Alumnus reflects on experience as gay, Catholic

first_imgChristopher Damian, a graduate of the University of Notre Dame class of 2013, discussed the intersection of homosexuality, Catholicism and theology in his presentation “Gay and Catholic,” hosted Thursday evening by the Gender Relations Center and the Institute for Church Life.Damian spoke about his journey toward reconciling his sexual identity with the teachings of the Catholic Church. Damian recounted his struggle to understand his identity throughout his undergraduate years.“How could I see my studies through a unified lens, if I couldn’t see myself as a unified person?” he said.Damian said one of the most difficult aspects he encountered while accepting his sexuality was how to understand the Church’s teachings regarding homosexuality and intimacy. Damian said he frequently questioned whether or not he would be able to fully engage in relationships with others, a question which poses a significant problem for LGBTQ-identifying Catholics.“I was worried that I couldn’t have friendship with anyone,” Damian said. “I wondered if my life as a Catholic was doomed to failure.”Damian said the language and rhetoric of the Catechism regarding homosexuality tends to be misrepresented and misunderstood by Catholics, specifically passages that refer to homosexuality as an intrinsic disorder. Damian said the focus on condemning the identity of LGBTQ individuals often leads to unnecessary rejection.“We should be careful about the things we say about sexual-minority students,” he said. “If Christians make claims about these people that seem blatantly untrue, this will cause others to question these issues and Christianity as a whole.”Damian said there is a need to define adequately the nature of the celibate vocation established for gay Catholics as well as address the definitions of friendship and intimacy for LGBTQ Catholics. He said celibacy allows others to engage in a life of self-giving love and reflect on the true nature of desire for intimacy.“The Church’s limitations are not meant to close us off, but rather, to open us up,” Damian said. “The Church places limitations so that we may be drawn deeper into reflection on where our intimacies and desires can lead us.”Damian said the definition of homosexuality can be highly misunderstood within the broader cultural context. Although sexuality and sexual orientation are frequently understood to be rigid and focused purely on sexual intimacy, “sexual attraction is very fluid and contextual,” he said.“I’m going to argue that the way in which the Catechism treats homosexuality is actually quite different for how it’s understood in the broader culture,” Damian said. “The more I’ve thought about it, it seems to me that while the desire for sexual intimacy with a person of the same sex is a significant part of the gay experience, it is only one aspect of it.”Damian said understanding homosexuality and identity requires understanding the transformative nature of the Church.“Catholicism never leaves things as they are,” he said. “It deepens, purifies and transforms all things it comes into contact with. So history becomes more than just history. For the Church, it can be deepened into salvation history.”Tags: Christopher Damian, Gay and Catholic, Gender Relations Center, Institute for Church Life, LGBTQlast_img read more

