Thursday, April 7, 2005

Hearing the Call

On Wednesday evening, April 6, 2005, the Center hosted its second Breaking Bread dinner. Breaking Bread is an occasion for Notre Dame students to gather for a meal with their peers and professors in order to discuss a topic of central concern to the spiritual life of Christians. The participants, who are selected on a first-come, first-served basis, gather for the meal in the
press box at Notre Dame Stadium. Approximately eight students are seated at each table, along with one Notre Dame faculty member, who serves to facilitate the discussion.

The theme of each Breaking Bread dinner is sounded by remarks given by a speaker during the early portion of the dinner. This spring’s speaker was Dr. Os Guinness, one of the country’s most popular Christian writers and speakers. Dr. Guinness, the author or editor of more than twenty books, received his D.Phil from Oxford. Since 1984 he has lived in Washington, D.C., where he has been a visiting fellow of the Woodrow Wilson Center for International Studies and the Brookings Institution. From 1986-89 he was the executive director of the Williamsburg Charter Foundation. He is also the co-founder of the Trinity Forum and served as senior fellow and vice chairman of its board from its inception in 1991 until 2004. His energies are now principally devoted to writing and lecturing.

Dr. Guinness’s topic at this spring’s Breaking Bread dinner was “calling,” the special mission that God gives, not simply to professed religious, but to every Christian person. The discussion at the tables centered on how one is to discern and live out God’s call in one’s own life. Copies of Dr. Guinness’s book, The Call, were presented as a gift to each participant at the dinner. Many students lined up after the dinner to have their books autographed by Dr. Guinness. This year’s dinner was declared by many to be even better than last year’s. After the event, many students and faculty emailed the Center with rave reviews of Dr. Guinness’s talk and the conversation at their tables, and they promised to recommend it to their friends next year. The event was made possible by a generous gift from Mr. Fran McGowen, who honored us with his presence at this year’s dinner.

No comments: