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Religious & Spiritual Life


 Impacts And Resources related to the Ending of DACA 


This past year there have been a series of Executive Orders and changes that impact students who identify as international, immigrant, Muslim, undocumented, and DACAmented. The University enrolls, welcomes, and supports all of its members, and will continue to provide services and resources to all members of our community to support their ongoing success.

As Chancellor Chopp stated in a message to the DU community, the University will continue to provide access to legal counsel through Catholic Charities to help members of our community impacted by the recent decision to end DACA. This includes the opportunity to meet individually with an immigration attorney in a confidential off-campus setting. To access a voucher to utilize these services please contact the University Chaplain, or visit the Center for Multicultural Excellence or VIP.

We have limited funds available through the Student Emergency Fund to assist any student facing an immediate financial hardship. 


Thick times


I will admit it: there are times when I need a pick-me-up. (And I'm not talking about coffee -- or any other beverage.) Life has a way of battering us down. Whether it's bad news (global or national), or simply a bad day, I will sometimes find myself in front of the computer screen, giving in to the temptation to follow YouTube links. There are several "go-to's" on which I can fall back when the energy level is REALLY low (and, of course, there are always cat videos). But most of those "go-to's (including cat videos) usually only seem to "pat me on the head", virtually saying "Oh, poor mama's baby".

Occasionally, however, I'll follow the line of links. The one that caught my attention the other night was a segment from "America's Got Talent", titled "Anna Clendening: Nervous Singer Delivers Stunning "Hallelujah" Cover - America's Got Talent 2014". Anna (along with her parents) tells the story of her depression and anxiety disorder. But she also gave evidence, by performing on the show, that those conditions would not keep her down. Her cover of "Hallelujah" brought praise from the judges, and certainly from the crowd. What I saw, and heard, in her was some inner well of strength; she was able to tap into it and rise above the circumstances . . . and draw others with her.

From there, I gave into temptation again, and followed the links . . . and I ended up at a flash mob: A Little Girl Gives Coins To A Street Musician And Gets The Best Surprise In Return. In a city square, somewhere in Spain, a little girl puts some change in a hat in front of man holding a double bass. He begins playing, and as happens with flash mobs, other musicians emerge from the crowd, or out of buildings. Soon there is an orchestra and choir; it is Beethoven's "Ode to Joy". I will admit that I'd seen the video before, so I knew, when I clicked on the link, what to expect. But I saw something this last time that I'd not noticed before. Yes, there is a choir as part of the mob. But the music was familiar enough to the bystanders that, when the singing commenced, some of them joined in (not to mention the children who wanted to help conduct!). There was something very contagious in what the musicians were doing.

After watching those videos, my mood had lifted a bit. And I grew thoughtful in a different way. What both videos seemed to suggest was that, through the act of sharing -- in Anna's case, it was her mental health issues as well as her talent, and in the orchestra/choir's case, it was their gift of surprise and uplifting music -- people were drawn together. In Anna's case, it was those who (like Howie Mandel, one of the judges) had experienced -- either personally or through family members -- disabling mental illness, and who could see a bit of hope because of her story. With the flash mob, old memories (like the lyrics of "Ode to Joy") resurfaced when given the chance, and joy and wonder were kindled anew.

Both videos suggested to me that there is great power in sharing, both in pain and in joy. In both cases, sharing brought support. Anna certainly felt it after her performance, and the orchestra/choir clearly derived more joy in a public square (where there was support) than in a recording studio. Perhaps I ought to give into temptation more often -- not to watch videos, but to share joys/sorrows.



PS: If you would like to comment on this reflection, please surf on over to my blog "On a Bike and a Prayer" at