Series addresses basics of Christian faith

first_imgTags: Alpha, Brett Perkins, Campus Ministry, Christianity Alpha: An Introduction to Christianity, a new Campus Ministry program that kicked off Monday night, offers a seven-week dinner and discussion series to address the fundamentals of Christian faith.Though the series primarily aims to inform non-Christian students, Alpha encourages participants of all religious backgrounds to attend. Non-Christian attendees will learn about the Christian faith, while Christians will benefit from a refresher on the core of their beliefs, according to Alpha’s club advisor Brett Perkins, campus minister and assistant director of sacramental preparation.Alpha student leader and junior Will Harris said the program’s design makes it inclusive of students from all religious backgrounds.“One of my favorite things about this program is that it can reach out to people unfamiliar with Christianity, and it is also useful for Christians to revisit the basics of belief, especially those who were raised Catholic and took a lot of these things for granted,” Harris said.A team of sophomores, juniors and seniors lead Alpha, and each week these students will offer insights and facilitate conversation. Each of the seven Alpha meetings will consist of a dinner, a talk by one of the student leaders on some of the major questions and topics of Christianity and small group discussions, Harris said.“As a leader of Alpha, I hope to see people grow and learn from this program, but I also want to learn from the participants about what they discover and what in our faith sticks out to them,” Harris said.Alpha meetings take place every Monday of the fall semester from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. in 330 Coleman-Morse Center, in addition to one Saturday retreat Nov. 1. Topics for each week include “Who is Jesus?”, “How can I have faith?” and “Why and how do I pray/read the Bible?”, according to the club’s website and handouts.“It’s different from Campus Ministry in that it’s not just a retreat; it’s not focused on conversion. It’s just our way of spreading the gospel, letting people know of God’s word and allowing them to make their own decisions based off that,” junior Taylor Billings said.Alpha also seeks to help Christians who feel uncommitted to or unmotivated by the Church.“Many people now are what my priest back home calls ‘CEOs,’ [people who attend church] Christmas and Easter only,” Alpha student leader and senior Sean Driscoll said. Driscoll said he hopes returning to the basics of faith will increase the participants’ desire to attend church more regularly.Around 20 people, ranging from freshmen to seniors and including an alumnus of the Notre Dame class of 1968 attended the first meeting Monday. Twenty-two students have registered, but Harris said he hopes involvement with the group will increase throughout the semester.“We are trying to find that interaction that kids need to stick with the faith,” Harris said.last_img read more

Haiti program attracts students

first_imgMore than 850 students in Saut-d’Eau, Haiti, participated in a preliminary test to assess the progress of Notre Dame’s Haiti Program’s mission to eliminate lymphatic filariasis (LF) from the island. Only one child in the community was infected with the parasite that causes LF, indicating the effectiveness of the program’s course of action.The mission of the Notre Dame Haiti Program is to eliminate LF from Haiti by 2020, according to Earl Carter, managing director of the Haiti Program and assistant dean in the College of Science. LF, also known as elephantiasis, is a disease that attacks an individual’s lymph system and causes parts of the body to become extremely swollen and deformed.Lead researcher and founder of the Haiti Program Fr. Thomas Streit said the results of the preliminary tests signify the success of the program’s efforts.“Recent data shows that the model works well,” Streit said. “We and our partners have succeeded, even where there are lots of mountains making it hard to distribute drugs everywhere and lots of superstition about the disease.”Carter said more than 44 percent of Saut-d’Eau’s population was infected with the LF parasite when it was first surveyed 14 years ago. Now, after nine years of treatment, preliminary tests showed an infection rate of 0.1 percent, demonstrating the disease has almost completely disappeared from Saut-d’Eau.According to the Haiti Program’s website, LF is one of 13 neglected tropical diseases and affects 1.2 million people worldwide. Tiny threadworms attack the lymphatic system and prevent them from fighting infections, resulting in pain, scarring and swelling in the limbs, breasts or genitals.Streit said the medical and social effects of LF in Haiti are devastating.“People can’t work,” Streit said. “Women with the disease are shunned by potential husbands. In addition to the episodes of fever, burns and swelling, they become the ‘town monster,’ so they don’t want to go out.”Streit said just as poverty causes disease, disease leads to more poverty.“[LF] is the single infectious disease most closely tied to poverty,” Streit said. “The people that get it are disabled and can’t work. Their families suffer lost opportunities because they have to care for the sick one. With the terrible smell that makes this disease worse than leprosy in terms of being disabled, if the family has a business, customers and clients will avoid the house or business out of fear of contagion.”Carter said the Haiti Program consists of three pillars used fight LF in Haiti: mass drug administration (MDA), the production and distribution of co-fortified salt and treatment of those already infected with LF.“The MDA is a series of annual cycles,” Carter said. “The World Health Organization’s standard is that you have a site, normally manned by about three people, who distribute the correct amount of pills to patients based upon their size and age a couple times a year. Sites are located throughout the community.”“Most of Haiti is currently in its fourth annual MDA cycle,” Carter added. “In Saut-d’Eau, the drug has been administered nine times. The fifth cycle for most communities will finish in spring of 2016, and then we should be able to start surveying and hopefully find that we’ve only got a few areas to focus on.”Carter said the Haiti Program uses co-fortified salt to provide an alternative source of drugs to combat LF and to address a group of diseases called iodine deficiency disorders, or IDD.“The equivalent of one of those little bags of salt has roughly the amount of DEC, the drug that kills the parasite, that would be taken as an annual dosage for a family of five,” Carter said. “Haitians use a lot of salt in cooking. This really may be a way of providing a higher level of insurance against the parasite than you get through the traditional means of distributing pills to folks.”Streit said the Haiti Program’s next step involves assessing the prevalence of LF in Haiti and identifying areas that are free of the disease.“I think this new data especially indicates that what we’ve labored long and hard for is finally starting to bear tremendous fruit,” Carter said. “We’re seeing that there can be a solution in a country where many anecdotally have said we’d never be able to accomplish this. If you could do this in Haiti, there’s probably a chance you could do this anywhere.”Streit said his goal for the Haiti Program is to finish the job started back in 1999.“That entails lots of hard work, the money to support the work and lots of prayers and goodwill, especially from the Haitian people, who deserve to have a better quality of life through these efforts,” Streit said. “The better quality of life will help the country move ahead and economically be more a part of the global community.”Carter said the Haiti Program embodies the service aspect of the University’s mission.“This has been one of the more rewarding things that I’ve ever been associated with,” Carter said. “To see a university operationalize its beliefs on service in a very challenging environment and to see such good results, in the social and scientific fields, has been an incredible experience.”Tags: Haiti Programlast_img read more

