Game Day Mass…Always Learning Something New

Each time the center hosts the mass following a Notre Dame home football game, there is no doubt we learn something new for how to make improvements to our processes.  We appreciate your patience as we modify our game plans, but do know that many things we are doing are working well!

To assist us in one area, knowing who the Extraordinary Ministers are for mass, we’ve created a separate shift for these commissioned ministers.  By signing up for this shift, you will more than likely be needed to distribute the Eucharist, and if not, you will work as an usher.  Creating this separate shift lets YOU know if we need this role filled, since many of you kindly email us to find out if we’re staffed.

Next, for each position an usher fulfills during a mass, we’ve created instruction pages that tell you and only you your role for offertory and Eucharist distribution.  Just so you know, nothing has changed as to how we do these two tasks; we just felt it important to minimize confusion and assist with disseminating information with ushers arriving at such staggered intervals to give individual game plans.

Finally, call times for volunteers and students have been moved to 6:30 for post-game masses.  We have enjoyed the comradery in the cinema watching the game with our volunteers, but many have said your arrival is rather early.  Our advice, use your judgment when to arrive on campus;  following halftime is your best bet to avoid being a fish upstream if you arrive when stadium patrons are leaving campus.  Remember though, our building remains locked until 7:00 PM.  The entrances of the center, both north and south doors, will be checked at 5:00, 5:30, 6:00, and 6:30.  If for any reason you have to arrive at a different time, call the usher hotline (631-2300) and leave a message for the House Manager.  The House Manager will respond to your message as soon as possible.

So we hope these little improvements help make things go even smoother!  From the feedback we hear following mass, our ushers are doing an outstanding job!  Way to Pray like a Champion!


TIP OF THE WEEK: What are my three shifts?

You’ve asked good questions about what exactly makes up the 3-shift maximum for sign-ups, and here are the answers:

  • Is my bonus included? Yes, if you qualified for a bonus shift, this is 1 of your 3 shifts.
  • What is considered a docent shift? Docent shifts are assigned at the start of semesters for ushers who work Monday-Friday from 12-2.  Football Friday Tour shifts are not considered docent shifts
  • Does Mass count? (Doesn’t mass always “count?”)  Yes, in considering your 3 shifts, signing up for the Mass is 1 of your 3.  So far, we’ve seen no troubles getting this shift after the 15th of the month!
  • When can I begin signing up for more shifts? We’ll make it very simple;  from noon on the 10th until 11:59 PM on the 14th, you may only sign up for 3.  After 11:59 on the 14th, both confirm shifts and sign up for as many as you like!

Consult the Usher Manual under Usher Technology for a full description of this information.

Coming Soon! FTT Presents: Six Characters in Search of an Author

The FTT department just wrapped up a very emotionally driven run of plays; Out of Orbit and Beneath My Skin, both plays were written, directed, cast, etc. by Notre Dame Students. It was a very successful run and our FTT students should be very proud of their hard work.

Coming soon, in November, the Decio Theatre will have the fun of hosting Six Characters in Search of an Author. This production was originally written in 1921 by Luigi Pirandelllo, with its premiere show in Rome, Italy. This play is considered a precursor to “Absurdism” and is essentially a play within a play or “mirror theatre”…a play that turns a mirror onto the theatre itself. In Six Characters In Search of an Author, an acting company prepares to rehearse the play The Rules of the Game by Luigi Pirandello. As the rehearsal is about to begin, they are unexpectedly interrupted by the arrival of six strange people. The Director of the play, furious at the interruption, demands an explanation. The Father explains that they are unfinished characters in search of an author to finish their story. Humor, confusion, sadness and anger follow…

The play is being directed by visiting director, Patrick Vassel. A brief introduction by the man himself; “I am honored and thrilled to be back on campus this fall adapting and directing Pirandello’s Six Characters in Search of an Author.  I was fortunate enough to perform as an actor in student and FTT department productions while I was a student here, and it was on campus that I discovered my love for directing.  I assistant directed Professor Siiri Scott’s production of Charles Mee’s Big Love and directed several plays for The St. Edward’s Hall Players.  After graduating in 2007, I moved to New York City where I completed my Master’s degree in Teaching at Pace University.  I’ve taught at nearly every grade level K-12, most recently teaching 7th grade writing at Explore Charter School in Brooklyn.  My directing and assistant directing work has taken me everywhere from Broadway to Off-Broadway, regional theatres and even a national tour.  As a writer, I’ve been developing a play with fellow alum Adel Hanash (’04) about the Arab Spring.  The Public Theater in New York presented a reading of the play last fall and we traveled to Tunisia this past summer for research.  I’m also a producing associate of Ten Bones Theatre Company, where I’m developing a new, original movement piece about modern communication and social media.  My next project is as the assistant director of HAMILTON, a new musical written by and starring Tony Award Winner Lin-Manuel Miranda and directed by Tony Award nominee Tommy Kail (In The Heights).”

Because of the unique way FTT will be staging this play, there will be more information to come on the inventive and abstract way they have staged the play. More to come!

Campus Crossroads Project

view_westThis week employees from every department on campus attended the University’s annual Town Hall meeting where information was shared and questions were asked to the panel consisting of Father John Jenkins and John Affleck-Graves.  Sitting through this hour-long meeting got employees very excited about the projects popping up around campus.  These projects will kick into high gear immediately following football season; however, the bulk of the construction will occur around the perimeter of the stadium, which should have little impact on our building and patrons.

Beginning in March 2015, the building being erected in the current Hesburgh Center lot northwest of the center will take away the parking lot used often by patrons and ushers.  While losing parking is never ideal, we all will have to adapt to the change.

Be sure to read more about the project using the following link:


TIP OF THE WEEK: Umbrella Bags

While the “plastic bag” has been the topic of discussion in California this week, here at the center we’ve purchased special plastic bags into which patrons can place their damp umbrellas during a performance.  For use by coat check attendants, patrons now have the option to store their umbrella in coat check or take it with them in the venue ensuring that our venue (and coat check attendant) stays nice and dry!

umbrella bag