Seniors discern futures, pursue religious life

first_imgAfter founding the Congregation of the Holy Cross, Blessed Basil Moreau, along with other priests and brothers, landed in southern Indiana in 1841. The group trekked to South Bend in 1842, where they cleared the trees, dredged the lake to create two and began creating “brother bricks” in the river, Fr. Neil Wack, director of vocations for the Congregation of the Holy Cross, said.“This University was built on the blood, sweat and tears of the Holy Cross brothers, and also the priests,” Wack said. “[Moreau] had the idea of being the family of the Holy Cross under one founder, Blessed Fr. Moreau, with his charism, ‘educate the mind and the heart, but never educate the mind at the expense of the heart.’”Though many students pass Corby Hall and Moreau Seminary — two buildings used by the successors of the brothers who laid the bricks of several buildings on campus — without even knowing what they are used for, the buildings hold deep significance to seniors such as Ryan Kerr and Brian Vetter. Kerr and Vetter plan to enter religious life after graduation with the Congregation of Holy Cross.For a year following Commencement, Kerr, Vetter and others will enter a year of formation with the Congregation of the Holy Cross. The year of formation is a time in which those who are called to religious life take classes, pray and further discern their vocations, Wack said.In order to be accepted, Kerr and Vetter, as well as other applicants, underwent a vigorous orientation process. The process includes a lengthy application, interviews, psychological evaluations and a spiritual autobiography in the vein of St. Augustine’s confessions, Wack said.“We ask that they come and see for a weekend to see what life is like in the community, go to class, go to mass, go to prayer and just to hang out and see if this feels like home, a community where you can live and die with,” he said.Wack said Notre Dame prepares men and women entering religious life and way of thought through the theology and philosophy requirements, and — perhaps more importantly — the environment.“Our charism is ‘educators of the faith, educators of the hearts,’” he said. “A big part of how we do that is by living where we work … we live with the students, which is kind of unusual. … We get the opportunity to serve in a different way, they get the opportunity to experience the religious life and the priesthood in a different way and see us as being something more than far away, unapproachable and — heaven forbid — uninteresting.”Kerr, who majored in theology and English with minors in constitutional studies and business economics, lived in his dorm, Keough Hall, for all four years as an undergraduate. Kerr said he has been in touch with the Holy Cross vocations director sine his sophomore year of high school.“I went back and forth between religious life and married life and different kinds of religious life,” he said. “For a long time I thought I would be in a more contemplative order — a Benedictine community.”However, his experiences in his dorm, namely with his rector, Fr. Pat Reidy, and Wack — who has lived in Keough for the last two years — gave him a greater understanding of Holy Cross and helped him realize his calling more fully, Kerr said.Kerr and Reidy both moved into Keough in the same year, when Reidy had not yet been ordained a deacon. Kerr was able to see Reidy take his final vows with Holy Cross, Kerr said, as well as witness him perform his ministries as rector.“One hundred and fifty of us were at his ordination, and I think that that sparked something really significant for me that I couldn’t replace,” Kerr said.Noting that the Catholic culture and dorm community on campus had the biggest impact on the realization of his vocation, Kerr said the education he received in his undergraduate years at Notre Dame has been equally beneficial in preparation.“Being in the theology department, some things really changed my spiritual life that I learned in class,” he said. “And within the English major, I was able to learn to engage in things that I wasn’t used to, in a way that I wasn’t used to and articulate myself in a new way.”Members of the Congregation of the Holy Cross live in community wherever they work, Wack said, be it a soup kitchen or a university such as Notre Dame. Kerr said this aspect of it drew him to the congregation.“Holy Cross is known for its fraternity and community — for Holy Cross, it’s kind of like their hallmark,” Kerr said. “I ended up being drawn in by that and realized that God had been working through my life pretty actively, through my stubbornness to get me here. Even just wanting to go to Notre Dame was part of God calling me to [the] Holy Cross community. When I was 10, I decided I was going to Notre Dame, and I kind of lived my life to that end.”The fraternity that attracted Kerr to the community also appealed to Vetter, who majored in science pre-professional studies and theology, and has lived in Alumni Hall for the past four years, which he said greatly influenced his decision to join the congregation.“I wouldn’t be joining Holy Cross without the awesome community of Alumni Hall,” Vetter said. “Throughout my discernment, I realized that my most authentically joyful moments have taken place when I have been in community with my Alumni Hall brothers. For four years I have lived with a large group of guys who — because of our strong emphasis on community and identity — manage to accept and love one another in the midst of our flaws and wide-ranging personalities and lifestyles.”Vetter said this community taught him more about himself and how to live his own life.“This has taught me how to love, and has drawn out my best self,” he said. “I’ve learned that this is a charism that flows directly from the religious life of Holy Cross. If I want to be my best self and cultivate a close relationship with God, I need a strong community to support me.”Echoing Kerr, Vetter spoke of his discerning process and time at Notre Dame as an overall positive experience, and advised all students to keep an open mind about their vocations.“Discerning a vocation to the priesthood has been the most difficult thing I’ve ever done, but it has been an experience of profound joy,” he said. “The more I have opened my heart to it, the more peace and joy I have experienced. So be open and never forget to pray for an open heart, because without prayer it won’t be possible.”Tags: Alumni Hall, Community, Congregation of the Holy Cross, Keough Hall, priesthood, religious life, vocationslast_img read more