LGBT alumni react to Supreme Court decision

first_imgKelly Inman, Saint Mary’s class of ‘92, was at work last Friday morning when a coworker told her the news.The United States Supreme Court had just ruled that, under the 14th Amendment of the Constitution, states had to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.Same-sex marriage was, in effect, legal in all 50 states.Inman, who lives in Indianapolis with her partner of 19 years, was so happy she said she had trouble concentrating for the rest of the day.“I’m 45 years old, so I’ve lived through times when I never thought I would see anything like this,” she said. “It’s been an amazing few days.”Inman met her partner, Desiree Inman, in 1996 in South Bend, and the two moved to Indianapolis in 2004. The two bought a house together, have joint bank accounts and share a last name — Kelly Inman legally changed hers from Smith.“We did everything we could to live together as a married couple,” she said.They couldn’t get married legally until October 2014, after a district court overturned a law restricting marriage to male-female couples. Even then, the couple decided to wait — there had been several appeals in the district court decision, and they weren’t certain their marriage would be recognized.On Friday, their legal position strengthened, since the Supreme Court ruled that same-sex marriage was legal and that those marriages had to be recognized in every state.That recognition was especially important for Elena Misailedes and her girlfriend Christine Allen, both 2014 Notre Dame graduates. As California residents, they could already legally marry, but Milsailedes said both are thinking of graduate school, which might have taken them to a place where they could not.“It’s just nice to know that my future just got blown wide open,” she said. “I’m not looking at a map thinking, ‘Oh, I live here. So we’d have to live here to get married.’”As Inman and Misailedes celebrated in their respective states Friday, several students and alumni, including 2015 graduate Kathleen Schiavenza, did the same outside of the Supreme Court building in Washington, D.C.Schiavenza, a summer intern for California Rep. Doris Matsui, said the gathering was large and diverse — she saw students, Human Rights Campaign workers, people who had waited years for a decision and people who happened by, all singing, chanting and waving flags.“It was such a loving and caring celebration,” she said. “Yes, there were the people and streets were blocked off and police were there but it was such an exciting and celebratory moment for people.”Senior Connor Hayes, co-vice president of PrismND and a summer intern at a progressive Washington think tank, was also in front of the Supreme Court building on Friday, watching everybody there, from students to a Baptist minister to a Catholic group and a Latino group, celebrate the decision.He said what surprised him was how quickly many in the crowed started talking about next steps, like ending job discrimination for LGBT people and ensuring protections for transgender women and LGBT people of color.“Marriage is great, but it’s this middle-class, often very white institution, so we have to transform the LGBT movement to work on other issues,” he said.As for marriage, Kelly Inman said she and Desiree are still not sure when they’ll get married — they want to “wait until the dust has settled,” she said.One possibility is next year, she said. It will be their 20th year together.Tags: LGBTQ, PrismND, SCOTUS, Supreme Courtlast_img read more

Taco shop opens for business in Dunne Hall

first_imgThe moment sophomore Cam Kormylo heard there would be a space for food sales in Dunne Hall, he knew he had to transfer into the new dorm and open his own snack shop. Rachel O’Grady Students enjoy tacos in Dunne Hall on Thursday for the grand opening of Dungeon Tacos.“I went to those initial meetings for the new dorms, just to check it out, see what was up and they said they were going to have a space food sales,” Kormylo said. “Honestly, within a second, I knew I had to do it. That’s really the main reason I moved into Dunne Hall.”Kormylo has worked on creating a location with “different kind of food sales” in the new dorm since last December. The final result: a taco stand.“I was working on all my recipes over the last year and really trying to perfect them this summer,” he said. Admittedly, Kormylo said he did not know he wanted to do tacos right away, but after getting some feedback from friends and family, he thought a taco shop would be the perfect addition to Notre Dame dining options. “I kind of went back and forth with quite a few ideas, but I really kept on coming back to tacos,” he said. “Once we settled on it, I mean, we just started cooking immediately. It was a lot of work.”Kormylo said he started gravitating towards tacos after working with a Top Chef champion, Stephanie Izard. “Her general manager owns a taco bar and it really felt like a good move,” Kormylo said. “It was working with a lot of things I was comfortable with — what I knew — and you know, everyone likes tacos so that worked out really well.”Despite the generally positive reception of the taco idea, Kormylo said he wanted to make sure he covered his bases and had something for everyone. “We have gluten-free tacos, vegetarian tacos, vegan tacos,” he said. “We really are aware of allergens and the like. It’s important to us that people like and eat our food.”Kormylo worked with fellow sophomore Ryan Green to open up the shop, Dungeon Tacos, in the basement of Dunne Hall. “We just did a test run last week, just to see how it would go,” Green said. “Honestly, it went great and the tacos were turning out fantastic.”Dungeon Tacos officially opened its doors Thursday evening — within 20 minutes, the duo had sold 73 tacos. “We’re super busy already,” Green said shortly after opening. “It’s been a great response, I’m really excited that we’re doing this.”Kormylo took a break from flipping tortillas on the grill to look around the kitchen, and said he was pleased with how things are going. “I mean, they’re really going well,” he said. “We had a line that was all the way from the stairs to the chapel in Dunne, which is really great.”Green said it was far more people than he thought would show up. “We had about 65, I mean, at least 65 people in line,” he said. “That was insane.”The shop sold out of tacos at about 10:15 p.m. Thursday night, after selling about 250 tacos, according to Kormylo.“We actually bought food for the whole weekend,” Kormylo said. “Yeah, so it was a good night.”The steak tacos and potato tacos have been the most popular, Green said. “We started with more of both those, but they’re just flying off the grill,” he said. “It’s great that we’ve been getting the response we’ve been getting.”Additionally, Green said people have been going for their meal deal. “Essentially it’s just any two tacos and a drink for five bucks,” he said. “It’s a great deal.” Tags: dorm life, dunne hall, food saleslast_img read more

