Monday, August 31, 2015

Rest in peace...

Fr. Mario Pedi, O.S.B.

Fr. Mario Pedi, O.S.B., former Rector of St. Edward's Hall, passed away this past Friday at age 88. For those who knew him, Fr. Mario will be missed.

Here's a reflection of Fr. Mario by Joe McGrath '85:
Father Mario Pedi, O.S.B., of Marmion Abbey died peacefully at 8:10 am on Friday, August28 at McAuley Manor. He was 88 years old. 
Fr. Mario was ordained a Benedictine Monk in 1957 and always considered the Marmion Abbey in Aurora, Il, his ‘home’.  After stints as a teacher and then principal at the adjacent Marmion Military Academy, and a few years living and teaching in New York City, he came to Notre Dame as rector of St. Ed’s in 1976 and remained for a decade.  Fr Mario was a larger-than-life character and the guys in the dorm loved him.  His room was like a menagerie with a big tropical fish tank and a succession of exotic birds – parrots and cockatoos – all named ‘Irish’.  They were able to learn and repeat words (the birds, not the fish), and the guys in the dorm taught them to say things like “Hello”, “Go Irish!”, and a few other choice phrases that were, at times, cause for embarrassment to the good padre. He brought his love for the theatre with him to StEds: every year Fr Mario directed a play starring the men of the dorm performed on stage in Washington Hall to sold-out crowds.  The proceeds went to Fr. Mario’s growing collection of exotic animals and birds.  Just kidding. His vows of poverty somehow excluded electronics as well, and he had the best stereo system in the dorm, the biggest TV most of us had ever seen, and a (then) cutting-edge VCR player.  Fr. Mario’s door was always open, and on any given night you’d see bodies draped across every piece of furniture and every square inch of floor as he showed the latest movies – and not just the safe ones.  Our only complaint was that he’d always fast-forward through the ‘good parts’. He also packed ‘em in at Sunday night mass in the chapel, and his weeknight masses were always well attended. 
He went on to be pastor at Annunciation Parish in Aurora, IL, a job that he loved for over twenty years.  In retirement at the abbey, he taught and was librarian at Marmion and remained active administering sacraments and serving those in need in the community
Fr. Mario greeted so many of us at the front door of St Ed’s on our first day at Notre Dame.  He was our friend, surrogate parent, spiritual director, and hall mascot.  He went on to marry many of us, baptize our kids, bury our loved ones and help us through life crises. Now that he’s in heaven, I hope that he greets us there at the front door on our first day, maybe with a parrot on his shoulder.  Uttering choice phrases.
Funeral arrangements for Fr. Mario:

Father Mario’s body will be received by his monastic community and family on Tuesday, September 1, at 4:00 P.M. Visitation will be from 4:00 P.M. until 9:00 P.M. in the Abbey Church at 850 Butterfield Road, Aurora. 

Visitation will continue on Wednesday, September 2, from 8:00 A.M. up until the Funeral Mass which will be celebrated at 10:30 A.M. Burial will follow in the Marmion Abbey Cemetery. 

Arrangements are being handled by THE DALEIDEN MORTUARY, 220 N. Lake St., Aurora, 630-631-5500 or visit our interactive website at where you may leave condolences for Fr. Mario’s family.

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Your Sunday picture...

A beautiful day at Notre Dame...

...from Notre Dame. Here's a picture of the Fr. Sorin statue at the south end of God Quad. The statue, whose inscription is in Latin, was erected in honor of Fr. Sorin in 1905. Besides enjoying your Sunday wherever you are, here's a translation of the Latin inscription:

To God, Greatest and Best.
In Memory of Edward Sorin,
Superior General of the Congregation of the Holy Cross,
Founder of the University of Notre Dame,
who, renowned for apostolic virtues,
most zealous for American Catholic Education,
born February 6, 1814,
lived for 78 years and ten months,
students, alumni, and friends
have erected this pledge
of their respect and gratitude

in the year of salvation regained 1905.

Saturday, August 29, 2015

More birds...

