ND Response Holds Rally for Thousands on Notre Dame Campus
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: May 19, 2009 Media Contact: John Daly, ND Response, firstname.lastname@example.org, 502.693.5112
ND Response Holds Rally for Thousands on Notre Dame Campus Bishop D’Arcy Calls Seniors “Heroes” For Affirming University’s Catholic Identity and Pro-Life Mission.
Notre Dame, IN – Approximately 3000 people gathered on the South Quad of the University of Notre Dame’s campus this past Sunday for a Mass, rally, and prayer vigil hosted by the student coalition ND Response. These events, which were planned in reaction to Notre Dame’s conferring of an honorary law degree to President Barack Obama at its Commencement Exercises, were intended to witness to the Catholic identity of the University and its foundationally pro-life mission.
With pro-life supporters and Notre Dame faithful traveling in from places as far away as Mexico, New York, California, and Florida to stand alongside the ND Response students on their graduation day, Sunday’s events not only provided powerful witness to the sanctity of human life but also expressed constructive disappointment at the University of Notre Dame’s decision to honor President Barack Obama, who has publicly supported abortion and embryo-destructive stem cell research during his tenure in office.
Bishop John M. D’Arcy, who skipped the University’s official graduation ceremony but attended the rally hosted by ND Response students, publicly thanked the coalition’s students for their constructive and respectful witness and called them “heroes.” Bishop D’Arcy’s words at the rally were bolstered by speeches given by a number of Notre Dame alumni, faculty, and students who challenged Notre Dame to both maintain its Catholic character and live up to the pro-life teachings of the Church.
Following Sunday’s rally, nearly 40 graduates who had decided to skip their commencement ceremony gathered in the University’s Grotto for a prayer vigil and to listen to a meditation given by Fr. Frank Pavone, National Director of Priests for Life. These students were joined at this vigil by over 800 people, including their parents, siblings, and families.
The text and video of the speeches and meditations given at Sunday’s rally and prayer vigil are available on the ND Response website, www.NDResponse.com. DVDs of the event and ND Response t-shirts will be made available shortly.