Pollinator Decline

first_imgAvoid treating plants in bloom and use biorational insecticide options, such as horticultural oils; Bacillus thuringiensis (BT), a natural insecticide produced by the BT bacterium; and insecticidal soaps. A plan has been put into place in Georgia to protect honeybees in row crop agriculture. A 2014 University of Georgia economic impact study determined the annual value of pollination to Georgia at over $360 million. While many insects, such as flies, beetles, moths, butterflies and wasps, can be important pollinators, bees outperform them all because of their dietary need for pollen and nectar. Their hairy bodies carry pollen grains easily as they rapidly fly from flower to flower. Bumblebees and honeybees can be managed on a large scale suitable for the high-acreage pollination demands of modern agriculture. Wild bees are at least equally valuable as pollinators.The Georgia Pollinator Protection Plan, (found online at, includes guidelines for farmers to protect pollinators. President Barack Obama has launched a research action plan to address issues related to pollinators. His administration is encouraging federal agencies to take a leadership role through research granting, Environmental Protection Agency regulations, habitat preservation and development, insect research and more. Help protect pollinators by using the following integrated pest management (IPM) practices in your home landscape:1. Monitor insect pest populations to determine whether or not infestations require pesticide treatment.2. Reduce the use of pesticides by installing native plants that are beneficial to pollinating insects and are relatively pest-free.3. Use selective pesticides that have a minimal impact on nontarget species. This practice protects pollinators and conserves natural enemies. With reports of declining monarch butterfly populations and honeybee deaths, the plight of pollinators and other beneficial insects has been headlining the news for months now. The EPA now requires a “Protection of Pollinators” advisory box on certain agricultural pesticide labels. The bee hazard icon alerts users to read and learn the restrictions that protect bees and other insect pollinators. Establish more flowering plants, shrubs and trees that are native to Georgia and the Southeast. If possible, avoid applying systemic insecticides to the soil during or just prior to the plant’s blooming time. Many factors contribute to pollinator decline. Loss of habitat, loss of food source plants and the overuse of pesticides are all likely disrupting populations. Loss of habitat: Manicured lawns, clipped hedges and tidy, suburban landscapes are attractive, but they deprive beneficial insects of the habitats they need for reproduction and overwintering.Loss of sufficient flowering plants for forage: Exotic, non-native and cultivated hybrid flowers may not produce the pollen that insects need for protein or the nectar that bees, birds, butterflies and bats need for energy.Pesticide misuse: Pesticides may kill pollinators and beneficial insects, and some chemicals may be retained in the pollen that bees store to feed their young.last_img read more

Nor’easter Brings 9 Inches of Snow to Long Island

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York The second nor’easter to hit Long Island in less than a week dumped nearly nine inches of heavy, wet snow on parts of the region Wednesday and also caused strong winds, power outages and flooding.The National Weather Service reported that the highest snowfall accumulation on LI was in Oakdale, which got 8.9 inches. Amounts varied widely from town to town, with nearby Sayville getting 2.2 inches. In Nassau County, snowfall ranged from 6 inches in Roslyn to 2.5 inches in Oyster Bay. PSEG Long Island reported nearly 20,000 customers without power as of 9 a.m. Thursday.“Due to the recent heavy snowfall across parts of the region, many secondary roadways remain snow covered,” Up-based NWS forecasters said in a statement. “Motorists are advised to allow extra travel for the morning commute. In addition, the heavyweight of the snow may bring down tree limbs and power lines.”The highest snowfall amounts in the tri-state area were in Connecticut and the Lower Hudson Valley, which got 26 inches. Peak wind gusts on LI were recorded at 53 mph on Great  Gull Island and 46 mph in Bayville. Widespread reports of flooding in coastal communities occurred throughout the storm. Besides traffic delays, the storm also caused Long Island Rail Road issues when downed utility wires and trees blocked the tracks.Now that the storm has passed, mostly sunny skies with temperatures in the 40s are forecast through the weekend, although there’s a 40-percent chance of more rain and snow Monday.last_img read more

