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first_imgThis week, Notre Dame celebrates three consecutive nights of Las Posadas, a Christmas-time Catholic tradition in Spanish-speaking countries around the world. It commemorates Mary and Joseph’s search for lodging in Bethlehem before the birth of Jesus.Farley rector Elaine DeBassige, who was instrumental in bringing the tradition to campus, said Notre Dame’s version compresses a nine-night novena down into three.“It’s supposed to be a novena, but on campus, we just don’t have that kind of time, so we readjusted,” she said in an email. “We sing carols and travel to many locations seeking shelter for Jesus and Mary. Each location we stop at, we sing a part of the Las Posadas song and are turned away. We pick up more carols at the place that rejected us. We continue until we reach our final destination.”Becky Ruvalcaba, assistant director of multicultural ministry, said in an email that each night ends in festivities.“Once we are invited in at the end of the procession, we move to the chapel and have scripture, music and prayer. Finally, at the end we have a celebration,” Ruvalcaba said.Music and food are an integral cultural part of Las Posadas. DeBassige said Notre Dame can expect to see home-cooked Hispanic dishes, catering, mariachi and a pinata.“Because the crowds are growing, we have some catered food from local restaurants like Mango Cafe. This year in Farley, we are adding cheese enchiladas, pozole and bizcochitos,” she said. “Several women learned how to be New Mexican tonight.”For Ruvalcaba, Las Posadas embodies the beauty of the Catholic image of the Holy Family, she said.“My favorite part is the walking and singing as one community of God, prayerfully remembering our Holy Family,” Ruvalcaba said. “Las Posadas has allowed me to deepen my devotion to the Holy Family and to reflect on the mystery of the incarnation of our Savior Jesus Christ, who was born to the holiest of families in the poorest of material circumstances.“Las Posadas also allow me to reflect on all those people still today that are left out in the cold, seeking refuge — people seeking a place to rest after a long journey and are turned away because there is ‘no room,’” Ruvalcaba said. “This journey of Mary and Joseph is hopeful for all of us, those that seek shelter and for those that provide shelter. My heart is constantly moved by the image of Mary and Joseph on journey, seeking to birth peace in the world.”DeBassige said the celebration lets her share her home in a special way.“People say how this makes them feel at home and part of something special,” DeBassige said. “Every year, I hear something like this. It makes me feel like I am honoring my village, San Rafael, New Mexico, my culture and my mom who always has a big showing at her house when she hosts. Making a home that welcomes everyone is what this is all about. When we get to welcome others in from the cold for fellowship, food, prayer, comfort, laughs, warmth — this is living.”The event kicked off Tuesday night on Mod and East Quads, with a reception in Dunne Hall. Wednesday night it takes place on North Quad, with a reception in Farley Hall. Thursday night will be on South and West Quads, with a reception in Coleman-Morse Center.Tags: Campus Ministry, Farley Hall, Las Posadaslast_img read more


first_img Published on April 29, 2018 at 8:44 pm I was surprised when I got the email, mostly because I forgot it was supposed to be coming. It was April 17, 2015, and I was sitting alone in my freshman-year dorm room in Booth Hall, looking for any way to distract myself from an upcoming astronomy test.The subject line read: “Welcome to Baruch College!” The content of the email detailed my acceptance for the Fall 2015 semester to the Manhattan-based school, one that’s roughly a 40-minute subway ride away from my home in Queens. I had filled out the application to transfer from Syracuse three months earlier.Now, I’m incredibly fortunate to have so many great friends at Syracuse, some that I’ve met and worked with at The Daily Orange, and still another group that includes my roommates and an extended group that’s basically my roommates. They’ve made my time here more incredible than I could have ever imagined.I’ve offhandedly mentioned a few times to my friends — nearly all of whom I met sophomore year or later — that my freshman year was tough. I never seriously talked to most about how close I was to leaving. Or about the times when finally managing to get out of bed felt like the day’s biggest accomplishment. About the days when all I felt was sad and worthless.I was depressed. It affected every part of my life. I couldn’t make many new friends, I struggled to keep in touch with old ones and I had some of the worst grades I’ve ever had, in any level of schooling.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textMy passions lost their luster. I’ve always been a big sports fan and always loved comedy, too. The day before my COM 107 final I was as down as I’d ever been. I tried to watch the New York Giants game and the previous night’s “Saturday Night Live,” two things that almost always made me happy. On that day, neither did. I could barely study. All I could do was sit in my bed, exhausted by how terrible I felt. I scraped by with a C on the test.Seemingly worse was the stigma. I refused to believe that anything was truly wrong. It took months to schedule an appointment for the counseling center. When I finally went and saw someone I knew in the waiting room, I lied and said I was there for a class assignment.A month ago I told one of my closest friends about my freshman year and told him I might write about it. Even then, I refrained from using the word “depressed,” and he noticed. It stemmed from a weird sense of shame, as if I couldn’t say how I felt because then I’d be devaluing the experiences of those who’ve been diagnosed with clinical depression. He correctly told me that was the way to wrong to think. Thanks for that.My story, while unique to me, isn’t particularly uncommon. There are plenty of college students who struggle with adjusting to the new environment. According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, one in five Americans experiences mental illness in a given year. NBA All-Stars DeMar DeRozan and Kevin Love talked about it this year. I’ve had friends tell me their freshman year sucked, too.At first I didn’t say anything because it was difficult. It still is. But I generally don’t mention it now because I no longer feel that way.There are moments where doubt and sorrow creeps back in, as they do for most people. I’ve largely learned to deal with it— through sports and comedy, including a healthy dose of self-deprecation — and can truthfully say that for the last few years, I’ve felt consistently better than I did back then.So I’m not writing this to get anything off my chest, or for any pity. This is actually making me open up far more than I feel comfortable doing.Instead, I’m writing this because a little less than four years ago, I desperately needed to read it. I needed to know, from someone I could relate to, that things would improve.Journalists write with the hope that their piece will have an impact. This is no different. If you feel down, talk to someone about it. If you feel like you don’t really have someone to turn to, just like I did, then I welcome you to turn to me. I truly mean that. My email and Twitter are below. I’d love to hear from you. If you’re in the area, I’d love to meet you in person.As I’m lucky enough to constantly be surrounded by love, from friends I came so close to never meeting, I realize my struggles with mental health never truly defined me. Things did get better.And if you’re struggling now, I know one day you’ll realize that too.Tomer Langer was a senior staff writer at The Daily Orange, where his column will no longer appear. He can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter at @tomer_langer.– 30 – Comments Facebook Twitter Google+last_img read more

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