Tuesday, May 1, 2007

The Way of a Pilgrim

At this spring’s Breaking Bread event, our semi-annual dinner and evening of spiritual discussion held in the Notre Dame Press Box for Notre Dame students and faculty, Dr. Timothy George, Professor of Divinity and Dean of Beeson Divinity School at Samford University in Birmingham, Alabama provided a delightful reflection on “The Way of a Pilgrim.”

Using biblical models of pilgrimage, such as Abraham and Sarah, Dr. George reflected on the theme of Christian unity, as we are all called to be pilgrims together in the journey of faith. One of the faculty members who attended the event summarized the evening in this way: “It was really a lovely occasion: a beautiful evening in a beautiful place, with a fine, leisurely meal, good conversation, and a really excellent and inspiring talk by Timothy George to lead it off. The students at my table were really great, and we seemed to have a unified, largely serious and largely theological conversation without any effort. I thought it accomplished just the kind of thing that I understand these meals to be for. So I would say: try to keep it going, and keep taking the time and trouble to do it right. I thought Timothy George struck just the right note, of being intellectually nourishing without being overly abstract, and being inspiring without being preachy. The theme was concrete and imaginative enough to get people thinking and exchanging ideas. And the group of students there was nicely inclusive of different ages and interests: at my table we had a master’s student, an engineer, a theology major, a philosophy major - a couple of trombonists, a woman who runs track, and so on. Thanks again, so much, for inviting me to be part of a splendid occasion. We need more of this kind of thing at Notre Dame.”

As part of the evening’s events, each attendee received a copy of Sacred Travels: Recovering the Ancient Practice of Pilgrimage, by Dr. George’s son, Christian George. This spring’s Breaking Bread event was administered by the Center’s undergraduate assistants, Kate Wilson, Stephen Freddoso, and Greer Hannan. The Center once again thanks Mr. Fran McGowen, of Malvern, Pennsylvania, for his generosity in sponsoring this event. Next semester, Breaking Bread will take place on November 13th, and we are pleased to announce that Professor Lawrence S. Cunningham, the Rev. John A. O’Brien Professor of Theology in Notre Dame’s Department of Theology, will provide the evening’s reflection.