Remember how in my last post I said I’d tell you more about the new volunteers for the House of Brigid? Well, I lied. Because they’re going to tell you about themselves instead! Introducing, in their own words, Teach Bhríde Season V: Mary Atwood, Joy Viceroy, Cameron Cortens, and Ben Zelmer!
Mary Atwood hails from the small town of Woodstock, Connecticut, but has spent the past five years at Notre Dame. In 2012, she graduated with a degree in Theology and a minor in Peace Studies, and for the past year she has worked as the Campus Ministry music intern (like Teach Bhríde IV’s Emily Puscas and Teach Bhríde II & III’s Jessica Mannen before her)! Mary has worked with such diverse musical groups as the Notre Dame Folk Choir, the parish choirs of San Juan del Hospital in Valencia, Spain, and San Antonio Abad in Cusco, Peru, the ND Vision band, a Christian a Capella group, and as a four-year member and two-year director of Coro Primavera de Nuestra Señora, Notre Dame’s Spanish choir. She is looking forward to returning to the rich Irish musical tradition that her mother and grandmother made a cherished part of her childhood.
Joy Viceroy will graduate from Saint Mary’s College this May with B.A.’s in Music and Theatre, and a minor in French. She has served as a Pastoral Music Leader for the last two years through her position as Campus Ministry Intern, and is also a proud four-year member of the internationally acclaimed Women’s Choir. Originally from the suburbs of Cleveland, Ohio, her liturgical music experience began at the age of nine, where she was a founding member of the music ministry at St. Bartholomew’s Church. Her extensive work with children has ranged from tutoring in Title I schools to teaching for Vacation Bible School programs. Joy spent a total immersion semester in Dijon, France during the spring of 2012, and is absolutely thrilled to be returning to Europe for what is sure to be a reflective time full of spiritual growth.
My name is Cameron Cortens and I come from the proud city of Boise, Idaho. I’m currently finishing up a bachelor’s degree in philosophy and theology at the University of Notre Dame, although the finishing of a degree by no means marks an end to my time spent basking in either of these studies; I plan to continue to seek to integrate both modes of thinking with each other and with my practical life, in order to deepen my faith and enrich my ability to articulate it to others. I am very passionate about music, and love singing, songwriting, and playing piano and guitar. Theatre is another favorite pastime from which I derive great pleasure, both as a spectator and as a performer. I’m terribly excited and tremendously grateful to God for the opportunity to join the volunteer group at the House of Brigid this coming fall, and hope to meet whatever joys, challenges, and surprises arise during my time there with an open heart ready to give and receive in the spirit of Christ’s charity.
Hello! My name is Ben Zelmer, and I am thrilled to have the opportunity to serve with the House of Brigid next year. I am scheduled to graduate from the University of Notre Dame this May with a degree in American Studies, and I am originally from Granger, Indiana, not too far from the Notre Dame campus. During my time at Notre Dame, I was a resident of Stanford Hall and a member of the Notre Dame marching, concert, and jazz bands. The roles of music and faith in my life have grown and evolved tremendously through my studies and activities, and I am excited to help foster growth in love of music and faith as a part of the House of Brigid. I’m looking forward to developing many incredible relationships and sharing many wonderful experiences with the Wexford community next year!
So, welcome to the Teach Bhríde family, guys! Past, present, and future volunteers, all residents of 206 Cluain Dara, now make a group of sixteen. And this group is a community, whether we’ve lived together or not. Jean Vanier says, “The difference between community and a group of friends is that in community we verbalize our mutual belonging and bonding. We announce the goals and the spirit that unites us.” We also pray for each other. Right now, our community is praying for the Masterton family as we mourn the loss of Dan’s mother, Karen. Dan was part of Teach Bhríde Season III. As a church musician, I find myself coming back to hymn lyrics when I’m trying to express something difficult. In the last few heavy days I have been thinking of “The Servant Song.” I’ll leave you with the last two verses of that song, as a prayer for Karen Kiel Masterton and her family.
I will weep when you are weeping,
When you laugh, I’ll laugh with you.
I will share your joy and sorrow.
‘Til we’ve seen this journey through.
When we sing to God in heaven,
We shall find such harmony,
Born of all we’ve known together
Of Christ’s love and agony.