Saint Mary’s alumna explores world of sports post-graduation

first_imgSaint Mary’s alumna Madeline Molloy took off to Texas after graduation this past May in hopes of pursuing her dream of being a Dallas Cowboys cheerleader. Knowing no one in Texas and having no steady job lined up, Molloy said she was excited because the opportunity to try out as a Dallas Cowboys cheerleader — after receiving an invitation to the team’s training camp — was one she could not pass up.“It was intense,” Molloy said. “I’m not from the South at all, and I didn’t know the area and I didn’t know anybody going into it, so it was a little intimidating. But it was one of those things where I knew I had to go for it or I was going to live in such regret. This is such a dream of mine so I just had to do it.”Molloy said people thought she was crazy for picking up and leaving home, but she liked the craziness of her new adult life. “I graduated and I went home to Illinois, where I grew up. I got all my stuff and I moved down to Texas and found an apartment,” Molloy said. “I was actually living on an air mattress for my first week of training camp. There was just so much going on in that certain amount of time, I don’t even know how I did it.”Molloy then went to training camp to try out for the Dallas Cowboys cheerleading team. The camp began with 400 hopeful women, according to Molloy, but she eventually found herself amongst the final 44 candidates after a number of rounds of cuts. It was at that point Molloy was cut from the team, however. “I have absolutely no regrets,” Molloy said. “I made the best friends I think I ever had. I think I see a lot of room for improvement.”Even though she was cut, the network of the Dallas Cowboy cheerleaders eventually landed her a job. The owner of a startup called Live Love Gameday — which sells game-day apparel — found a picture of Molloy on Instagram that she had posted about training camp, and she immediately offered Molloy a job.“The person I work for now owns a company, and she was on the Dallas Cowboy cheerleading team for seven years,” Molloy said. “I was just cut, and I didn’t have a job yet, so I was like, ‘Yeah, I would like to make any money at all.’”Molloy said she loves the excitement of her new job, and she really enjoys helping out her boss in any way she can.“It’s been really cool. Every day is so different,” Molloy said. “Sometimes I model for them, sometimes I do the dirty work of filling orders, sometimes I’m answering emails.”Molloy said her life continues to be crazy, but it’s working for her. She said she thanks Saint Mary’s for giving her the confidence to branch out because now she is doing what she loves.“I think a lot of people get scared to graduate,” Molloy said. “I love Saint Mary’s more than anything, and I definitely miss it every single day, but I think Saint Mary’s does such a good job of preparing you for what the world can offer you. If I were to offer any advice, it would be to not be scared to take the world on.”Tags: cheerleader, Dallas Cowboys, Madeline Malloylast_img read more

