Saturday, May 5, 2012

Notre Dame, Our Mother

Last month, my husband and I went out to Notre Dame for the Blue-Gold football game (and a Pearl family get-together), and I snapped this photo of the famous Golden Dome atop the Administration Building.  I've taken dozens of pictures of this iconic structure over the years, but I thought this one was particularly beautiful.  It was taken on the most glorious spring day; the sky was so blue that it looked almost surreal, and it made the perfect backdrop for the gleaming statue of Our Lady.

We are a family of Notre Dame devotees.  It all began with my husband's father, a graduate of the class of '49, who passed on his love for Our Lady's university to the succeeding generations.  My father-in-law's devotion to Notre Dame was deep, fierce, and palpable--a bond shared with just about every alumnus who has ever had the privilege of matriculating on that campus; and in fact, when he died in 2003, his children had the Notre Dame alma mater (not to be confused with the school's well-known victory march) printed on the prayer cards for his funeral.

If you watch Notre Dame football on T.V., you may have seen the team head over to the student section at the end of the game to sing the school's alma mater, titled "Notre Dame, Our Mother," along with the fans.  Everyone links together with their arms on each other's shoulders, and they sway from side to side as they reverently sing these words:

Notre Dame, Our Mother,
Tender, strong, and true;
Proudly in the heavens,
Gleams thy gold and blue.
Glory's mantle cloaks thee,
Golden is thy fame;
And our hearts forever,
Praise thee Notre Dame; 
And our hearts forever,
Love thee Notre Dame.

The last line--"Love thee Notre Dame"-- is sung as a crescendo, with an arm raised to Heaven.  This song always makes my husband, class of '80, get choked up.  It is such a beautiful tribute; it is a reminder that although Notre Dame is most often associated with its legendary football program, that was not the reason it was founded by a handful of French Holy Cross priests in 1842.  It was founded in honor of that Lady up on the Dome: Our Lady, for whom this prestigious Catholic university is named.


  1. Thanks for the ND toddler outfits! We got them a couple days ago! They're so cute.

  2. I'm glad you like the outfits. (It's never too early to begin cultivating a love for Notre Dame, right?) We can't wait to see the girls in them!