Lisa Kochanowski
Freelance Writer
March 2, 2011 // Local

Bishop Rhoades celebrates 50th anniversary of Windmoor Study Center

Lisa Kochanowski
Freelance Writer

The Windmoor Study Center celebrated 50 years of service to students in the Notre Dame Community. The center also houses professionals belonging to Opus Dei.

By Lisa Kochanowski

SOUTH BEND — Over 50 people of varying ages turned out for the 50th anniversary celebration of Windmoor Study Center recently with a Mass of thanksgiving celebrated by Bishop Kevin C. Rhoades. Visitors gathered in the chapel, and for those unable to find a space in the chapel a meeting room was set up with seats and a video screen showing the Mass, followed by a dinner where Bishop Rhoades had the chance to meet with visitors.
“Windmoor has been very special to me and many of my friends since I started law school. We wish we could fit more of our neighbors and friends in the house for this very special event, and we hope they will all be here in spirit with us to celebrate this joyful occasion,” noted Windmoor resident Peter Ladwein, a 2009 graduate of Notre Dame Law School and clerk with the South Bend Federal Courthouse, about the invitation-only event.

The Windmoor Study Center is a home for men belonging to Opus Dei who are professionals in the community. It also offers residence to graduate and undergraduate students who seek a family style academic atmosphere, as space allows. The original house, located at 1121 Notre Dame Ave. in South Bend, dates back to 1925 and was modified in the 1960s. In addition to being a home for up to 16 residents, Windmoor provides educational and cultural activities to men in the Michiana area.

Windmoor opened its doors in the summer of 1960 after students from the University of Notre Dame led the effort to find a house close to campus where they could live and study in a family atmosphere. Dr. John Gueguen, a Notre Dame graduate student at the time and current professor emeritus of political science at Illinois State University, used his graduate student stipend as the down payment on the house. Donations from students, neighbors, family and friends provided the initial furnishings, linens and kitchen utensils for Windmoor, a tradition that continues today.

Residents who could not find space in the chapel at Windmoor Study Center sat in a general gathering room where a video screen was set up to show the Mass happening in the chapel.

During this homily, Bishop Rhoades remarked how this center has been such a blessing to the diocese and how honored he was to celebrate this special anniversary with members of the house, past and present.
“This is one of the historic centers of Opus Dei. Not only has it been a blessing to the world but also a blessing to South Bend,” Bishop Rhoades said.

“Of course, today our mind and hearts, raised in thanksgiving to God, are also filled with gratitude for your holy founder, St. Josemaria Escriva. An extraordinary priest, a true prophet of his time, a humble servant of the Lord, and he has so much to teach us today,” said Bishop Rhoades. “Pope John Paul II publicly recognized St. Josemaria as a precursor of the Second Vatican Council in this regard. His wisdom is not only the patrimony of Opus Dei, but of the whole Catholic Church.”

Bishop Rhoades spoke to the group about how he was struck by the very personal relationship St. Josemaria had with the Blessed Virgin Mary from a very young age and throughout his life. “When traveling, he often would visit shrines of Our Lady all over the world.”

He discussed the rejection that Christ felt when he preached the word and how St. Josemaria felt the same rejection when he too would preach the word. Bishop Rhoades challenged the crowd to overcome the rejection and continue to preach and live the Word of God.

“It’s our test as disciples to bring these words to our daily lives,” said Bishop Rhoades.

“All of us, like St. Josemaria, can learn from the Blessed Virgin Mary, the first person to contemplate the humanity of the Incarnate Word, the humanity of Divine Wisdom. In the tiny baby in the manger, with whom she had infinite and silent conversations, she recognized the human Face of God. The mysterious Wisdom of the Son was impressed on her mind and heart. So it was that she became the ‘seat of wisdom.’ May she lead all of us to true wisdom, to her Son. And may she intercede for you on this special anniversary. May God bless Windmoor Study Center today and for many years to come,” said Bishop Rhoades.

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