Since their recent launch of an iPhone app meant to guide Catholics through confession, Notre Dame doctoral candidate Ryan Kreager and his business partners Chip and Patrick Leinen have sold thousands of apps and received a great deal of media attention. The app, titled “Confession: A Roman Catholic App,” is based on an examination of consciousness by Fr. Dan Scheidt, pastor of Mishawaka’s Queen of Peace Church and a Notre Dame graduate. Scheidt originally developed it for use in his own parish. “The examination of consciousness at its very nature is a general diagnostic tool,” Scheidt said. “I took what I thought was most helpful from several and developed one for the adults in my parish.” Scheidt said the app helps Catholics focus during confession. “The app helps people who are so anxious about confession that they forget some or all of what they were going to say and it helps focus their thoughts,” Scheidt said. “An unanticipated way in which it is helping is students who have special needs. They use their iPhone to help focus on what they want to say.” Kreager said they launched the app through their business Little i Apps, LLC. He thought of the idea by talking to his sister’s boyfriend. “John [Deng] and I were just talking about confession,” Kreager said. “He made a comment about making confession easier and we thought there should be an app for that.” Deng did not want to be involved in the app development process, so Kreager took the idea to the Leinen brothers. They jumped at the chance. The three self-described “Catholic Geeks” did have some experience in programming and web development, but had never developed an app before. “There was a learning curve on the app development side,” Kreager said. “But for us, this was an evening and weekends project.” After about six months, they released a prototype of the app to a few close friends and a local youth group. Soon after their beta testing ended, the app was released. The app received an imprimatur, an official statement from a bishop that states that there are no doctrinal or moral errors. Bishop Kevin Rhoades, of the Fort Wayne-South Bend diocese, granted the examination of consciousness the imprimatur. “As far as we know, we are the first app to receive this,” Kreager said. “It gave the app a credibility that it wouldn’t have had otherwise.” The examination of consciousness the app uses is what specifically received the imprimatur. Scheidt said non-Catholics also use the app just to look at their life and examine the choices they are making. “This gives non-Catholics who are unfamiliar with confession the ability to see and learn more about the sacrament,” Scheidt said. Even though the app has proved to be helpful, Kreager said there has been misleading media coverage of it. Originally, coverage was only picked up by some Catholic blogs and news sources, he said. Other media outlets eventually picked up the story of the app and some even reported that the Catholic Church had approved confession via iPhone. Some news sources retracted their false statements, while Kreager said others did not. “The Vatican released a statement saying that they are not opposed to the app as long as it is used correctly,” Kreager said. “We also issued a statement saying that we stand fully behind the Vatican’s statement and that the app is just an aid to confession, not a replacement.” Scheidt said the confession app “has generated a conversation about confession that would be difficult to pay an advertising company to replicate. It has gotten people talking and that’s a good thing.” With all the coverage, the app was even mentioned in jokes on both Conan O’Brien and Jay Leno’s television shows, Kreager said. Currently the team is working on adding new features such as customizable sin lists, porting it to the Android and translating the app into several other languages.
