In support of its mission, the Office pursues four goals:
Goal 1: Increase the capacity of the University’s leadership, faculty, and staff to steward and deepen Notre Dame’s Catholic and Holy Cross mission.
Notre Dame has committed itself to recruiting and hiring faculty and staff who have, "a respect for the objectives of Notre Dame and a willingness to enter into the conversation that gives it life and character" (University Mission Statement). The Office of Mission Engagement and Church Affairs works across the University in order to strengthen faculty and staff understanding of and appreciation for Notre Dame’s Catholic and Holy Cross mission, seeking to ensure that all members of our community feel empowered to contribute to the University’s mission.
Strategy 1.1: Deepen faculty and staff appreciation and experience of Notre Dame’s Catholic and Holy Cross mission.
Strategy 1.2: Ensure that University decision-making and initiatives are informed by Notre Dame’s Catholic and Holy Cross character.
Strategy 1.3: Maintain a strong, mutually supportive relationship with the Congregation of Holy Cross so that Notre Dame continues to benefit from the skills, dedication, and charism of its founding religious community.
Goal 2: Enhance Notre Dame’s contributions to the Church by forging strategic partnerships which support teaching, research, and service.
Father Hesburgh famously described Notre Dame as, "a place where the Church does its thinking." Because we are blessed with world-class scholars and students, Notre Dame has a remarkable opportunity and responsibility to develop its intellectual resources in ways that serve the world and the Church. Indeed, the University’s relationship with the array of Church-based entities around the globe provides opportunities to enhance the research of our faculty and the learning opportunities for our students. The Office of Mission Engagement and Church Affairs cultivates partnerships between Notre Dame and Church leaders and entities which align to our faculty’s teaching, research, and service commitments. As a generator of the University’s Church-oriented social capital, OMECA consistently seeks to build relationships with relevant external partners while being attentive to the capacities and needs of both the Church and our faculty and students.
Strategy 2.1: Strengthen and proactively leverage channels of communication between Notre Dame and leading Catholic bishops, officials, and organizations.
Strategy 2.2: Identify, cultivate, and steward strategic partnerships between Notre Dame faculty and Catholic leaders and entities.
Goal 3: Amplify Notre Dame’s contributions to the Church’s mission to pass on the Catholic faith.
The heart of Notre Dame’s work is the dialogue between faith and reason and the education of young people. Consequently, the University is well positioned to assist the Church in the work of education of the faithful and evangelization of all. Recognizing that there are no easy answers, Notre Dame nonetheless commits itself to assisting in this work. The Office of Mission Engagement and Church Affairs will help lead this University commitment to leverage its intellectual resources to address practical and theoretical questions about passing on the faith.
Strategy 3.1: Provide resources for evangelizing the millennial generation through Grotto Network.
Strategy 3.2: Build the Notre Dame – Newman Center for Faith and Reason in Dublin, Ireland, and in so doing demonstrate how the Church can evangelize working professionals in a secularized, urban environment.
Goal 4: Advance ecumenical and interfaith understanding and cooperation at Notre Dame and around the world.
Since the Second Vatican Council and the promulgation of ground-breaking documents on ecumenism (Unitatis Redintegratio) and interfaith understanding (Nostra Aetate), Notre Dame joins with the Church in promoting unity among Christian communities and understanding among all faith communities. This concern is present in a special way at Notre Dame due to our long-standing commitment to the Tantur Ecumenical Institute, established at the request of Pope Paul VI, and to our dedication to integrating into our academic endeavors the study of religion across the disciplines. The Office of Mission Engagement and Church Affairs, along with many partners, aspires to make Notre Dame a stronger and more fruitful Catholic university by deepening our institutional commitment to ecumenical and inter-religious understanding, dialogue, learning, cooperation, and welcome.
Strategy 4.1: Strengthen the Tantur Ecumenical Institute’s scholarly and educational contributions to Christian unity and to the University of Notre Dame’s academic mission.
Strategy 4.2: Support ecumenical and interfaith research, teaching, and administrative initiatives at Notre Dame.