Saint Mary’s community helps meet each other’s needs with free store

first_imgIn the basement of Le Mans Hall, a small room lined with shelves offers the Saint Mary’s community an opportunity to participate in a model of finding things they need and passing along things they no longer use.“We have a free store that provides many things for students that they might be looking for, ranging from clothes and bedding to anything they might be looking for … that they don’t want to buy or can’t afford to buy,” senior Annie Maguire, the ministry assistant for Le Mans Hall, said.The free store is one of several resources on campus that students can utilize when they find themselves in need, she said. Another of these is Mother Pauline’s Pantry, although it has no affiliation with Campus Ministry as the free store does.“The free store is an initiative through Campus Ministry,” Maguire said. “Campus Ministry has run and operated the free store since its creation.”All functions of the free store are overseen by Regina Wilson, director of Campus Ministry, Maguire said. It is staffed by the ministry assistants from each of the residence halls.“It’s a really nice way we can share our resources as a community and look out for each other,” Maguire said.The free store has a variety of items donated by the Saint Mary’s community, including clothing, bedding, school supplies and dishes.“We want to take away any stigma that can come with not having enough funds to purchase your own clothes, your own binders, folders and materials for school,” Maguire said. “All these things are necessary as a student.”Maguire said the expenses associated with being a college student are already high without the cost of items that are available in the free store.“The mission is to … really emphasize how we can take care of each other as a community, not just in Le Mans, but uniting all the [dorm] communities together,” she said.The free store opened to students for the year about a month ago, Maguire said.“We decided we would find a clear schedule and try to get it out to students as soon as we could so that students would look at the schedule and plan in the days when they could come in,” she said.In the past, students have noted the free store seemed to be open at odd times of day, Maguire said, so the ministry assistants who run the store want to make sure it gets better advertisement this year.“Most students who come in are discovering the free store for the first time, but there are also some returners,” she said. “It’s always a joy to see people walking through the doors for the first time and understanding this radical model that is very different from our consumer culture where everything has to be bought and sold. The moment when a student finds out that they can just take something for free, their eyes light up and it brings a smile to their face, knowing that Saint Mary’s is supporting them in a way that they need.”Maguire said members of Saint Mary’s faculty and staff are also welcome to make donations to and browse the free store. Donation boxes are located outside the free store, and their contents are placed on the store’s shelves each time an ministry assistant opens up shop.“I think this is a hidden gem of Saint Mary’s that is unique to us,” Maguire said. “I don’t see this model embodied at other institutions, and I think it’s one thing that’s really special and speaks to our mission of really meeting the needs of students.”Tags: Campus Ministry, Community, free storelast_img read more

Glee’s Lea Michele Shows BFF Jonathan Groff a Whole Lotta Love at the Premiere of HBO’s Looking

first_img View Comments Lea Michele Jonathan Groff Star Files Glee and Spring Awakening BFFs Lea Michele and Jonathan Groff were looking gorgeous at the launch party for the new HBO series Looking at Paramount Studios in Hollywood. Groff, who played bad boy Jesse St. James opposite Michele’s Rachel Berry in Glee, steps up to the lead in Looking, which debuts on January 19. (Don’t think we didn’t notice Lea and Jonathan’s perfectly tanned skin at the bash. Viva la Mexico!) Michele also tweeted a rave about the show, writing: “At the premiere of @LookingHBO tonight w/ Jonathan Groff! Got to see the episodes and the show is AMAZING! #soproud.” We’ve seen it, too, and she’s absolutely right. Are these two the cutest, or what? Looking follows the life of main character Patrick (Groff), and his male friends in San Francisco as they take on the dating world in the big city. Don’t miss it!last_img read more