Notre Dame theology professor Celia Deane-Drummond concluded the two-day Templeton Colloquium with a discussion of creation ex nihilo and Darwinian evolution Wednesday afternoon.The Notre Dame Institute of Advanced Study (NDIAS) and visiting Templeton fellow Dr. Douglas Hedley of Cambridge University sponsored the colloquium. Featured speakers from multiple disciplines discussed Plato’s notion of participation in the divine, used in a Christian sense to explain the relation between creature and Creator. Deane-Drummond began her talk by posing a question about the current predicament of science and faith.“How, in a secular world dominated by an evolutionary paradigm, is it still reasonable to think about creation, Christ and spirit?” Deane-Drummond said.Within this frame, Deane-Drummond explored possible answers to this question through secular and religious outlets that engage with the biological sciences.“Evolutionary theory has, ever since Darwin, resisted the idea of non-material forces operative in the emergent beings,” she said. “But, more recently, secular writers are beginning to open up alternatives that biologists are prepared to take seriously. ”Deane-Drummond cited New York University philosopher Thomas Nagel as one such writer who is willing to accept the presence of a non-material transcendent force in the universe but does not credit creation to a god.Deane-Drummond made use of Aquinas’ understanding of creation to bring Platonic notions and the theory of evolutiony into agreement.“Aquinas develops a hierarchy in the ordering of being, from rocks through to intelligent lif, and, ultimately, humanity,” Deane-Drummond said. “Aquinas marries this hierarchal view with Platonic concept of an absolute Being that is the ultimate source of all such being.”Deane-Drummond proceeded totdiscuss evolutionary theory as an enduring hypothesis based in speculation through a biological viewpoint..She said a model of analogy would make best sense of possible relations between the philosophical concept of participation and evolutionary theory.She said suggested analogies included the symbiosis of creatures contributing to the life of each other while ultimately dependine on God. The process of cooperation of organisms through niche-construction theory was also posited as an analogy of how creatures participate in God’s immanence.“I suggest the language of analogy edges towards the meaningful in what might seem incomprehensible difference,” she said. “It is only by experimenting and speaking a language that resonates with those we are in dialogue with that a faint glimmering of insight can come to the surface.Tags: creation, evolution, Notre Dame Institute of Advanced Study, participation, Templeton Colloquium
About 100 members of the University community gathered at the Grotto on Monday afternoon for a student-led “Prayer service for healing,” sponsored by Notre Dame’s student government. The prayer service was organized following an e-mail alert sent by Notre Dame Security Police (NDSP) on Friday afternoon informing students, faculty and staff that a sexual assault had been reported in a women’s dorm on the northeastern area of campus.Annmarie Soller| The Observer The alert, the first one the community has received this school year, sparked the prayer service, which kept with a tradition started by student body president emeritus Alex Coccia and student body vice president emeritus Nancy Joyce last fall.Senior Francis Vu opened the service with a prayer.“We gather in the peace of the sacred Grotto, joined together, united in Christ to support and pray,” he said.Vu asked those in attendance to pray not only for the healing of the victims, but for the perpetrators as well.Senior Alison Leddy, a resident assistant in Cavanaugh, delivered a call to action focusing on the responsibility of the community in ending sexual violence on campus.“On Friday, the day we all received the first email report of the year, the White House launched a national campaign called ‘It’s On Us’ to end sexual assault,” Leddy said. “This movement seeks to bring awareness to and support survivors of sexual assaults on college campuses across the country. While this ambitious and worthy campaign took life in Washington, our community in South Bend feels the impact of this problem closer to home and to our hearts.“We are not any college; we are not any community. We are ND. … When we chose to attend this University, which seeks to educate the mind and the heart, we chose to be more,” Leddy said.“One is too many. What affects one of us affects all of us.”In 2013, the White House launched a sexual assault prevention campaign with the tagline “One is Too Many.” On campus, Coccia and Joyce adopted the mantra and began Notre Dame’s own “One is Too Many” campaign, which involved pledge cards signed and placed outside dorm rooms, an online petition and videos put together by student government.This year, student body vice president Matt Devine told The Observer that sexual assault prevention may take off in a different direction.“We had a lot of great visibility with ‘One is Too Many’ last year. Perhaps this is an opportunity to move in some way; we’re looking at more action words … if there’s something we can do to incorporate the idea of an active bystander into the title, then we’d like to,” Devine said.“The prayer service today is very important, because it’s the first one. It’s the first-year students’ first introduction to something like this, and it’s important for them to understand that this is our response,” Devine said.Senior Grace Carroll ended the prayer service with an invitation for all to light a candle at the Grotto and to continue praying for an end to sexual violence.“When the light shines in the darkness, the darkness cannot overcome it,” she said.Tags: Campus Ministry, Prayer service, sexual assault, Student government