Yes. This bird lives at Notre Dame.

…of Notre Dame. Once again, Fr. Terry Ehrman, CSC, a botanist and theologian at Notre Dame, managed to capture some of the more exotic birds of campus. When we think of birds living on campus, we usually think of the common robin and sparrow, but Notre Dame is a home to many more birds than just them. On capturing one of those birds, the double-crested cormorant , Fr. Terry said, "The double-crested cormorant is a bird that is more common than you on the look out for them!"

Fr. Terry also went on to say, "These all black 'sea ravens', in the Pelican family, appear pre-historic as they perch in trees or swim through the water with body submerged and only their neck and bill above the surface before they dive for fish. Their ancestors evolved 34 million years ago." So, if you're ever on Jeopardy, don't shy away from taking birds for $100...

Friday, August 28, 2015

An unexpected visitor...

A special delivery for outside...

...made a visit to the 3rd floor of St. Ed's on Thursday night. Was it Santa Claus a little early? Was it Fr. John Jenkins? No. It was none of these persons. Matter of fact, it wasn't a person at all. Instead, Sam VandenHeuvel, Assistant Rector (above, right), found a bat resting on the floor in the hallway. Thanks to fast thinking, Sam covered the bat with a trash can, and later, with help from Fr. Ralph (above, left), the bat was relocated outside. Of the run in with the bat, Sam said, "I saw the same situation once on Macgyver. I knew what I had to do."

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Wall Street hit by...

Stedsmen on Wall Street: Bulls or bears?

...Stedsmen! Okay. You all were probably thinking of the bad news and loses coming from China. Yes, that's certainly true, BUT it also true that Wall Street was hit by several Stedsmen. Joe Meares '10 and Chris Wilson '08 were not only on the trading floor but also on CNBC's Squawk Box- the morning's live broadcast from the trading floor. On his fifteen minutes of fame, Meares said, "Yes. Chris and I made a rare appearance on the 'Box', and at commercial break, I asked for a stock pick, they simply said, 'Avoid China, cash is king.'" Joe, they weren't kidding!


Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Chapel Update.

The Chapel on Thursday morning...

On Thursday of Move-In Week, the Chapel of Sts. Edward and John was a complete shambles. What was even more worrisome was that the Chapel was needed the very next day, Friday, for the Hall's Welcome Week festivities for new residents and parents! Suffice it to say, this situation gave the Welcome Week crew an unstable angina as well as a few more gray hairs for the rector. Yet, when all seems lost, a miracle of sorts happened. Surely, St. Edward and St. John had something to do with it. The Chapel, that was in shambles, was transformed from a mess into anything but... see for yourself! While there are a number of things that need to be done yet, great progress had been made so that the Chapel could be used. More to come...

...the Chapel on Friday afternoon.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Let the matriculation...

Where the kids? In class, of course!

...begin! Yes, today marked the start of the new academic year for Notre Dame. Even though it was cloudy and unseasonably cool day, it didn't put a damper on the spirits of the Stedsmen and their zeal for learning. No, surely the love for learning kept them warm! On attending classes once again,  Carl Korth, Sted's Senior and accounting major, said, "I feel pretty good." Good luck to all in whatever you study!

Monday, August 24, 2015

Reflections from Welcome Week.

Mathes, Cervantes, and Hansen with one of the Hall's welcome signs

With everyone now moved in, parents back home, and classes starting tomorrow morning bright and early, Welcome Week 2015 is fast coming to an end. Sad, but it was fun while it lasted. Many thanks to Ned Vogel, Sted's Junior, and Parker Mathes and Tim Sherman, Sted's Sophomores, for their leadership in organizing and executing this incredibly important weekend. Still, thanks to all Welcome Week Ambassadors who moved many boxes, TVs, sofas, and so much more so that parents didn't have to. Still yet, thanks to Brandon Ruggles, Sted's Junior, who also played a critical role in make this weekend a success. Thanks to every Stedsmen who did their duty to Hall and King... and to the new freshmen! On the weekend, Sam Bradley, Sted's sophomore and Welcome Week Ambassador himself, said, "The Welcome Weekend guys did a great job making the posters, except we forgot to save room on this one for our 2016 hall of the year award!"