Hogwarts Takeover! 5 More Harry Potter Stars We Want to See on Broadway

first_imgGrab your school scarf and your broomstick, because Broadway is beginning to look a lot like Hogwarts. With Daniel Radcliffe playing the title role in The Cripple of Inishmaan and Rupert Grint gearing up to play wunderkind director Frank Finger in It’s Only a Play, Broadway is seeing its fair share of young wizards—but there’s a few more we’d love to see on the boards. We don’t know if any of them can sing, but hey, a Hufflepuff can dream! Emma WatsonCome on, Emma, complete the Harry Potter trifecta! We’ve been hoping for Hermione’s Broadway debut ever since we saw her dance on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon in 2012, but now it’s just getting ridiculous. Make our lives “perfectly marvelous” and play Sally Bowles in Cabaret! Matthew LewisAfter his impressive transformation from geek to stud, Matthew Lewis has certainly become Broadway leading man material. After playing the bumbling Neville Longbottom in the Harry Potter franchise, we think it’s time the star was promoted to leader of the pack—the Newsies pack! Can’t you see this member of Dumbledore’s Army leading the newsboys strike as Jack Kelly in the hit Disney musical? Star Files Bonnie WrightIf she makes her Broadway debut, the name on everybody’s lips is gonna be Bonnie. Yep, we’re envisioning the all-grown-up Ginny Weasley as conniving inmate Roxie Hart in Chicago. The Chamber of Secrets is nothing compared to Cook County Jail. Tom FeltonThe English actor and singer played sinister Slytherin Draco Malfoy in the Harry Potter films, but now that he’s all grown up we think it’s high time he hopped the pond and made his Broadway debut. We’d love to see him find his corner of the sky in Pippin—and after seeing him shirtless on TNT’s Murder in the First, we know this is an excellent decision. View Comments Evanna LynchThe stage and screen actress spent years perfecting that “permanently surprised look” as Luna Lovegood in Harry Potter—now that she’s all grown up, we’d love to see her go from loony Luna to lovelorn Lauren in Kinky Boots. Besides, we already know she has awesome taste in shoes. Daniel Radcliffelast_img read more

Opening Night Pushed Back for Fiddler; More Casting Set

first_img Danny Burstein View Comments Fiddler on the Roof Additional casting has been announced for the upcoming Broadway revival of Fiddler on the Roof, headlined by Danny Burstein. Jenny Rose Baker will play Shprintze, with Michael Bernardi as Mordcha and Jennifer Zetlan as Shaindel. Directed by Bartlett Sher, the production will now begin previews on November 20 (from November 17) and officially open on December 20 (from December 17) at the Broadway Theatre.Based on the stories of Sholom Aleichem, Fiddler on the Roof takes place in Anatevka, a village in Tsarist Russia during the eve of the revolution. Tevye is a poor milkman who cares for his five daughters. While he and the rest of the elders in the village are deeply routed in tradition, his daughters’ forward thinking clashes with Tevye’s principles and causes a rift in the family. The musical features a book by Joseph Stein and a score by Jerry Bock and Sheldon Harnick that features the songs “Matchmaker, Matchmaker,” “If I Were A Rich Man” and “Sunrise, Sunset.”Matt Moisey and Tess Primack will also board the cast. The group joins the previously reported lineup of stars, including five-time Tony nominee Burstein as Tevye, Jessica Hecht as Golde, Adam Kantor as Motel and Melanie Moore as Chava.The classic musical premiered on Broadway in 1964; this marks the show’s fourth Broadway revival. Star Files Related Shows Show Closed This production ended its run on Dec. 31, 2016last_img read more

