Jan 14 – Notre Dame Folk Choir Retreat and Concert
Approximately thirty members of the University of Notre Dame Folk Choir made a retreat at New Melleray this weekend. These young, energetic, and faith-full students joined us Friday morning for Mass and remained through Sunday Mass before returning to South Bend after receiving a blessing from Fr. Mark. For the most part, they conducted their retreat on their own, with students leading many of their group sessions. We were able to interact with them in a number of ways, consistent with our monastic charism.
In addition to monastic hospitality, we introduced them to our way of life and gave tours of the monastery and Trappist Caskets. Several of our priests heard confessions at scheduled times each day of the retreat. A few of us participated in a lively question-and-answer session. We alternated questions for the monks with questions for the students. This session was scheduled for one hour but lasted nearly two hours, ending only because it was time for Vespers. Saturday’s final session of the retreat was a presentation by one of the monks, an ND grad himself, about monastic life and the practice of lectio divina.
Friday evening was a highlight of the weekend from our perspective. The choir gave a private concert to us along with our employees and their family members. A few members of the Notre Dame Club of Dubuque also attended the performance. The concert featured many Advent and Christmas season pieces. Several selections were by the late Chrysogonus Waddell of Our Lady of Gethsemani Abbey in Kentucky. A few selections were by Dr. J.J. Wright, Director of the University of Notre Dame Folk Choir and a couple more were by other members of the choir.
(Apologies for the dark pictures, our church lighting was dimmed for the concert and our photographer didn’t want to be a distraction by using a flash.)