LM: Students should be paying careful attention to the actual policy positions of the candidates, including whether their current positions appear to be sincere ones based on their ideological commitments and past positions or instead positions adopted simply to win the next election. Student should also educate themselves about the issues, so they can form independent opinions about important areas over which elected officials have significant influence, taking into account not only what policies will best help them economically but the moral dimensions of policy choices. Finally, students, like all citizens, need to take what they learn, and apply it not only in the ballot box, but in between elections through involvement with politically active organizations and government bodies. The media may turn most of its attention elsewhere after Nov. 8, but citizens should not.Tags: 2016 Election Observer, Republican convention LM: At the moment the biggest issue for many voters is the economy, including the apparent fragility of the economic recovery, the rapid pace of change in the workplace, and the resulting uncertainty for many workers and their families. Related concerns include immigration, education, and healthcare costs, but events could easily shift this picture. The most obvious example would be a major terrorist attack on U.S. soil, which could elevate national security and related issues such as immigration to the forefront.ROG: Taking it back to college campuses, particularly here at Notre Dame, primaries in many of our home states are coming up. What is something we, as college students, should be paying particular attention to? LM: If Trump does not have a majority of pledged delegates, then the likely result of the first delegate vote at the Republican Convention will be no majority winner. I say ‘likely’ because some delegates, primarily Republican National Committee members from certain states, are not formally pledged and so are free to vote for the candidate of their choice, even in the first round. If there is no majority winner on the first vote, at that point delegates are technically released from their commitments based on the primary or caucus results of their state. Even so, many delegates may feel bound by those results for subsequent votes, while others will have been chosen in a manner that ensures their loyalty to the candidate for whom they voted in the first round. At this point it is therefore very difficult to predict the likely results. The key issue will be how far the leadership of the Republican party is willing to go to block a Trump nomination, which could include trying to change the rules I just described, so as to disadvantage Trump.ROG: In your research and opinion, what do you think will be the most important issue in the general election? Editor’s Note: Throughout the 2016 presidential campaign, The Observer will sit down with Notre Dame experts to break down the election and its importance to students. In this eighth installment, Associate News Editor Rachel O’Grady asked Notre Dame Law School professor of election law Lloyd Mayer about the possibility of a brokered GOP convention.Rachel O’Grady: Trump just pretty handily won a number of states [last night]. What does this mean for the Republican party down the road? What are the implications of a Trump nomination?Lloyd Mayer: Short-term, it makes it likely that Trump will have the most delegates going into the Republican Convention, but it is less clear whether he will have a majority of delegates. If Trump is nominated, it does not mean that the Democratic Party nominee will definitely win — no one is willing to make such predictions anymore, given how wrong just about everyone was about where the race would be at this point. But his presence at the top of the ticket will alienate some voters who otherwise would vote Republican, likely hurting turnout for Republicans and negatively impacting Republican candidates across the board. If he loses, the Republican Party will have a lot of ground to make up with voters before the next presidential election.ROG: Hillary is gaining serious momentum, but Sanders could win the nomination yet. What are your predictions?LM: Much smarter people than me have been dead wrong when making predictions for this election year, so I am hesitant to claim any ability to foresee the future here. Clinton will have to keep pushing hard to cross the finish line, and it is still possible that some unexpected development or disclosure could derail her campaign. The odds are in her favor, but it will not be over until it’s over. ROG: The potential for a brokered convention is becoming increasingly more likely. Could it happen? What’s the result if it does?
