Sarah Cahalan '14 | September 5, 2018
A few weeks ago, I noticed an opening in Notre Dame Magazine’s monthly interview series, “Having coffee with.” I decided to reach out to a favorite campus figure of mine from my undergraduate days, then-Keough Hall rector and now Campus Ministry director Fr. Pete McCormick, CSC, figuring now was as good a time as any to feature a priest.
I’ve had better timing.
I scheduled my interview with Fr. Pete, as McCormick is known around campus, for August 14. Just before our meeting, reports began circulating from the Pennsylvania grand jury heard ‘round the world: Hundreds of priests. Decades of abuse. A thousand victims.
My opening question was meant to build on the issues of faith raised in the magazine’s summer issue, but it took on a larger meaning in the context of the news breaking all around us as we sat in McCormick’s office in Coleman-Morse Hall. Given the current climate of the church, where does the work of Campus Ministry fit in?
“The message of the Gospel hasn’t changed,” he told me, recalling advice he received from a former mentor. “The vehicle by which it’s received has. We have to be thoughtful about allowing for people in this time and place, in a culture where, frankly, the Church hasn’t always been the best version of itself.”
We discussed the scandals a bit more, but it wasn’t the primary subject of our conversation or the foremost topic in my mind. Rather, chatting with FP (as my friends and I called him back in the day) felt like I expected it would long before the scandals broke — like a warm, engaging, funny conversation with a spiritually minded old friend who just happens to wear a Roman collar.
Read more here.