Notre Dame Marks Basilica’s 125th Anniversary


Now, the Basilica of the Sacred Heart celebrates the 125th anniversary of its consecration with a Mass for the general public, followed by a public reception in the rotunda of the Main Building, according to the Rev. Peter Rocca, who serves as the Basilica rector.

Rocca oversees the liturgical planning for services at the Basilica. He’s been in the position since 1997.

“It’s such an honor and a privilege to be part of this place that’s so pivotal,” Rocca told the South Bend Tribune.

“I love being rector here. I love all of the people who help in the Basilica, all of the students who sing in the choirs — I’ve been spoiled by it, because of the quality of the music and preaching. It’s just very inspirational, a high quality of liturgical celebration.”

Rocca walked a guest through the Basilica, highlighting parts of its history while standing beneath the large stained-glass windows.

“This was designated a basilica because of the historical significance,” Rocca explained. “It’s the oldest church for the Congregation of Holy Cross in North America. It’s from this church that hundreds upon hundreds of priests have been ordained, that seminarians and brothers have professed their vows.”

John Zack is the university sacristan, meaning he’s charged with the physical upkeep of the campus’ chapels, including the Basilica.

He served as assistant sacristan for 16 years before becoming head sacristan almost 10 years ago, he said.

Favorite part of the job? He’s got two.

“I like getting to meet people from all over the world, and I can honestly say that no two days are alike,” he said.

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Posted by on Sep 3rd, 2013 and filed under News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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