Kat Robinson | The Observer This year’s Holy Half Marathon and 10k races saw over 1600 participants. The event raised money for Direct Relief, an organization serving those impacted by natural disasters.This year, the proceeds from the registration fees are going to Direct Relief, which is helping those affected by recent natural disasters.“This year, in light of all the natural disasters that have been in Houston, Puerto Rico, Florida — we decided to give back to a natural disaster relief charity,” Lyons said.Lyons said the Holy Half started 14 years ago to raise money for Hurricane Katrina relief efforts.“This year we thought it would be cool to go back to the roots of the race,” she said.One of the best parts of the race is the mix of people who run, Lyons said.“We definitely have people who are really serious about running and running it for time and that’s so great to see to give them a place to do that, but then we also have so many first-time runners,” she said. “ … The community element is really great.”Flannan Hehir, a senior and the winner of this year’s half marathon, said the cause is one of the reasons he runs.“The cause is such a great thing,” he said. “I think so many of your peers are out there supporting you and you’re supporting them, so it’s kind of a mutual relationship where people benefit a lot. … It’s always a cool race.”Daniel Duran, a senior who ran the 10k, said the cause and the motivation to workout were reasons he ran.“You give money to a good cause, and working out is always good for you,” he said. “It gives you a good excuse to get in shape again.”To organize the race, Lyons said the club of just over 10 members has to handle a variety of tasks ranging from obtaining sponsors, overseeing registration, printing t-shirts and medals and coordinating the course logistics.“Every part of the year we’re doing something different,” she said. “In the beginning of the year it’s a lot about contacting charities and sponsors and trying to get that squared away, and then we have to handle everyone’s registration and make sure that gets publicized. In the spring, it’s a lot of planning the logistics of the course and coordinating all the deliveries and making sure everything is squared away.”Not all clubs on campus necessarily allow students to organize an event from start to finish, which is one of the things sophomore Abby Smith, secretary of the Holy Half club and race director, said she likes about the Holy Half.“We never really stop planning it,” she said. “ … It’s also a lot of cross-communication. You’re not just planning something with one person. You have to talk to four or five different people from different areas of the University that make sure things get done.”Senior Katie Lee, the vice president of the club and a race director, said seeing the end of the race makes the work worth it.“It’s a lot of hard work, but it’s really rewarding to see everyone finishing and have everyone’s friends and families cheering them on,” she said. “We get a lot of good feedback, so getting that makes it worth it.”The club members rely on the help of volunteers, especially at the water stations. Some of the water stations are manned by dorms on campus, such as the Flaherty water station.“We have a lot of girls in Flaherty who run the Holy Half, so it’s fun to support them,” Emma Gentine, a junior who was working the station, said. “ … All the runners are very appreciative of everyone who volunteers, and you can make it a lot of fun just screaming and cheering for people, so it’s definitely worth it.”Hannah Morris, a sophomore in Flaherty who also worked the station, said holding out water is something easy to do for those running 13.1 miles.“People are always very friendly and seeing their smiling faces as they grab a cup of water is a pretty nice moment,” she said.Tags: 10k, Direct Relief, half marathon, Holy Half, Holy Half Marathon Over 1600 runners participated in this year’s Holy Half Marathon and 10k races, which were held Saturday. Senior Anna Lyons, the president of the Holy Half club and one of the race directors, said 300 people participated in the 10k and 1300 runners participated in the half marathon. Lyons said an additional 500 runners were on this year’s wait list.“It’s such a great tradition,” she said. “People get so excited about it. We have alumni come in, families come in to watch their kids run or run with them. The students train really hard for it. … All the money goes to charity, so it’s for a really great cause.”
