Monday, September 03, 2007

U of Dallas

In a black-and-white contrast to the below, we were privileged to assist at Mass in the Cistercian Monestary attached to the University of Dallas over the weekend.

The place is built to hold around 400 people; 500 attended. We had met or knew people there from at least 6 States, but the Cistercians also draw a large crowd from the Dallas metro area.

And for good reason.

The Pauline Use Mass was in English, but the Propers and Ordinary were Gregorian Chant. Of course, about half the congregation joined in singing the Ordinary parts--which should tell somebody something about the real meaning of the term "universality" when discussing the Church's attributes.

The monks and seminarians sang in alternating choir. No, it wasn't perfect; there were a couple of voices which need attention from St. Caecilia. But that, of course, reminded us of the sin of Adam.

The homily actually addressed the Gospel's topic: humility first--and although gently phrased, there was no question about Christian duties in that regard.


Let me tell you--the U of Dallas has a great process for incoming freshmen. (We've seen three others--so I have a basis of comparison.)

The concept is simple: after the parents have put all their darlings' worldly goods into their dorm room and have had lunch with the chilluns, the UofD people wanted that parents out of there. Oh, they had a nice reception so parents could meet/greet other parents and faculty, and a nice meeting during which various UofD staffers told us what to expect (and NOT to expect.)

After that, the parents were on their own to return home, thankyouverymuch.

And the children? They were expected to become pretty-darn-close to independent. Right then, right there. I don't know if that was harder for the Moms or the kids, but it makes it easier for both in the long run.

Of course, the U provided a few things for the chilluns to do--about 12 hours of each next three days have programmed activities which the freshmen must attend.

Good concept, well-executed.

We were able to meet with people from several States, coast to coast; some (from this area) we knew--others we were delighted to get to know. We were able to communicate easily, because we had a lot of acquaintances in common--the universal Church is a small world, after all.

And, at UofD, that "universality" shows.

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