Want a cheat sheet for your NCUA IT exam?

first_img 8SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr It’s Monday and  you open your email to see that your credit union’s annual NCUA IT Exam is scheduled for  some time in the first quarter. You don’t have the dates yet but almost certainly you  start to dig through the mounds of compliance related information you’ve compiled to start preparing. Maybe you send out emails to  your peers or hit the tech boards/blogs to see if you can get a “heads up” on any key topics that NCUA may be focused on this year. And where is that report from the last exam?Prepping for an NCUA IT Exam can be quite stressful – but it doesn’t have to be. You see, you can have access to the set of questions the examiner will be reviewing LONG before the audit date. NCUA Examiners use an Automated Integrated Regulatory Examination System (AIRES) to complete examinations covering the whole spectrum of credit union operations. The AIRES IT Questionnaire is specific to the information technology, audit and member services. It literally is  your cheat sheet to passing an NCUA exam.The AIRES IT exam covers questions regarding the strategic oversight and operational controls for:Member Information Security (Part 748)Anti-Virus & Malware continue reading »last_img read more

Back to training, Bayern’s Coman hopes to complete season

first_img“We’re doing technical work, at a safe distance from each other. It’s a bit like the end of the close season when you resume training individually.”Despite the resumption of training the German Football League (DFL) made it clear last week it was not known if or when the season would resume.The season has been suspended until at least April 30 with the DFL due to meet next Friday to decide the next step.Coman said he hoped all the effort the players had put in would not go to waste.”We work, we work, and I hope we can finish the season otherwise all that work will have been for nothing,” he said.Bayern had a four-point lead with nine matches remaining when the season was halted. Topics : Bundesliga clubs returned to training earlier this week after almost a month off due to the COVID-19 outbreak and while the players are still being kept at a safe distance from each other Bayern Munich forward Kingsley Coman is just happy to be back.Squads have been split into small groups or even pairs under strict measures to contain the spread of the new coronavirus, which has infected over 110,000 and killed more than 2,000 people in Germany.”We had not touched a ball on a football pitch for almost a month and even if we’re split in small groups it’s a pleasure to play again and step onto a field that has goals,” the France international told Eurosport on Fridaylast_img read more

