Monologues at Notre Dame

Monologues at Notre Dame

Speaking of the V-Monologues, Project Sycamore at the University of Notre Dame has an online petition to the president, Fr. Jenkins, not to allow the play to be performed at ND this year. In a comment on the post below, a commenter writes:

Thanks to Dom’s blog, I learned of the Project Sycamore website back in September. Basically, it’s a group of alumni and friends who want to see ND’s real Catholic identity restored. I encourage you all to explore the site (keeping in mind the vulgar subject matter of these events). Two weeks ago, the project notified its email list that the VM will be performed again this spring. This fact has been confirmed but has been significantly downplayed. The average student may not yet know what is in the works. One cause for hope is Fr. Jenkins’s assertion last year that such events would be reviewed on a case-by-case basis. If the wrong decision was made last year, hopefully, the right decision can be made this year. Currently, the project is collecting signatures for a petition that will be sent to Fr. Jenkins urging him to stop the performance of the VM. I would encourage all of the readers here to sign it, even if you are not affiliated with ND. As others have done, you can put “Concerned Catholic” or some other note in the “Other” box.

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  • I don’t know why Catholic colleges are universities are so willing to move away from their Catholic character.  My alma mater, Saint Anselm College in Manchester, NH, recently announced that it would allow for co-ed dorms.  Saint Anselm has always been a traditional Catholic school (it was founded by the Benedictines) but in an effort to become bigger and competitive, it has shed a great deal of its charm and character.  Any alum who reads this and who is concerned should contact the school ASAP.  I would be respectful but firm.

  • I think it would be good for folks to know that there is a Symposium that Franciscan University is holding on this very matter. It is being geared towards Catholic University Presidents and Academic Deans.  It is open to the general public but is relatively expensive, so I’m not sharing this to get registrations.  However, I think that this is an extremely important event to be aware of, the first I’ve ever seen.

    I think we’d all like to see Catholic Colleges be fully Catholic in their identity. Prayers is a good way for us as non-academics, if you will, to effect this.

  • “I don’t know why Catholic colleges are universities are so willing to move away from their Catholic character.”

    Well I’ll tell ya. Money. Federal money. That’s one. Another is because everybody else is doing it. But the big one is that those who make this move have lost their Faith entirely—in which case no one can pretend they’re going there for “a Catholic education.” Maybe because your father went there, and it’s the thing to do. I mean, hey, we’re talking about Notre Dame here. Knute Rockney, the Fighting Irish, that’s a good sell!

    Otherwise, you’d have to be pretty desperate.

  • I’ve corresponded with the founders of “Project Sycamore.” They somewhat idealistically hope to provide Father Jenkins with a backbone. The Sycamores want to reassure Father J that it’s OK to stand up for Catholic teachings even against the overwhelmingly secular faculty at ND (who say it’s all about “ending violence against women,” you know?).

    My response was if the liberal Father J lacks a backbone, there’s nothing that can be done to provide one, not even a nationwide e-mail petition. I mean, he gave the back of his hand to the Bishop of Ft. Wayne, IN, when the bishop sought to intervene against the VM performances last year.

    How do the trustees find these weak reeds?

    JohnR ‘58

  • Even in state colleges, there’s money behind some of these decisions. For instance a local college allows the military to recruit in the cafeteria, but could not allow promotions by conscientious objectors. Apparently this had s’thing to do with government funding. And on “V-Day” not only were suggestive posters plastered everywhere, but the cafeteria sold LOLLIPOPS in embarrassing shapes. (My daughter thought that was more violent than the violence the Monologues is supposedly fighting.) But would Pro-Life awareness be allowed to have its day? I doubt it. It would probably be considered an insult to civil liberties, and the school might lose some gov’t funding or s’thing.

  • The organizers of The Vagina Monologues were not able to get an academic department to sponsor the play this time and therefore have moved it off campus. It will be performed this week at a nearby Unitarian Church. They pledge to be back next year.  The play that pre-empted faculty support, “Loyal Daughters,” seems not to have improved matters much, if any. Father Jenkins, the President,  encouraged students to write it about sexual violence on campus, but when he saw it he found it so objectionable that he refused to sponsor it. The play related incidents, not only of sexual violence, but also of consensual sex among students. Despite Father Jenkins’s turndown, the faculty committee overseeing the project promoted it, and the faculty panelists discussing it after the performances praised it. One urged the students to use condoms, saying he thought the Church would approve.

    But none of this is nearly as important at Notre Dame as the crisis in faculty hiring, which is the principal concern of Project Sycamore. These repellant episodes are just symptoms of the secularization of the faculty. Catholics have fallen from 85% of the faculty to a bare majority now, and with retirees mostly Catholic and only 40$ of new hires Catholic in recent years, Catholics will be a minority shortly unless there is a drastic change. The school’s Mission Statement declares that this will mean a loss of Catholic identity. That identity “depends upon” there being a “predominant number of Catholic intellectuals” on the faculty. Father Jenkins has said this trend must be reversed.s trend. Since a majority of the faculty oppose preferring Catholics, the task will be formidable. (The data are set forth in detail in the Project Sycamore website,