This week, several seniors from the University of Notre Dame announced they will not be attending their commencement ceremony, and called on others to show "one final response" to President Obama’s invitation by not showing up. An alternative vigil representing the "true spirit of Notre Dame," will take place at the Grotto of Our Lady of Lourdes and will be presided over by Fr. Frank Pavone.
ND Response was formed by students after the announcement of President Obama’s invitation to Notre Dame was announced. They called upon President Fr. John J. Jenkins to retract his commencement offer and honorary degree to Obama, but last month Jenkins told the group that "conditions for constructive dialogue simply do not exist."
In response, the organization has announced that Priests for Life Director Fr. Frank Pavone will lead a Vigil for Life in the Grotto of Our Lady of Lourdes during the commencement ceremony.
Fr. Pavone will be leading the Glorious Mysteries of the Rosary and directing five-minute meditations on each decade.
Students from ND Response have made it clear that this is not a political response, but that it’s about the dignity and respect of the human person.
Fr. Pavone said that despite "hundreds of thousands of Catholics, hundreds of priests, and dozens of bishops" that have called for "Notre Dame to end this scandal by withdrawing its invitation to President Obama," Jenkins has failed to listen The priest said, "one final response to this scandal is fully in the control of each graduating senior: don’t show up."
The Vigil for Life will represent the "true spirit of Notre Dame" Pavone said. "The scandal that been generated does not represent what Notre Dame is all about; it represents a radical betrayal of what Notre Dame is all about" he continued. The "true spirit" is that Notre Dame is a "pro-life" school "in harmony with human reason and Catholic Faith."
Fort Wayne-South Bend Bishop John D'Arcy will lead a candlelight prayer vigil the night before the commencement ceremony to pray for an end to abortion and embryo research.
To sign up for this rosary campaign, visit www.PrayerCampaign.org.
To view Fr. Frank Pavone’s YouTube commentary on the Notre Dame invitation www.YouTube.com/FrFrankPavone