Denise Azores-Gococo is a home-grown South Carolinian hailing from the great city of Greenville. She graduated from the University of Notre Dame in 2014 with degrees in Science Pre-Professional and Theology. During her much needed retreat year before entering the medical field, Denise is working at Heartland Farm
: a spiritual retreat center and organic farm in the heart of Kansas run by the Dominican Sisters of Peace. Her days are now spent tending to chickens, gardens, and lovely alpacas, getting lost during dirt-road runs, reading Wendell Berry, and trying to hear God’s voice in birdsong and the Kansas prairie wind.
Samuel Bellafiore is a seminarian for the Diocese of Albany, NY, starting his first year as an M.Div./S.T.B. candidate at Dunwoodie Seminary near New York City. He graduated from Notre Dame in 2015 with a Bachelor of Arts in Vocal Performance and Philosophy. As a lowly first year student he mostly does homework, but still gets some time to sing. He wants to find ways to articulate and communicate the Gospel to a new generation; he believes part of the way forward is rejecting easy polarization between liturgy and justice, beauty and the poor, truth and love.
Allison D’Ambrosia is a current senior at Saint Mary’s College in Notre Dame, IN. Only growing up a two blocks from the entrance of Notre Dame’s campus, Allison is frequently found studying in a booth in La Fortune Student Center reading theology books and often listening to pieces she will be singing with the Notre Dame Liturgical Choir at that upcoming Sunday’s 10am Mass. Running between campuses, classes, and rehearsals, Allison makes sure to find time to photograph for The Observer. However, during the 2014-2015 academic year, she has traded in snow and Starbucks for the rain rowing while studying at Blackfriars Hall at Oxford University in England. “Reading” theology, rowing, and singing at Oxford have proved to be very formative experiences as she learns the in-and-outs of British culture, and overcomes the (shocking) language barrier of “proper” English.
Molly Daily is a native of Central Illinois and a 2014 graduate of the University of Notre Dame with majors in Political Science & Spanish and a minor in Theology. She spent her first year upon graduation working in Chicago for the Office of the Illinois Governor through the Dunn Fellowship, having the rare opportunity of working for two different governors from two different political parties. She is now a Campus Ministry Intern through the Catholic Student Center at Washington University in St. Louis, where she divides her time between publicity & outreach on Wash U’s campus and the creation of a Catholic Campus Ministry presence on the campus of Webster University. Molly loves sleep, food, writing, and speaking. She has one older sister and one brother in law.
A native of the Diocese of Knoxville, Hope first left the mountains of East Tennessee to attend the University of Notre Dame. She graduated with a degree in Theology from Our Lady’s University this past May. Writing for Oblation proved to be one of Hope’s favorite parts of her senior year of college, and so she is grateful and excited to continue writing for Oblation this year. She is particularly interested in liturgy as primary theology, and enjoy reflecting upon ways that living the liturgy both feeds and interacts with catechesis, evangelization, and faith formation. And just for kicks, she enjoys reflecting on bridges between theology and culture (especially through literature and music). She’ll be exploring those facets of theology, liturgy, and formation in a new way through her work as a parish apprentice in Echo.
Meredith Holland is a recent graduate of the University of Notre Dame, having received a Bachelor of Arts in Economics and Theology in May 2014. She is currently a Master of Theological Studies candidate at the Boston College School of Theology and Ministry
, where she studies and serves as a graduate assistant. In addition to her interest in religion and literature, Meredith hopes to focus her studies on Catholic Higher Education, particularly considering institutional mission and ministry as well as student formation and vocational discernment.
Jon R. Jordan lives in Dallas, TX with his wife, Vivien, and their daughter, Zoë. He is the Dean of Students at Coram Deo Academy, where he also teaches various History, Theology, and Greek courses. He holds a Masters degree in Religion from Reformed Theological Seminary, writing his thesis on 2nd century Eucharistic interpretations of Malachi. His discovery of the beauty and formative nature of the liturgy was a major part of his own journey from various evangelical traditions into the Episcopal Church, where he is currently an aspirant to Holy Orders. His current interests include Anglican sacramental theology, the development of litanies for educational institutions, and the role of the Daily Office in the life of the church.
Michael Infantine is a junior at the University of Notre Dame, born and raised in San Diego, California. He majors in the Program of Liberal Studies and minors in Theology. When he’s not reading a book, he’s probably reading some different book, and when he’s not doing that, he’s likely spending time with friends. He is interested in stories, myth, religion and literature, and the ways that our human stories reflect and retell the stories of God’s grace in our creation and salvation. He is also interested in the pursuit of beauty, particularly in art, poetry, and liturgy.
Timothy J. Kenney is a proud native of Granger, IN. Since graduating from the University Notre Dame in the spring of 2014 with a Bachelor of Arts in Theology and History, Tim has since relocated with his wife Rylee to Boston, MA where he is pursuing a Master of Theological Studies at the Boston College School of Theology and Ministry. Focusing in Systematic Theology, he is primarily interested in the relationship between prayer and theology, the theological imagination of Christian culture, and the experience of grace and joy in everyday life.
Chris Labadie is a 2009 graduate of the University of Notre Dame with a degree in Theology, Philosophy, and a minor in Liturgical Music Ministry. He was a member of the Notre Dame Folk Choir and is a 4th Degree Knight of Columbus. He served for one year in Ireland with the inaugural season of the House of Brigid, co-founded by Assistant Director of the NDCL, Carolyn Pirtle. He then returned to ND for 2+ years of formation with the Congregation of Holy Cross. Chris is now a Master of Arts candidate at the Saint John’s School of Theology in Collegeville, MN
and serves as Director of Liturgy for Saint John’s University Campus Ministry.
Originally from the quiet suburbs of Minneapolis, Renée Roden is now a resident of New York City’s bustling East Harlem neighborhood. After receiving a Bachelor of Arts in Theatre and Theology from the University of Notre Dame in May 2014, she began work as an AmeriCorps volunteer at Cristo Rey New York High School. Renee has always been captivated by stories. She is particularly interested in the stories humans create in works of literature and art, and the story of salvation that we reenact with each liturgy we celebrate; and how those stories reveal the extraordinary beauty that lies within the ordinary events of daily life.
Laura Taylor, M.T.S. is a “Double Domer,” having received two degrees from the University of Notre Dame. She first graduated in 2012 with bachelor’s degrees in Honors Theology, Piano Performance and a minor in Liturgical Music Ministry, and graduated again in 2014 from the Master of Theological Studies program with a concentration in Liturgical Studies. She is currently serving a two-year commitment in Ireland with the House of Brigid
, an organization dedicated to reinvigorating the Catholic Church in Ireland through liturgical music ministry and catechesis, co-founded by Assistant Director of the NDCL, Carolyn Pirtle
Notre Dame Center for Liturgy, Institute for Church Life