Downloading spirituality

Author: Gail Hinchion Mancini


Sometimes a revolution is born of simple observation. Such is the case with weekly spiritual podcasts prepared by the Office of Campus Ministry.

The audio experience, which premiered on Ash Wednesday, last about 20 minutes and include a Gospel reading, a brief homily, a psalm reading, an intention for the week and a liturgical song performed by members of the Notre Dame Folk Choir. (The program is available at "": .)

At 20 minutes long, the audiocast can accompany a commute or a workout, say its organizers, who include Folk Choir director Steve Warner and Rev. Richard J. Warner, C.S.C., Campus Ministry director.

Both see the podcast format as a way to continue to reach Notre Dames young graduates.

Steve Warner and the Folk Choir recently completed a multi-city tour of Southern states, traveling toFloridaand back by motor coach. On the long bus rides in between stops, students could watch videos or read. But Steve Warner recalls that at least three-quarters of choir members could be found wearing headphones or the iPods ubiquitous white earbuds.

Top of mind, as the project is developed, are the number of Notre Dame students who seek, participate in and relish the many spiritual opportunities that Notre Dame offers. In addition, the podcasts are likely to be popular with graduates whose early professional endeavors are faith-related, such as ACE students, who remain affiliated with Notre Dame. But Steve Warner also envisions the graduate with a corporate jobsitting on a subway heading to Deloitte every day. This is something they can listen to.

When I announced this to the current (Folk) Choir they all went pretty hopping mad in terms of enthusiasm, and I knew that I had hit a home run,he said.

Rev. Ralph Haag, C.S.C., in his first year as rector of St. Edwards Hall, sees spirituality in residence hallspersonified by such activities as daily Massas something students miss when they leave.

Our students come from such an intense spiritual atmosphere here,he said.If we can, we want to offer something that fills that gap in their lives.

Thats not to say the podcasts will be attractive only to young people.

Ive got an iPod, my sister has an iPod. But so does my dad,says Father Haag. Downloading international news has become a regular way of life for his father; perhaps a spiritual audiocast will, too.

Father Warner will be one of the voices on the podcasts, although he is not himself an iPod owner.

Ill have to borrow one from one of my grandnieces or nephews to hear this,he said.

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