EU leaders struggle to save deadlocked virus recovery summit

first_imgSquabbling EU leaders held a make-or-break dinner on Sunday to try to break three days of deadlock in talks over a huge coronavirus rescue package. EU Council President Charles Michel, the summit host, gathered the 27 leaders for dinner after a day of small group meetings that failed to yield a major breakthrough in the search for a deal.He made a last-ditch proposal for the 750-billion-euro ($860-billion) rescue deal aimed at bridging a gaping rift with a coalition of “Frugals” — the Netherlands, Sweden, Austria, Denmark and Finland. The Frugals, led by Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte, have sought to slash the scale of the package of loans and grants that Brussels wants to help the countries hit hard by the epidemic. As fears rose that the summit would collapse without agreement, Michel suggested cutting the grant portion of the deal to 400 billion euros — down from his initial proposal of 500 billion — and raising the loan part to 350 billion, up from 250 billion.In a heartfelt speech over dinner, Michel reminded leaders of the devastating human cost of the pandemic — 600,000 dead including 200,000 in Europe — and urged them to come together to complete a “mission impossible”.”The question is this: are the 27 leaders, responsible for the people of Europe, capable of building European unity and trust?” Michel said, according to a copy of his remarks seen by AFP. “Or will we present the face of a weak Europe, undermined by mistrust?” Rule of law row Meanwhile, another stumbling block emerged when Hungary’s hardline premier Viktor Orban accused Rutte of waging a personal vendetta against him and his country — and vowed to prevent any agreement on efforts to tie EU spending to recipient countries’ respect for EU standards.The so-called “Rule of Law” measure — also opposed by Poland and Slovenia — could see Orban’s nationalist and increasingly authoritarian government lose out if fellow members judge his alleged assault on the free media and democratic norms breaks with European values.Both issues could thwart attempts to reach agreement at the summit, and that is even before the leaders — who began meeting on Friday and have finished after midnight for two nights running — get on to debating the draft of the seven-year, trillion-euro EU budget. Macron urged leaders to “take responsibility” as Europe grapples with a severe recession caused by the virus and its lockdowns, saying a deal could still be found, “but these compromises cannot be made at the cost of European ambition”.center_img Topics : Dogged frugals But a senior aide to Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Lofven said they were only prepared to accept a maximum of 350 billion euros as grants in the package, and even this was subject to conditions.”It’s about the rebates, higher climate ambitions, and that we include a mechanism that makes so that countries will not be able to get money from the EU budget or this recovery package if they do not follow the principles of rule of law,” Paula Carvalho Olovsson told the TT news agency.At the start of what she said was probably the “decisive” third day of the extraordinary summit, German Chancellor Angela Merkel had said there were still many divisions among the leaders, and so it proved.The leaders sat down to their dinner around 7:20pm (1720 GMT), more than seven hours after they had been scheduled to restart their full round-table meeting of all 27.Round after round of small group meetings went on all day as Michel, aided by Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron, tried to drag the frugals and the more indebted — and virus-ravaged — on board for a compromise, but progress was painfully slow.A European source said there were fresh clashes over the dinner table, as the frugals demanded massive hikes in the rebates they get on their EU contributions.Rutte also wants member states to retain the right to veto national economic plans by the likes of Italy and Spain, in order to oblige them to pursue reforms to borrowing and their labor and pensions markets — an effort that was angrily resisted by his Italian counterpart, Giuseppe Conte.last_img read more

Swiss regulator: More pension funds to be underfunded after 2018 volatility

first_imgThe funding level of some Swiss pension funds is set to fall considerably after the equity market volatility of last year.Preliminary calculations relating to funds from the cantons of Zurich and Schaffhausen were presented by the BVS, the regional supervisory body for Pensionskassen and foundations in these two cantons.Speaking at the authority’s annual conference, Roger Tischhauser, director of the BVS, said that “a typical pension fund will report a lower funding level by 400 to 600 basis points because of the capital market developments” in 2018.This year, Tischhauser said he expected “an additional 12 or more pension funds” under BVS’ supervision to report underfunding in their 2018 annual reports. For 2017, the group of more than 750 pension funds supervised by the BVS showed a significant improvement in its funding position.Compared to 2016, the number of underfunded schemes fell from 10 to four. The funds with shortfalls in 2017 were smaller schemes with combined assets of CHF4bn (€3.3bn).Equity market volatility hit Swiss pension funds last year, a development also reflected in the industry indices compiled by UBS and Credit Suisse, as well as preliminary results published by Publica, Switzerland’s largest pension fund.Nevertheless, Tischhauser said he was impressed by how the average pension fund had developed over the past few years.In 2017, over 80% of all funds supervised by the BVS were 100% funded and around 50% had “already restocked the necessary funding buffers”, which had been emptied in the wake of the financial crisis, Tischhauser said.He highlighted public pension funds, which “can look back at seven years of very hard work” since they were legally transformed into entities independent of the canton’s authority.In total, the BVS oversees almost CHF300bn in occupational pension assets, more than one third of the total CHF850bn in the Swiss second pillar.Collective pension funds as systemic risk factorsTischhauser also defended proposals from Switzerland’s top finance regulator, the OAK, regarding new rules for collective pension funds, the Sammelstiftungen and Gemeinschaftseinrichtungen.He contradicted critics who recently spoke out against further regulation for this sector within the second pillar. The OAK wants to introduce additional risk reporting requirements for such plans.Tischhauser said a “consistent set of rules” was necessary for this sector.“In this segment, which is of systemic importance, financial stability has to be increased and for this we need a unified regulatory framework,” he said.He explained that, given the competition in this sector, collective pension funds on average “took more risks in their investments and made higher promises” than company pension funds not open to outside customers.last_img read more

