Mass for Mary, Seat of Wisdom Homily offered by Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C.

175 Mass

Author: Notre Dame Trail

Opening of the Academic Year Mass in Celebration of Notre Dame's 175th Anniversary

On November 26, 1842, Fr. Sorin and a few companions arrived in South Bend after an over-250 mile trek from Vincennes. He had good reason to rest after the long trip, but he insisted on making the three-mile walk to campus that very day. He arrived here, as you walkers arrived today, and was overwhelmed with the beauty of the campus that, unlike today, was covered in fresh snow.…

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Reflections from the Trail

Reflections From The Trail

Author: Timothy Deenihan

The number of times I’ve been asleep on an airplane and woken up to find a fetching stream of drool down the left side of my shirt is greater than I care to admit. The more tired I am, the greater the likelihood of this happening. Also, I find, the more attractive the person sitting next to me, the more likely I am to experience said affliction.…

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Reflections from Day 12

Reflections From Day 12

Author: Timothy Deenihan

​This isn’t over. We have not officially arrived at campus yet, even though we’re staying at the Morris Inn and went to Mass at the Basilica of the Sacred Heart and watched Rudy on the giant screen in the stadium and I have another couple dozen pictures of all the landmarks I already have a couple dozen pictures of, each. We have not yet walked onto campus. And that matters.…

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Reflections from Day 11

Reflections From Day 11

Author: Timothy Deenihan

The celebrations have begun.


Yesterday we were joined by the three-day pilgrims, swelling our numbers (if the numbers I am given are correct) by as much as ten times our original core team. We were 32. We became 130. We have grown to something like 300.


What I’m reminded of is a lesson I learned in grade school science – that energy is constant, it simply takes different forms.…

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Reflections from day 10

Day 10 Reflections

Author: Timothy Deenihan

​I’m struggling tonight. So many thoughts are pushing to make their way into words, they’ve crowded themselves at the door and no one can get in.

​My heart is heavy tonight. I’m challenged in a way different from any day on this Trail thus far.

​I’ve been struck all day by the question, "Why?"

​These ten days, this moment in time, has been nothing if not inspirational, but to what end is inspiration enough?…

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Reflections from Day 9

Reflections Day 9

Author: Timothy Deenihan

I love crickets. I really do.


Like, crickets are my favorite soundtrack. I’m sitting in my room at the retreat center with the window open so that I can allow a breeze through and I’m listening to the crickets.


Crickets may actually be one of my favorite surprises from this trip back to this side of the country. I don’t hear them in Seattle and I hadn’t noticed their absence until, here in Indiana, I suddenly hear them again.…

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Reflections from Day 8

Day 8 Reflections

Author: Timothy Deenihan

Do you remember being a kid in school – a young kid, fifth or sixth grade – and those times when the teacher would momentarily leave the room for whatever reason, and would warn you that your class had better remain quiet and just focus on whatever busywork was on your desks, and while she was gone someone would whisper something, a question or a teasing comment, and someone would whisper something in response, and the shhsh-

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Reflections from Day 7

Cheif Warren

Author: Timothy Deenihan

I have ankles like a 70-year-old Hungarian grandmother. It’s a bit disconcerting.


I’ve been very fortunate to stay ahead of any injury thus far. I don’t wait to see if something is going to turn into a blister or not. The moment I find myself noticing my toes or the soles of my feet (I mean, seriously, how often do you notice

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Reflections from Day 6

Day 6 Reflections

Author: Timothy Deenihan

Today was an absolutely beautiful day.


For a start, today is the only day on the trail, apart from the very beginning and the very end, that we can be certain we are walking in Sorin’s footsteps. We know he came through Lafayette along the Wabash and so did we.


The path we took was in large part single-file through the woods, unpaved. There would have been a footpath for travelers through the woods that they were following, similarly unpaved.…

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Reflections from Day 5

Day 5 Reflections

Author: Timothy Deenihan

My brother thinks I’m an idiot. He’s never said as much to me, but I know it to be true.