Here are some other pictures of the Welcome Week crew on Move In Day 2015:

Hansen: Taking five in a cart

Ruggles and Mathes taking a "leadership selfie"

The crew's excitement was electric 

 Meder: leaving Hansen behind

Ryan: Telling someone to go long...

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Your Sunday...

First down!

...picture from Notre Dame. What started off as a sunny Sunday morning eventually gave way to a rainy afternoon. Still, while it was sunny, "First down (Fr.) Corby" was ready to go for photos with departing parents from Welcome Week. Safe travels, and enjoy your Sunday wherever you may be!  

Friday, August 21, 2015

Welcome Week 2015...

Happy to be here!

...begins! Yes, the Freshmen Orientation of old has been rehabbed into the new and shinny "Welcome Week." While there are many changes to schedules and events, the new Welcome Week has persevered some of the time honored and cherished elements of its predecessor. One such element is the Hall Serenade. Under the direction of Brandon Ryan, Steds sophomore and Welcome Week Ambassador, the Steds serenade has been taken to new artistic highest. On the serenade, Tim Sherman, Welcome Week Assistant Captain, said, "After that performance, everyone's wishing they could do it the Steds way!"


Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Yacht Dance II.

Anchors away...once again!

Recent Steds graduates gathered with Steds alumni living in Chicago. Suffice it to say, a fun time was had by all, and how could it be otherwise... especially when you throw in a trip on the Steds Yacht, the Mystic Blue! Living memories past, these Steds alumni had a fun time indeed, and being on the Mystic Blue once again, Brian Roddy said, "It was like Hemingway's Old Man and the Sea... but we were on a yacht, in Chicago waters, having a fun time..."

Monday, August 17, 2015

Preparing for...

Step back! Resident Assistant Dawson taking care of business.

...move in. Yes, the St. Edward's Hall Staff has been preparing for the start of yet another school year by undergoing a rigorous and thorough University training schedule. So, thorough is the training regime that the staff was even instructed on operating a fire extinguish. Perish the thought of another fire at St. Edward''s enough... still, should one "flare" up, rest assured, it will be dealt with in a timely and effective manner. Of the fire extinguisher training, Tom Roman, Assistant Rector and 2nd year law student, said, "After a literal trial by fire, these fine gentlemen performed admirably today. Now, all that's left is a refresher course on stop, drop, and roll, and we will be totally prepared."  Well said, Tom... well said indeed!

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Your Sunday...

One last quiet and sunny Sunday at Lake Michigan 

picture of Notre Dame is a Notre Dame summer coming to a close. It's true. All good things must come to an end... only so that better things can yet be had! It's been a fun summer, but it's now time to open the doors of St. Edward's to let in a new class of Stedsmen. But before we do, let's have one last day at the Lake! Enjoy your Sunday wherever you may be!

Friday, August 14, 2015

Not Squirrels...

Yes. This bird lives at Notre Dame.

...but birds. While Notre Dame has its fair share of squirrels, it also has a great number of birds. Thanks to St. Mary and St. Joseph's Lakes, Notre Dame has a diverse population of birds from the common to, well, the not so common. Fr. Terry Ehrman, CSC, a botanist and theologian at Notre Dame, not to mention bird lover, captured this beautiful picture of a Great Blue Heron on St. Mary's Lake. On capturing the Great Blue Heron, Fr. Terry said, "At Notre Dame, the lover of birds draws near to the Kingdom of God where "the birds of the sky come and dwell in its branches" (Matt 13:32). Indeed, Fr Terry... indeed!

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

We're going...

