Sunday, May 8, 2022

Notre Dame Magazine: Spring 2022 Sports and Spirituality Review: Postcards to Alma Mater

In 1914, President Woodrow Wilson signed a bill that designated the second Sunday in May as Mother's Day. Mother's Day is that special day when we honor and remember those women in our lives who have made God's love for us a reality. They brought us into this world, loved us, and helped shape us as we live our lives. Thank you, Mom!

My alma mater holds a unique place in the history of this unofficial national holiday. As noted by the Notre Dame Alumni Association, "In 1904, Frank Herring, an alumnus and administrator of the University, observed a class of students sending penny postcards to their mothers. Inspired, he spent the next decade advocating for a day of recognition" for moms. It became a holiday 10 years later, and Herring is still recognized as one of its founders. Go Irish!

It should come as no surprise that a University dedicated to Our Lady made some sort of an impact on this special day. From the gilded statue of the Blessed Mother who overlooks the campus to the song that concludes student gatherings, alumni mass, and even football games—the Alma Mater—the Mother of Jesus, Notre Dame is much more than the name of the school. She is patroness of the University. She is tender, strong and true. She is our Morning Star and guiding light. 

I refer to Notre Dame as my Alma Mater with reverence, respect an affection. I know those from hundreds of other schools do the same. The term is an allegorical Latin phrase used to identify a school, college or university that one formerly attended, or graduated from. The phrase is translated as "nourishing mother," suggesting that a school provides intellectual nourishment to her students. But Notre Dame offered me much more than nourishment of the mind. The word in Spanish for soul is "alma." How fitting. ND "shaped my heart and soul, too.

One way Notre Dame has continued to nourish my heart and mind is through FaithND and Notre Dame Magazine. Since 2019, I have posted a Sports and Spirituality review of each seasonal addition of ND Mag. I have enjoyed reading the printed word looking for stories of sport, spiritual lessons, and the symbiosis of the two.

The Spring 2022 issue features Our Lady of the Snite—a stucco with polychrome statue that has stood at the entrance of Notre Dame's art museum for decades. Created by Jacopo Sansovino, this "500-year-old Madonna and Child received a meticulous makeover for its move to Raclin-Murphy," the on-campus museum to come.

Many of the stories in this issue are spiritual such as:

Each one offers tremendous insight and is of timely import. Thank you editors! Few have a sports leaning, and that's okay! Here is what you may want to check out.

Domers in the News

  • Bryant Young '94 (football) and Shannon Boxx '99 (soccer) or should I write "American football and football," have both earned their sports highest awards. 
  • Boo Corrigan '90 the AD at North Carolina State has been named chair of the College Football Playoff selection committee and
  • Sports media celebs Mike Golic '85 and Jessica Smetana '16 have teamed up for a Draftings video podcast
Indeed, Notre Dame alumni are making an impact on professional sports.

Photographic Memories by Margaret Fosmoe '85

"They were the emails, texts and Instagram images of their day. Starting at the dawn of the 20th century, a postcard craze swept America." Check out how many of them feature Notre Dame football! As a rower, I can't help but love the crew on St. Joseph's Lake.

While I was on campus during Spring Break, I had a chance to send a penny card from the Alumni Office, so I did. My mom and my dad made it possible for me to attend Notre Dame, Carondelet High School and Saint Mary's grade school. My mom in particular wanted her children to have a Catholic education. On that postcard, I had a chance to thank her once again for the love and support she has given to me. Truly she has made God's love a reality in my own life...and so have hundreds of women I have met at and through Notre Dame.

Who would have thought that a penny postcard and an observant teacher could prompt a day like today! To moms, grandmoms, Godmothers, foster moms, stepmoms—thank you. ENJOY!

Photo Credits
Our Lady of the Snite
Bryant Young
Alma Mater
ND Postcard

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