Notre Dame GRC organizes event for sexual assault awareness

first_imgWei Cao | The Observer Participants in last year’s Take Back the Night event march around Notre Dame’s campus to raise awareness for issues of sexual assault before ending the night with a prayer vigil at the Grotto.The Notre Dame community will come together Thursday evening to attempt to start a dialogue on sexual assault and hear stories from survivors.“Take Back the Night” (TBTN) is an annual event that has been a collaborative effort between Notre Dame and Saint Mary’s for over a decade. This year, Holy Cross College will participate and the event will be sponsored by the Gender Relations Center (GRC) at Notre Dame and the Belles Against Violence Office at Saint Mary’s College (BAVO).The event will take place from 6:30 to 9 p.m. and start at Lake Marian at Saint Mary’s. The march will continue to Notre Dame for the sexual assault survivor speak out, ending at the Grotto with prayers and meditation for sexual assault survivors.“Having a safe and supportive environment in which to share one’s journey of healing is really important, both for individuals and for the community,” Regina Gesicki, assistant director for educational initiatives for the GRC, said.Gesicki said the event signals all three college campuses’ commitment to ending violence of all kinds and to strengthen hope for a future where all play a part in prevention.“We raise our voices, first as individuals so deeply impacted, [and] then in action while marching through campus, and finally, in song and prayer as a community of faith,” she said.Gesicki, the Notre Dame staff representative on the planning committee for Take Back the Night, said the event aligns with the GRC’s mission to create a healthy campus culture and create a community that honors the human dignity of each person.“Interpersonal violence results from someone choosing in a most egregious way to devalue another,” she said. “By supporting survivors, and encouraging intervention in instances of harm, we can begin to recover the dignity and value that each one of us intrinsically possesses.”Christine Caron Gebhardt, director of the GRC, said offering a safe space for sexual assault survivors to speak out forces others to face the reality of the prevalence of sexual assault on college campuses.“My hope that is when folks hear the stories of their peers they will be compelled to do something about it — not everything, but something to prevent this from happening in the future,” she said. “So as a result, TBTN reinforces the messages of GreeNDot by clearly stating that violence is not ok at Notre Dame and by being part of TBTN you are playing a part to change our culture at Notre Dame.”Survivors of sexual assault may not report for a multitude of reasons such as not wanting to recount the incident or fearing social retaliation Gesicki said.“Take Back the Night provides multiple modalities for those impacted to share their stories, whether through the Speak Out, through chants during the March or through prayer and song at the vigil,” she said. “Being heard by those who support is an important step in healing.”Gebhardt said the silence around sexual assault is created by the disbelief that it happens at Notre Dame campus, despite the data revealed, victim-blaming and the unwillingness to help someone because of not wanting to get involved.“All of these factors create a culture where survivors and victims feel isolated,” she said. “There is no one thing everyone has to do. We just need everyone to do something. If that happens, then Our Lady’s University is a place where violence toward others are prevented and the dignity of all is protected. Ultimately, we live out our mission to be our brother and sister’s keepers.”Tags: Gender Relations Center, sexual assault prevention, Take Back the Nightlast_img read more