Saint Mary’s will host the second Symposium of Research and Creative Scholarship, showcasing scholarly work of students and faculty alike from a variety of departments, Friday.Laura Williamson Ambrose, department chair of Humanistic Studies and coordinator of the event, said the event was inspired by a colloquium series where Saint Mary’s faculty members could present their research. Last year’s symposium consisted of seniors presenting their work for an hour, with a few panels focused on faculty research spread throughout the day, but Williamson Ambrose said she wanted to expand the symposium’s content to fill an entire day.“This year, what we decided to do was really expand it in scope and in scale,” she said. “We have a full day of events. … We asked for students to submit proposals as well as faculty, and we had a selection process for those proposals and created a series of interdisciplinary panels of a mixture of faculty and students throughout the day.”The symposium will have various conference portions throughout the day featuring students and faculty members from different departments and will conclude with a senior showcase and social hour. Williamson Ambrose said she hopes the event will celebrate all research conducted on campus, especially senior student research.“This kind of work, of course, has always gone on, but we realized that we need to make it more visible,” she said. “To make it more visible to the entire community and to the region, but also take an opportunity to celebrate, particularly for seniors as they prepare for their last month, or really, by that point, just a few weeks left on campus. It’s an opportunity to sort of sit back, congratulate yourself for your work and look and learn at the work of your friends and peers. You may know folks very thoroughly but not know very much about the kind of everyday scholarly interaction they have, particularly if you don’t have them in class or don’t share a major with them.”This celebration and exposure of research is one of the reasons senior psychology major Mara Egeler decided to present her studies on television as a coping mechanism at the Symposium, she said in an email.“I decided to say yes to presenting because it gives me the opportunity to educate others about my research,” Egeler said. “My project can be applied to all college students, not just those in the psychology department. I’m excited to spread my newfound information to a variety of students and faculty.”Similarly, senior music and psychology double major Franny Wall’s desire to share her research on music’s effects on dementia patients inspired her to present at the symposium, she said.“I’ve always heard great things about the symposium, and knowing that I would have a project put together that I was excited about, it greatly impacted my desire to present this year,” Wall said in an email.This symposium is not only a way for members of the community to share their findings, but it is also an opportunity for those not participating in the event to show support for their peers, Egeler said.“Everyone who is presenting at the symposium has put many hours into their projects and feels a great sense of pride about them,” she said. “We are excited to be sharing what we have learned with everyone in the Saint Mary’s community. Going to this symposium will help to show that you support all the research being conducted at Saint Mary’s. You may find new ideas in projects that you would like to further explore in your own research.”Similarly, Williamson Ambrose said she hopes the various presentations will inspire students to learn more about something that interests them or even lead them to a new path that may be seen as completely different from what interests them. She said she purposefully paired seemingly disparate disciplines to showcase the integration of learning Saint Mary’s strives to instill in its students.“There’s an integration in that way that I hope is going to be surfaced during the event itself,” Williamson Ambrose said. “In other words, we have integration that happens implicitly because of the majors and the kind of work the students do or collaborative projects between faculty and students or one another. But then we also have this in-the-moment kind of integration that can happen when sparks fly when you just put two people in a room together with two different ideas and see what happens. That’s what I’m excited to see happen on Friday.”The symposium will take place Friday from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., and a schedule of the symposium’s events can be found on the College’s website.Tags: academic research, department of humanistic studies, saint mary’s symposium
The Notre Dame COVID-19 Response Unit (CRU) outlined their policies for pre-matriculation testing for the upcoming spring 2021 semester in an email to students Monday.Undergraduate and professional students will be required to schedule an appointment to be tested at the University Testing Center as soon as they arrive on campus, the email said. Students may begin scheduling their appointment on Dec. 16 and are advised to do so by Dec. 18.The testing schedule will be staggered based on health and safety protocols.“Based on guidance from public health officials, appointments for on-campus students have been staggered to ensure that, to the extent possible, roommates do not move in on the same day and that no more than 20 percent of a given hall arrives on the same day,” the email said.Doctoral and masters students are not required to complete pre-matriculation testing because of their weekly participation in surveillance testing during their stay on campus during winter break. However, testing is encouraged and will be available to them.All students participating in pre-matriculation testing must self-isolate in their residence hall rooms or off-campus housing until their saliva test results come back. Students are required to use carryout for food or groceries and eat by themselves while they wait for their result.The University will inform students if these plans need to be adjusted due to changing conditions of the pandemic.“With the changing nature of the COVID-19 pandemic, should the University need to adapt these plans in the coming weeks, we will communicate this information promptly,” the email said. “We continue to monitor conditions locally and nationally, and will make any needed adjustments to ensure the health and safety of everyone in our community.”Tags: COVID-19, covid-19 response unit, pre-matriculation testing, spring semester 2021, University of Notre Dame
Share:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window) Stock Image JAMESTOWN – A City of Jamestown man is facing charges after allegedly choking a woman and preventing her from leaving a Bush Street address early Sunday.Jamestown Police say the woman attempted to escape the residence through a bedroom window, however, Antonio Hall, 26, allegedly pulled her back into the apartment, preventing her escape.The woman was eventually able to escape the house and made it to her vehicle, but was confronted by Hall. Police say Hall struck her vehicle’s mirror with a hammer, causing it to break.The woman then fled the area in her vehicle. Although, officers say Hall attempted to search for her at a house on Jefferson Street. Police say Hall was arrested while attempting to break into the Jefferson Street house.Hall is charged with fourth-degree criminal mischief, criminal obstruction of breathing or blood circulation, second-degree unlawful imprisonment and second-degree criminal trespass.Officers say Hall was taken to Jamestown City Jail pending arraignment in the case.
