By Kathleen Gilbert

NOTRE DAME, Indiana, April 6, 2009 (LifeSiteNews.com) - Yesterday, Palm Sunday, 400 students, faculty and others participated in a prayer rally at the University of Notre Dame to end the scandal of honoring President Obama at commencement. 
 
The University of Notre Dame student-formed coalition, Notre Dame Response, announced their plans last Tuesday for the first public demonstration in front of the famous “golden dome” Main Building on campus to take place on Palm Sunday.  Events in the prayer rally included an invocation, speeches, a Rosary, and a procession with flowers to the Grotto of Our Lady of Lourdes. 

Reports say about 400 people were in attendance, many of whom traveled from out of state, including visitors from Kentucky, Michigan, and Illinois.
 
Attorney Harold Cassidy was the rally’s keynote speaker, who addressed the importance of the pro-life movement.
 
Notre Dame philosophy professor Alfred Freddoso also spoke at the prayer rally, outlining Obama’s staunchly anti-life record. 

"When it comes to issues that bear upon the protection of innocent human live at its earliest stages ... there just is no bad action on the part of President Obama that was going to count as ‘all THAT bad [to the Notre Dame administration]," said Freddoso.

Calling to mind the example of suffering set by Our Lady of Sorrows and the founder of Notre Dame, Father Edward Sorin, C.S.C., Freddoso concluded: 
“May these examples inspire us all to re-dedicate ourselves to the proposition that Catholic universities have the most to offer our culture when they are not afraid to be distinctive, when they do not accept the facile assumption that intellectual excellence and fidelity to Christ need to be balanced off against one another, when they do not value worldly glory and prestige more than the truth that sets us free.”
 
It was announced at the rally that ND Response is leading a 40-day Rosary campaign for “the conversion of President Obama’s heart,” beginning this Wednesday, April 8, exactly 40 days before commencement.  The students aim to have one million Rosaries prayed before then. 

Last week, The Cardinal Newman Society (CNS) urged its more than 20,000 members and the nearly quarter million supporters of the petition at NotreDameScandal.com to join the students in prayerful solidarity by offering the Holy Rosary.
 
“Prayer is our most valuable means for the renewal of Catholic higher education,” said Patrick J. Reilly, CNS president.  “It is our hope that the witness of these faithful students will inspire the Notre Dame administration to reaffirm its commitment to its Catholic identity and the fundamental importance of being a public witness for life.”

The Cardinal Newman Society is encouraging people to log their rosary campaign prayers online at http://www.NDResponse.com in addition to signing the petition at http://wwww.NotreDameScandal.com.

See related LifeSiteNews.com coverage:

Notre Dame’s Bishop Will Not Attend Obama-Honoring Graduation, Criticizes University’s Decision
http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2009/mar/09032408.html

Notre Dame Faces Groundswell of Outrage after Announcing Plan to Honor Obama
http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2009/mar/09032312.html

Notre Dame President: School "Honored" by Obama’s Acceptance to Speak and Receive Honorary Degree
http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2009/mar/09032306.html

Catholic Notre Dame University to Give Obama Honorary Degree on May 17, Against USCCB Policy
http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2009/mar/09032005.html