Bread of Life Dinners


Every semester since Spring 2009, the de Nicola Center has hosted the Bread of Life dinner discussions. The event is designed to provide an opportunity for Notre Dame undergraduates and faculty to meet, reflect on, and discuss their attitudes toward beginning-of-life issues. Bread of Life is especially meant to attract students who might not already be strongly committed to the Church’s teachings on these issues but who are open to exploring them. 

The format for the evening is a brief fifteen-minute reflection offered by a professor or senior university administrator on a topic related to beginning-of-life ethical issues. Following the reflection, professors, university staff, and students discuss the issue together and reflect on their own attitudes toward life issues over dinner. All participants receive a copy of Evangelium Vitae.

Past Bread of Life reflections include:

  • Fall 2018: "Fighting for Life in the Digital Age: Media, Literacy, and the New Evangelization," Ernest Morrell, Coyle Professor of Literacy Education and Director of the Center for Literacy Education
  • Spring 2018: "Transforming the Echo Chamber," Sarah Yaklic, Director, Grotto Network
  • Fall 2017: "Sacraments of Life: Encountering God at the Limits of Life, Death, and Health," Rev. Kevin Grove, C.S.C., Assistant Professor of Theology and Priest in Residence, Dunne Hall
  • Spring 2016: "Truth, Freedom, and the Gospel of Life," Rev. William R. Dailey, C.S.C., Thomas More Fellow, Center for Ethics and Culture; lecturer, Notre Dame Law School
  • Fall 2015: "Radical Hospitality in a Throw-Away Culture," Jess Keating, director of the Office of Human Dignity and Life Initiatives
  • Spring 2015: "Promoting a Culture of Life at Notre Dame," Erin Hoffmann Harding, vice president for student affairs at the University of Notre Dame
  • Fall 2014: "Protecting the Fragility of Life," Rev. Lou DelFra, CSC, director for spiritual life at Alliance for Catholic Education
  • Spring 2014: “Pro-Life Movement and the Decision to Become Catholic,” Brett Perkins, campus minister, assistant director of Sacramental Preparation
  • Fall 2013: “Life Issues and Catholic Identity,” Rev. William Lies, C.S.C., vice-president for Mission Engagement
  • Spring 2013: “Muslim and Catholic Views on the Beginning of Life,” Gabriel Reynolds, Notre Dame theology professor
  • Fall 2012: “Life Issues in the Public Square,” Patrick Deneen, Notre Dame political science professor
  • Spring 2012: “Life and Suffering,” Peter Kilpatrick, dean of the College of Engineering
  • Fall 2011: “Prenatal Diagnosis: Embracing and Supporting a Culture of Life,” Dr. Mary O’Callaghan
  • Spring 2011: “Ethics, Culture, and Life at Notre Dame: A View from the (True) Center,” Michael Baxter, DePaul University
  • Fall 2010: “An Exchange of Gifts: Celebrating Adoption in the Culture of Life,” Elizabeth Kirk, Human Life Fund committee member
  • Spring 2010: “The Abortion Paradox: Why Do Human Rights and Social Justice Movements Forget the Unborn?” Dan Philpott, Notre Dame political science professor, Human Life Fund committee member
  • Fall 2009: “Abortion and Universal Human Rights,” Paolo Carozza, Notre Dame law professor
  • Spring 2009: “Abortion and Social Justice,” Carter Snead, director of the de Nicola Center for Ethics and Culture