A Juicy Story: Georgia Watermelons

first_imgThere’s not much better on a hot day than a cool, sweet watermelon. Farmers from allover south Georgia have worked hard for months to provide that juicy treat.”There’s a good supply of quality melons this year,” said Darbie Granberry, ahorticulturist with the University of Georgia Extension Service. “People willing tolook just a little can find a bargain on a melon — at least a reasonable price.”Last year, Georgia farmers sold nearly $63 million worth of watermelons, mostly inBrooks, Crisp and Wilcox counties. That was up by just over 25 percent over 1994. And itadded up to less than 10 cents per pound.Granberry said most Georgia watermelons get to market in late June or very early July.”Farmers plan to harvest just in time for the Independence Day holiday,” hesaid. “So many people plan picnics or other meals then and want a watermelon.” But you can buy melons much longer, he said. Some farmers start picking in early Juneand others continue through early August.This year, lingering cold and then rain kept farmers from planting early. That delaystheir harvest, too, by the same length of time. But Granberry said he expects plenty to beavailable for holiday picnickers.Watermelons come in all shapes, sizes and color patterns. There are nearly round ones,long ones and short, fat melons. All of these shapes come in many shades of green and manypatterns on the rind. Some even have yellow-orange flesh.”The shape, or if it has seeds or not, or the color of the rind or flesh doesn’tmake a lot of difference when it comes to taste,” Granberry said. “How it’sgrown and when it’s picked are much more of a factor than variety.”This year saw superb weather for watermelon growers, once they got their crop into theground. Hot, dry days helped keep disease problems from even starting. And farmersirrigated to give their plants the water they needed. Getting enough water helps the vines grow and makes larger leaves, Granberry said. Theleaves generate the substances that form the sugar that makes watermelons sweet. Farmers must pick their melons at just the right time, too. Once picked, sugarformation all but stops. “If it’s not ripe when it’s picked, it never will be,”Granberry said.As the watermelons mature, they show certain signs of ripeness. People use many ways totest for a ripe melon. “Thumping” is a popular way, but Granberry said only themost experienced watermelon pickers rely on this method.”If you’re looking at a melon in the grocery store, the most accurate way to tellif it’s ripe is the ground spot,” Granberry said. “That spot will be ayellowish-white on a ripe melon as opposed to a greenish-white on an unripe one.”Often, seedless melons can be sweeter than seeded ones, but they can cost more. Ittakes a little more effort to grow seedless melons, and farmers ask more for them.”Some of the best-tasting, most delicious melons I’ve tasted were seedless,”Granberry said. “But people’s preferences vary.” Their needs differ, too.”There’s no reason to deprive yourself of a watermelon just because they’re alltoo big,” Granberry said. Farmers grow smaller melons, too, for just one or twopeople. Some stores even offer melon halves or quarters.last_img read more

Peanut Surprise.

first_imgIf a current forecast holds true, Georgia farmers will producemore peanuts this year than last year. Considering drought hasdominated the state for three straight years, the crop this seasonhas turned into a pleasant surprise.According to the Georgia Agricultural Statistics Service, peanutproduction for Georgia is forecast at 1.42 billion pounds. Thisis 8 percent more than an earlier prediction for the state,and 1 percent better than the crop last year.”I was quite surprised that the estimate jumped that much,”said John Beasley, a University of Georgia Extension Service agronomist.2,800 Pounds per AcreFarmers are expected to yield about 2,800 pounds per acre. Thisis 200 pounds more than last month’s forecast and 225 pounds morethan the 1999 yield.Looking back over the growing season, Beasley said this type ofproduction year seemed unbelievable.”Considering the way this year started out with drought andall the problems we were having and even though we got timelyrains in August and September, we were still way behind on rainfall,”Beasley said.Problems, ProblemsGrowers not only battled weather this season. They also had todeal with weed pressure, the plant-crippling Tomato Spotted WiltVirus and other yield-reducing diseases.Though the timely rains kept the crop from going downhill formany growers, Beasley said, some farmers were not able to combatthe extreme weather and had to abandon some fields.”But overall, as we continued through harvest it seemed everybodywas pleased with their total production,” he said. “Andthe quality (of the crop) has been excellent. We’re a lot betterthan average on quality this year.”Finally, Good WeatherWeather conditions favored the farmers getting into their fieldsand getting out the crop.”Harvest conditions were excellent: clear, breezy and withlow humidity,” he said. September rains hurt some peanutsready for harvest, but for the most part, improved the peanutsstill maturing.”We’d love to get back to the 3,200 (pounds per acre)we made in 1985. But if you told the farmers at the start of thisseason that with the drought and all the problems we were having we’d be making 2,800 (pounds per acre), they’d have thought you were crazy,” Beasley said. “It was a surprisingly good year.” Photo: Dan Rahn The peanut combines finished their dusty harvest in November in Georgia. The final numbers aren’t in, but farmers are giving thanks for a better crop than they expected.last_img read more