasure.  Till next time, keep talking, keep thinking, and keep standing for what’s right.  Good luck with finals and Merry Christmas, all.

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