He’s a terrific businessman. Very smart. Very successful. As such, he sort of sees the world like a spreadsheet. There are the numbers that go into different columns, some red, some black, and you work to make the black numbers bigger than the red ones. If there’s too much red in an area, you don’t go there. It’s obvious.…

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Reflections from Day 4

Day 4 Reflections

Author: Timothy Deenihan

It can be a challenge to be introspective when you’re on something of a forced march.


That’s not a complaint, by the way. I have to say, and say emphatically and clearly, how impressed I am with the University for how they have managed to pull this off. Let me take a moment to explain.


We have 32 pilgrims walking and cycling from Vincennes, Indiana, through miles of corn fields, gravel roads, small towns, covered bridges, and highway intersections, to South Bend. It’s 317 miles and we’re on a schedule which, by the end, is down to the minute.…

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Reflections from Day 3

Day 3

Author: Timothy Deenihan

I believe I mentioned that the days on the Trail are all themed. So far, we’ve had Faith, Compassion, and Gratitude. Today is Stewardship, a topic which is important to me and which I’m going to totally ignore. If I had any Patience (that’s tomorrow) I’d save what I’m about to write for Saturday, which is Joy. But I’ve never been one for Patience and I’ve always been one for Joy, regardless of when it shows up.…

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Reflections from Day 2

Day 2

Author: Timothy Deenihan

When my wife confirmed that our suspicions were correct and that we were, in fact, expecting our second child, I knew that my first reaction was supposed to be one of joy.


It wasn’t.


The first thought to go through my mind, hearing that we were expecting again when our first daughter was only eighteen months old, was “I don’t know that I want to be that tired again.”…

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Reflections from Day 1

Day 1

Author: Timothy Deenihan

I spent the day walking, wondering what I should write. Wondering what I could write.


Whereas in the weeks leading up to this pilgrimage my assignments were laid out for me, contacts and introductions and interviews in a structured (if not formal) manner, today was just the road. It was conversations and eavesdropping. It was chatting. It was silence and solitude. It was time to reflect on not knowing what to think about. And it certainly didn’t feel like I had anything worth saying.…

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Jl Pat

Author: Timothy Deenihan

I’ll tell you right now I’m not going to tell you everything I want to tell you. No way. No can do.


Day one – hour one – and I’m seated between the guy who gave up his spot to dress for the ’75 Georgia Tech game to Dan “Rudy” Ruettiger on my right and a fresh faced 2017 Chinese and Pre-Health grad whose actual name is JesusisLord on my left.…

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Opening Mass Homily


Author: Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C.

St. Francis Xavier Cathedral
Vincennes, Indiana

We begin today our pilgrimage, following the steps of Fr. Sorin and his companions from Vincennes—in 1842 the largest city in the state—to a plot of land some 250 miles north, near the south bend of the St. Joseph River. I thank you and admire you brave souls who are making this trek. You are worthy successors to an intrepid French priest who was determined to found a school dedicated to Our Lady.…

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Faith, Life, and Other Uncertainties

Path With Trees

Author: Timothy Deenihan

As we’re all grown-ups here, can we begin by acknowledging that faith – by definition – is unprovable? Faith is not science. Faith is, in fact, quite the opposite of science. That’s not to diminish faith – not at all – but only to embrace faith’s inherent uncertainty. Science is what one comes to know through proof. Faith is what one believes in the absence of proof. Not knowing

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Unauthorized Pilgrim Profile: Terry Wilkin ('92)

Img 1504

Author: Timothy Deenihan

My former roommate is proof that you should always think of your physician as the responsible, professional medic they are now – and not the college kid they were when, for example, Terry Wilkin (’92) showed up to Moriarty’s Pub dressed as an exceptionally well-endowed Lady Di. It was the London Program Hallowe’en party, sure, but honestly, the photographs I have in my possession should guarantee me free healthcare for life.

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