Notre Dame to honor Martin Luther King Jr. Day with prayer service, community events

Author: Notre Dame News

Martin Luther King Jr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C., president of the University of Notre Dame, will preside at a prayer service to honor the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. from 11:45 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. Monday (Jan. 19) in the rotunda of the Main Building. The public is invited to participate in the prayer service and the reception that will immediately follow.

The Notre Dame community will celebrate Mass to honor King at 5:15 p.m. Jan. 19 in the Basilica of the Sacred Heart. This multicultural Mass will be celebrated in the African-American tradition and will feature the Voices of Faith Gospel Choir. Rev. Pete McCormick, C.S.C., newly appointed director of Campus Ministry, will preside and preach. All are welcome to attend.

University of Notre Dame students, faculty, staff and invited guests will gather to reflect on the book “Black Domers: Seventy Years at Notre Dame” during a dinner and panel discussion. Panelists will include book editor and alumnus Don Wycliff; alumni contributors Olevia Boykin, Azikiwe Chandler, Arienne Thompson; and current student Demetrius Murphy. This invitation-only event will be held Jan. 19 on Notre Dame’s campus and is sponsored by the Office of the President, President’s Oversight Committee on Diversity and Inclusion and the Division of Student Affairs.

The Notre Dame Center for Arts and Culture will participate in the SB150 Discover Series on South Bend Historic Landmarks, which includes open houses on Jan. 19 as part of the MLK celebration. Fifteen South Bend landmarks will be open and free to the public from noon until 5 p.m. The event is part of South Bend’s yearlong 150th anniversary celebration.

Hesburgh MLK

Also as part of the SB150 Discover Series on Jan. 19, the Snite Museum of Art will display for only one day the iconic 1964 photo of King and Rev. Theodore M. Hesburgh, C.S.C., then president of the University. The photograph depicts Father Hesburgh and King hand-in-hand at the 1964 Illinois Rally for Civil Rights in Chicago’s Soldier Field. The Snite Museum and the Notre Dame Center for Social Concerns are sponsoring a dialogue about King’s legacy, titled “Standing Together: Then and Now,” from 4 to 5:30 p.m. Jan. 19 at the display. The discussion is free and open to the public.

The University is a co-sponsor of “Keep Sight of the Dream,” a breakfast and daylong celebration Jan. 19 presented by the South Bend Heritage Foundation and the Martin Luther King Jr. Foundation of St. Joseph County. Events include a community service recognition breakfast, a memorial march and a celebration concert. For more information, visit

Other community events will take place to honor King’s legacy in the days surrounding the holiday.

The University’s Multicultural Student Programs and Services recognizes King with its MLK Series, including its King Week Lecture from Eboo Patel, founder and president of Interfaith Youth Core, titled “Interfaith Leadership: Engaging Religious and Non-Religious Diversity in the 21st Century.” The talk, which is co-sponsored by Campus Ministry, will take place at 7:30 p.m. Thursday (Jan. 15) in DeBartolo Hall, Room 101. The MLK Series events are free and open to the public. For more information, visit

The Notre Dame Center for Social Concerns is co-sponsoring “A Little Taste of Peace,” a dinner and discussion on current problems and solutions that can build on King’s dream, from 6:15 to 9:15 p.m. Saturday (Jan. 17) at St. Adalbert’s Parish, 2505 W. Grace St., South Bend. The event is open to the public. Register at

The DeBartolo Performing Arts Center Presenting Series’ 10th anniversary season special feature, “Higher Ground: Artists Inspiring Community,” culminates with performances by Ronald K. Brown/Evidence from Jan. 22 to 24 (Thursday to Saturday). A talk, an African drumming and dance celebration, a patron reception and the interactive lobby activity “Fill the Wall” will extend and enrich the experience. For more information, visit