Man Charged After Allegedly Chasing Man With A Knife During Randolph Altercation

first_imgShare:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window) Stock Image.RADNOLPH – A Corfu New York man is facing several charged after allegedly chasing a person with a knife during an incident in Randolph last week.The Cattaraugus County Sheriff’s Office says Marcchristopher Cook, 29, allegedly started a fight with a male, pulled a knife on the victim and then chased him with the knife on Thursday.Deputies said at the time of the incident the male victim was putting his two-year-old child in a vehicle.Following the chase, the victim fled the scene before police arrival. The Sheriff’s Department K-9 unite, with help from a New York State Police K-9 unit, searched for Cook who deputies say later turned himself into police.Cook is charged with second-degree menacing and endangering the welfare of a child.last_img read more

Garage, Yard Sales Now Permitted Under Phase Two Reopening

first_imgWNY News Now File Image.MAYVILLE – Chautauqua County Executive PJ Wendel says that he recently received clarification from New York State that garage and yard sales are permitted in regions that have entered phase two of reopening.“As residents complete their spring cleaning, I have received numerous inquiries on when yard sales may be permitted again in Chautauqua County,” said Wendel. “I am pleased to report that garage and yard sales are now allowed with certain requirements. Whether holding or going to a yard sale, I encourage residents to please take precautions to protect themselves from the spread of the virus.”He says those holding yard sales must ensure that occupancy of the space used for the sale is limited to the number of people who can be safely and appropriately spaced so that each person is at least six feet away from others and in no case should the space be occupied by more than 10 people at any given time.People in situations where they are likely to come within six feet of another individual must also wear face coverings. In addition, hand sanitizer should be available and regular cleaning and disinfection protocols in place. Sellers can also consult the NY Forward Safety Plan Template available at for additional precautions they should consider during their garage and yard sales. Share:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Jamestown Police Seize Additional Drugs In Yearlong FBI Investigation

first_imgImage by Jamestown Police.JAMESTOWN – The Jamestown Metro Drug Task Force says they have confiscated more drugs and cash part of a yearlong drug trafficking investigation with the FBI.Last week police raided several locations in the greater Jamestown area part of Operation Crazy Ivan.In continuing the sweep, the Jamestown SWAT Team raided 211 Hazzard Street just after 6 a.m. Thursday.Inside the house investigators say over eight ounces of powder cocaine, anabolic steroids, a marijuana growing operation, scales, packaging materials, ammunition, a money counter and $4,587 in cash was found. None of the suspects in the investigation have been charged as police say their investigation remains ongoing. Charges are however expected to be pressed against all alleged drug traffickers.The Jamestown Police Department SWAT Team, Ellicott Police Department, Dunkirk Police Department, Chautauqua County Sheriff’s Office SWAT Team and Southern Tier Regional Drug Task Force assisted the FBI in the investigation.Anyone with information on drug trafficking or other criminal activity can anonymously call Jamestown Police’s Tip Line at (716) 483-8477. Share:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)last_img read more

New York City Ballet’s Robert Fairchild, Leanne Cope & More to Star in An American in Paris

first_img Show Closed This production ended its run on Oct. 9, 2016 View Comments New York City Ballet dancer Robert Fairchild, Leanne Cope and more will star in the Broadway-bound production of An American in Paris, which will receive its world premiere at Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris. As previously reported, the tuner, inspired by the classic Oscar-winning film of the same name, will be directed and choreographed by Christopher Wheeldon, feature music by George and Ira Gershwin and a book by Craig Lucas. The production will begin Paris performances in December before coming to Broadway in the spring of 2015.In addition to Fairchild and Cope, who will play Jerry Mulligan and Lise Dassin, respectively, the cast will include Veanne Cox as Madame Baurel, Jill Paice as Milo Davenport, Brandon Uranowitz as Adam Hochberg and Max Von Essen as Henri Baurel. Additional casting will be announced at a later date.Fairchild is currently a member of the New York City Ballet, and has appeared as a soloist since 2007 and a Principal Dancer since 2009. Cope has created several roles for the Royal Ballet School company, where she was promoted to First Artist in 2009. Cox’s Broadway credits include A Free Man of Color, La Cage aux Folles and Caroline, or Change. She was last seen off-Broadway in The Old Friends. Paice is currently starring in Matilda on Broadway as Miss Honey. Her additional Broadway credits include The 39 Steps, Curtains and The Woman in White. Uranowitz, who recently starred in Torch Song Trilogy off-Broadway, made his Broadway debut in Baby, It’s You!. Von Essen recently appeared in the revival of Evita, and has also starred on Broadway in Les Miserables, Dance of the Vampires and Jesus Christ Superstar.Eager to begin his life anew after the brutality of combat, World War II Army veteran Jerry Mulligan (Fairchild, played in the movie by Gene Kelly) chooses newly liberated Paris as the place to make a name for himself as a painter. With the assistance of fellow ex-pat Milo Davenport (Paice), a wealthy American with a past she wishes to forget, Jerry’s life becomes complicated when he meets Lise (Cope), a young Parisian shop girl with her own secret. Soon it becomes clear that Jerry’s friends—Adam, a Jewish American composer (Uranowitz), and Henri, a Parisian aristocrat (Von Essen)—also vie for Lise’s love. This romantic tangle can only be untied through the miracle of dance set to some of the greatest music and lyrics ever written. Star Files Related Showscenter_img Max von Essen Jill Paice An American in Parislast_img read more Summer Camp, Day 22! Chita Got Plenty of Beehives