Participants sought for 2018 ‘Community Hunting Access Program’

first_imgIndianapolis, In. — The Indiana Department of Natural Resources is looking for community partners interested in participating in the Community Hunting Access Program (CHAP) this year.In its second year, CHAP is an initiative through the DNR Division of Fish & Wildlife to increase hunting opportunities for deer in urban and suburban areas. The intent of the program is to help alleviate human-deer conflicts. CHAP provides community partners with financial and technical assistance to administer hunting programs in their communities.As part of the program, managed hunts are administered by a certified CHAP coordinator trained in hunting safety, deer biology and public relations.The community partner determines when and where managed hunts occur, what hunters can participate, and which certified CHAP coordinator they use or contract.Eligible community partners include parks, homeowners associations, and other land managing entities. Parties interested in participating must submit a grant application by March 31.last_img read more

Anthony Joshua heads back to gym

first_imgRelatedPosts Tyson Fury to Anthony Joshua: Don’t risk fighting Usyk Anthony Joshua, Okolie plot world title double Anthony Joshua wants Tyson Fury, Wilder fight Shortly after Anthony Joshua’s dominant win over Andy Ruiz Jr, the two-time heavyweight champion of the world insisted he would not spend all that long celebrating.The 30-year-old has business to attend to as he sets out to become the heavyweight king in 2020, with mega bouts against Tyson Fury and Deontay Wilder targeted for the WBA, WBO and IBF champion.And AJ has been seen putting in the hard yards at the gym only four days after his victory in Saudi Arabia, before tucking into a calorie-heavy meal after a tough workout.The Olympic champion’s strength and conditioning coach, Sina Ghami, posted to his Instagram footage of AJ performing shoulder rolls on Wednesday night, while other members of his entourage hit the weights.The rigorous gym session was shortly followed by a big meal for the team, with meat, salad and pasta on the menu for the heavyweight champion.Joshua opted to cut down on the carbs before his rematch with Ruiz Jr, in a bid to come in lighter and better conditioned to last the full 12 rounds against the Mexican.And his plan worked a treat.AJ was elusive and boxed smartly for the full 12 rounds to leave The Destroyer chasing shadows and losing his grip on the heavyweight crown.Joshua has since been ordered to face his mandatory challengers by the WBO and IBF. Oleksandr Usyk and Kubrat Pulev are therefore in pole position to secure a shot at AJ next Spring.Tags: Anthony JoshuaDeontay WilderTyson Furylast_img read more

Club World Cup: Monterrey to face Liverpool after beating Al Sadd

first_imgRelatedPosts Thiago Alcantara completes Liverpool move Liverpool reach agreement to sign Thiago from Bayern Gunners, Reds battle for Community Shield glory A stunning long-range shot from Leonel Vangioni and an awful mistake by Gabi set CONCACAF champions Monterrey on their way to a 3-2 win over Al Sadd on Saturday. The win earned them a place in the FIFA Club World Cup semi-finals against European champions Liverpool. The Mexican side, who had to survive a second-half fightback by their opponents, were rewarded with a tie against England’s Premier League leaders on Wednesday. The European champions have a bye to the last four. Al Sadd, who qualified as champions of host nation Qatar, were playing in their own stadium. But their fans were outsung by a noisy contingent of Monterrey supporters behind one of the goals. The stadium was only around half-full, a similar problem to that which dogged the recent world athletics championships held in Qatar, which will also host the 2022 FIFA World Cup. The Mexicans hit the crossbar early on and went ahead when Vangioni collected the ball in midfield. He took one touch and rifled a left-foot shot into the top-right hand corner of the net from 35 metres in the 23rd minute. Al Sadd, coached by former FC Barcelona and Spain midfielder Xavi Hernandez, had more possession. But Monterrey increased their lead in first-half stoppage time after an extraordinary misjudgement by Gabi, the host team’s most experienced player. The former Atletico Madrid player sent a ball back deep into his own half from near the touchline, but it was intercepted by Rogelio Funes Mori who scored easily. Asian Footballer of the Year Akram Afif wasted a glorious chance to pull one back for the hosts by side-footing over the bar when unmarked. But Baghdad Bounedjah did claw one back after getting in front of a defender to head in after 66 minutes. Carlos Rodriguez then added a third for Monterrey in the 77th minute, before Abdelkarim Hassan pulled another back for Al Sadd in the 89th minute. Hassan’s goal was with a similar effort to Vangioni’s to ensure a nervy finale for the Mexicans. Reuters/NAN.Tags: Al SaddClub World CupCONCACAFLeonel Vangioniliverpool fclast_img read more