MAYVILLE — A Chautauqua County Grand Jury has indicted a Jamestown man on a charge of second-degree murder in connection with a stabbing last month. A Chautauqua County Court Clerk tells WNYNewsNow that Carl W. Sorenson, 28, was indicted on Thursday. Sorenson was arraigned Monday in front of Judge David Foley and plead not guilty. The Clerk adds that bail was set at $350,000 cash/$700,000 property bond.The next scheduled date is October 5 at 10:30 am for an Omnibus hearing.A motion dismissing the second-degree murder charge against Jamestown man Carl Sorenson was denied during a preliminary hearing in Jamestown City Court July 17. Public Defender Ned Barone entered the motion on behalf of Sorenson, saying that the defendant is “entitled to a preliminary hearing.”Chautauqua County First Assistant District Attorney Derek Gregory, however, says there’s “no basis” for a dismissal. Gregory says the District Attorney’s Office is proceeding to a Chautauqua County Grand Jury with the case.District Attorney Patrick Swanson will be handling the prosecution.Jamestown Police charged Sorenson in the death of 23-year-old Brandon Holland who was stabbed in the chest while walking on the sidewalk along North Main Street between East 4th and East 5th Streets around 10:14 p.m. July 6.Holland was taken to UPMC Chautauqua Hospital where he died of his injuries.Sorenson, according to police, is also a New York State Parolee. Officers say he was taken into custody July 7 by investigators at his apartment on Washington Street in Jamestown.A reward, meanwhile, is being offered for information that leads to the arrest of a man wanted by Jamestown Police and the U.S. Marshalls in connection with the case.According to Buffalo Crime Stoppers, $2,500 is being offered for information on Jason Talley.Jamestown Police Captain Robert Samuelson tells WNYNewsNow’s Matt Hummel that Talley is wanted in connection with the Brandon Holland murder case.Talley is believed to be in the Buffalo or Rochester area. Samuelson confirmed on Tuesday that police are still actively looking for Talley.Anyone with information on his whereabouts is asked to contact Crime Stoppers at (716) 867-6161.Tips can also be submitted by dowloading the free Crime Stoppers Mobile App in the Apple App store or Google Play store.Share:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)
ALBANY — Senator George Borrello is calling on the Senate Democrat Majority to take immediate action to provide internet access not only for downstate students, but for neglected rural students without broadband access.Borrello said a Democrat broadband tax is keeping taxpayers in rural areas from having any internet access at all, forcing students to find central locations like library parking lots to study remotely during the pandemic.The New York City dominated Senate Majority failed to heed Borrello and other Republicans call to repeal the Democrat tax that stalled broadband expansion in these areas, and has done nothing to improve access upstate, Borrello said.Democrats recently introduced a bill to provide WiFi in New York City homeless shelters, where downstate students also lack access, he said. “We must bridge the digital divide for all students, not just some. It shouldn’t matter if you are a homeless student in New York City learning remotely or a student upstate whose family desperately needs broadband. We cannot leave our children behind at this critical time. Unfortunately, Senate Democrats have turned their backs on rural students by implementing a tax on broadband and severely hindering expansion in rural areas,” said Borrello.“It’s long past time to act. We must rescind the Democrat broadband tax to deliver access to Upstate and ensure every student, regardless of where they live, can learn,” Borrello added.Broadband access had been moving ahead until Democrats took the Majority two years ago and passed into law the new tax which is now hindering broadband installation, Republicans said. Share:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)