first_img WHY WE LOVE IT We love every single second of The Judy Garland Show, but this 1964 clip of Chita Rivera singing “I Got Plenty O’ Nuttin’” is just magical. It reminds us why Rivera has two Tony Awards. It reminds us why she’s our personal hero. And most of all, it reminds us why beehive wigs should definitely make a comeback. OVERALL CAMP FACTOR Five out of five dancing hunks in suits. View Comments Star Files LOOK OUT FOR… 2:09, when a gang of sharply dressed gents join Chita for a dance break.center_img MOST GIF-ABLE MOMENT Chita Rivera We’re gonna be honest: Things around the offices have gotten really boring the last few weeks. It’s sweltering, it’s humid, and worst of all, no new Broadway shows open until after Labor Day. But never fear, dear readers, we’ve got a great way to spice up the month of August: Summer Camp! Each day for 31 days, we’re highlighting the campiest, craziest, wildest—and did we mention campiest?—videos we can find. Put on your gaudy bathing suit and dive in!last_img read more

Nicole Kidman to Headline Photograph 51 in London’s West End

first_imgNicole Kidman (AKA theatrical Viagra) is returning to the boards! The Oscar-winning actress will star in the U.K. premiere of Anna Ziegler’s Photograph 51, directed by Michael Grandage. The production will play a limited engagement at the West End’s Noel Coward Theatre September 5 through November 21. Opening night is set for September 14.Does Rosalind Franklin (Kidman) know how precious her photograph is? In the race to unlock the secret of life it could be the one to hold the key. With rival scientists looking everywhere for the answer, who will be first to see it and more importantly, understand it? Anna Ziegler’s play looks at the woman who cracked DNA and asks what is sacrificed in the pursuit of science, love and a place in history.Kidman was nominated for an Olivier for The Blue Room at London’s Donmar Warehouse, a role she reprised on Broadway. Her extensive film credits include her Oscar-winning performance in The Hours; she additionally received Academy Award nods for Moulin Rouge! and Rabbit Hole. Kidman has also been seen on screen in To Die For, The Others, Cold Mountain, Fur: An Imaginary Portrait of Diane Arbus, Stoker, The Paperboy and Paddington. Upcoming films include Strangerland, Queen of the Desert, Lion, Secret in Their Eyes and the Grandage-helmed Genius.The production will feature set and costumes by Christopher Oram, with composition and sound design by Adam Cork. View Commentslast_img read more

Becky Ann Baker, John Earl Jelks & More Set for Barbecue

first_img View Comments Broadway alum Becky Ann Baker and Tony nominee John Earl Jelks have been tapped for the world premiere of Robert O’Hara’s Barbecue. Directed by Kent Gash, the production will begin performances on September 22 at the Public Theater, where it will run through November 1. Opening night is set for October 8.Baker has appeared on Broadway in Good People, All My Sons, Assassins, Titanic, A Streetcar Named Desire and The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas. Jelks received a Tony nod in 2007 for Radio Golf; his additional Broadway credits include Holler If Ya Hear Me and Gem of the Ocean. He returns to the Public after recently appearing in ToasT.The cast will also include Arden Myrin (The Public’s Boston Marriage), Paul Niebanck (Broadway’s In the Next Room), Tamberla Perry (The Belle of New Orleans), Constance Shulman (off-Broadway’s Loose Knit, Steel Magnolias), Heather Alicia Simms (Broadway’s Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike), Samantha Soule (Broadway’s The Philanthropist, Coram Boy and Dinner at Eight), Benja Kay Thomas (off-Broadway’s Bootycandy) and Kim Wayans (TV’s In Living Color).The show follows the O’Mallery family as they stage an intervention for their drug-addicted sister Barbara. The event takes a harsh turn as familial stereotypes and politics collide.Barbecue will feature set design by Clint Ramos, costumes by Paul Tazewell, lighting design by Jason Lyons and an original score and sound design by Lindsay Jones.last_img read more