Alpine view of Lamb, Kelsey, Whitney and Roddy and Schloss Neuschwanstein Europe! After graduating this past May, Stedsmen, Nick Kelsey, Oliver Lamb, Brian Roddy, and John Whitney, took one last trip together before heading off into the working world. Trekking about in seven countries from Poland to Belgium, these Stedsmen got their fill of "the Continent" and managed to avoid causing any international incidents.  Of their last European fling, Kelsey said, "Why? Why not?" Indeed, Kelsey... indeed!  Why not!

Stedsmen in Rynek Główny, Main Square, in Krakow, Poland

Monday, August 10, 2015

Where are...

Rho:  Next time on a motorcycle like James Dean

...they now? For Chris Rho, Steds sophomore, the past ten days have been spent traveling west on the historic, scenic, and yes, even romantic, Route 66 to its terminus in Santa Monica, California. While it was a long trip, it was well worth it, having the opportunity to see places that are usually flown over. Of traveling Route 66, Rho said, "Although California's weather was jaw-dropping and the beaches of the Pacific coast were quite better than the "beaches" of Lake Michigan in the Midwest, I must say that the gas prices along with the terrible traffic in California really balanced out the benefits and costs of living in California!"

But there's more...

Before leaving on his trek out West, Chris became an US citizen! In a small ceremony in Chicago, before the Honorable John Blackey, federal judge and Domer, Chris gave his oath, becoming an American in process. CONGRATULATIONS CHRIS! On Rho becoming a US citizen, Fr. Ralph said, "This is a great day. Chris is a part of the greatest Notre Dame residence hall, Steds, and now, he's a part the greatest nation in the world too!" 

Rho: I am now going to California...literally

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Your Sunday...

Almost open for business...

...picture from Notre Dame. Here's a rare sight. South Dining Hall with no people! Well, that will soon change as students begin to trickle back to campus starting this week. Enjoy your Sunday wherever you be!

Friday, August 7, 2015

Western Steds, continued.

Monsoon rains in Phoenix

In a continued effort to avoid the noise of the Main Building's renovation, St. Ed has hit the road, moving operations out west... out west to the Valley of the Sun. Yes, it might be the middle of summer, but folks, it's a DRY heat. One thing that was completely overlooked was that it was also "monsoon season," meaning that it might rain in the afternoon. On experiencing what was dubbed by local news channels as "Monsoon 2015", Fr. Ralph said, "I feel a bit like the Biblical Job. I left home to find some peace and quiet. So, I came to the desert for sun and dry heat... and it rains."

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Where are...

But who won the game?!

...they now? For Steds sophomore, Kevin McCarthy, it has been spent riding rollercoasters, playing Candy Land, and playing Candy Land WHILE riding a rollercoaster. Like going to the Moon, they said it couldn't be done...but Kevin showed them that it could. On playing Candy Land while riding a rollercoaster, Kevin said, "I held my excitement in at that moment as I saw that I got the King Candy card, giving me an automatic win!” Congratulations Kevin! 

Monday, August 3, 2015

There is...

Liam and Steven: Steds goodwill ambassadors to the southern Steds

...another St. Ed's. Yes, it's true. It's not another residence hall but rather a university. On a recent trip to Austin, Liam and Steven, Steds seniors, discovered this university. On the discovery of St Ed’s, Steven said, “During our time in Austin, we visited a small, Holy Cross university named St. Edward's University.  When we began researching the university more, we discovered that Steds U is actually Notre Dame's younger brother!  The university was founded by Father Sorin in 1885, and it was presumably named after St. Edward's Hall, the first and greatest hall built at Father Sorin's first university, Notre Dame.  Actually, it’s named after his patron saint, but still... Oddly enough, Steds U, like its namesake, has had a history of fire. In 1903, a fire destroyed most of the main building at Steds U.  One could say that Father Sorin had very bad luck with fire." Indeed you could Steven...indeed you could.

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Your Sunday...

Sorin Hall: the second oldest residence hall on campus

...picture from Notre Dame. Here's a picture of the smaller and less historic Sorin Hall on a beautiful Sunday morning. Built after St. Edward's Hall, Sorin Hall recently had an exterior renovation done, and the hall now looks much better than it did. Enjoy your Sunday wherever you may be!