Yearly Calendar of Events

The academic year at Notre Dame is characterized by a prominent list of hallmark liturgies and events for the Folk Choir, each celebrated annually both on campus and abroad nationally and internationally. From the welcoming of new students in the fall to the commissioning of new graduates in the spring, through tours and concerts, and in observing the feast days of the Church, the Folk Choir remains active nearly year-round. Below is the choir's representative roll call of events celebrated each year.


+ Transfer Student Orientation -- Held in the Basilica of the Sacred Heart on the Thursday morning leading into orientation weekend in late August, this Mass officially welcomes those students transferring to Notre Dame from other institutions along with their families, introducing and bringing them into the religious facet of the university.

+ Freshman Orientation -- On the Sunday morning of orientation weekend, the university welcomes its first-year students and their families into the Notre Dame community with a Eucharistic liturgy at 10:00 AM in the Joyce Center.

+ Opening of the School Year -- With the President of Notre Dame presiding alongside a contingent of Holy Cross priests, the university marks the official beginning of its academic year with a Mass of the Holy Spirit in the Joyce Center during the evening of the first class day in August, with music provided by a combined choir of numerous campus ensembles.

+ Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe -- To commemorate the influx of religious traditions from Latin America, the university marks the feast day of Our Lady of Guadalupe, Patroness of the Americas, every year on December 12th with a bilingual Spanish-English Mass in the Basilica of the Sacred Heart, with music by the Folk Choir and Coro Primavera de Nuestra Señora.

+ Junior Parents Weekend -- Notre Dame hosts Junior Parents Weekend every year in mid-February as a chance to showcase all aspects of the university to the families of current juniors, and a Saturday evening vigil Mass is a highlight event of the weekend.

+ Feast of St. Patrick -- In keeping with its rich connections to Irish heritage, Notre Dame observes the patronal feast of St. Patrick each year on March 17th with a bilingual Gaelic-English Mass in the Basilica of the Sacred Heart.

+ Palm Sunday -- At the onset of Holy Week, Notre Dame begins its Palm Sunday celebration with a joyful procession from Bond Hall to the Basilica of the Sacred Heart, where the liturgy resumes and the tone of the Mass gradually becomes more somber as the community recalls the Passion of the Lord.

+ Holy Thursday -- With a commemorative washing of the feet in the Basilica of the Sacred Heart, the Folk Choir leads the music for the Holy Thursday evening Mass of the Lord's Supper.

+ Easter Sunday -- The Folk Choir provides the triumphant Easter hymns for two Masses at the Basilica of the Sacred Heart to celebrate the Resurrection of the Lord&emdash;one at noon for the Notre Dame community and another at nine o'clock in the evening for the student body.

+ Holy Cross Ordinations -- Each year on Easter Saturday in the Basilica of the Sacred Heart, the Notre Dame community proudly joins the Congregation of Holy Cross to celebrate the ordination to the priesthood of its current class of seminarians.

Concerts, Services, and Pilgrimages

+ Fall Mini-Tour -- During the fall semester sometime between late September and early November, the Folk Choir makes a weekend pilgrimage to a regional parish community to offer workshops and liturgies as one model for music ministry. Visits typically are confined to locations in Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, and Ohio.

+ Concert for the Missions -- Each fall in the Basilica of the Sacred Heart, the Folk Choir offers an evening concert following a home football game to benefit the educational, peacebuilding, medical, and religious efforts of the Holy Cross Missions throughout the world, from Southeast Asia to East Africa to the Caribbean. This year, the concert will be on Friday, November 18th at 8pm in the Basilica.

+ Advent Lessons and Carols -- The Folk Choir joins collaborates with all the other campus liturgical choirs on a Sunday evening at the Basilica of the Sacred Heart in early December to present a program of prayer, Scripture, and song for the Notre Dame community centered around the preparatory themes of the Advent season.

+ Lenten Vespers -- For each of the five Sundays of Lent and Palm Sunday, the Folk Choir provides the music for Vespers, the evening prayer of the Church, at the Basilica of the Sacred Heart.

+ Stations of the Cross -- Twice during Holy Week the Folk Choir provides music for Stations of the Cross. On Tuesday evening the choir sings at the last station and during the concluding penance service for Campus-Wide Stations, and on the evening of Good Friday the choir again sings for an entire Stations service in the Basilica of the Sacred Heart.

+ Indiana State Prison Concert -- Between Easter and Mother's Day in the last month of the academic year, the Folk Choir pays a unique visit to Indiana State Prison, a maximum-security institution in nearby Michigan City, to offer their gathered community of men a much anticipated concert of sacred music.

+ Senior Last Visit to the Grotto -- Held in the Basilica of the Sacred Heart on the Thursday evening leading into graduation weekend in mid-May, this service of prayer, song, fellowship, and memories of the past four years gives the senior class one last opportunity to come together as a class at both the Basilica and the Grotto.

+ Senior Service Send-Off -- On the Saturday afternoon of graduation weekend, the Folk Choir joins the Center for Social Concerns for the Senior Service Send-Off at the DeBartolo Performing Arts Center to acknowledge all those graduating seniors embarking on one or more years of volunteer service and study.

+ Spring Tour -- Each year during the final days of May after graduation (and sometimes into the first days of June), the Folk Choir makes a pilgrimage to engage in and promote parish music ministry throughout the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, and Ireland with workshops for liturgical ministers, prayer services and liturgies for local parishioners, and concerts for all seeking spiritual renewal through song.

Special Events

+ Concession Stand -- This year's Folk Choir concession stand will be taking place on Saturday, September 24th (Duke Weekend). Come stop our stand at the flagpole on South Quad for some burgers, brats, and Folk Choir members bursting with joy!

+ Fall Recording -- Every three years the Folk Choir remains on campus during the fall break in mid-October to record a CD at Holy Cross College of various selections both from their own repertoire and the rich musical tradition of the Catholic Church around the world. These new CD's are typically released the following spring through the choir's publisher, World Library Publications in Chicago.

+ Choir Retreat -- About once every three years the Folk Choir comes together over the winter break in January before the start of classes for a three-day retreat at the Abbey of Gethsemani in Trappist, Kentucky, to reflect more deeply on its ministry and look ahead to another season of service at Notre Dame.

+ National Conferences -- Over the past several years the Folk Choir has been the guest of numerous national liturgical and leadership organizations. Most recently the choir has participated at the PTEV Conference (February 2007, Indianapolis), NPM National Convention (July 2007, Indianapolis), and Liturgical Composers Forum (February 2008, St. Louis), and they will join the CCMA/NADDCM National Convention this academic year (January 2009, Atlanta).

+ Special Occasion Liturgies -- Throughout the academic year the Folk Choir often provides musical service for a host of special liturgical events at Notre Dame. Most recently the choir has sung for Holy Cross final vows (August 2006), the beatification of Blessed Basil Moreau (September 2007), the gathering of the Catholic Peacebuilding Network (April 2008), and the 25th anniversary of the Center for Social Concerns (April 2008).