Groundhog Weekend. It is arguably the most uniquely University of Dallas event, what with its unfailing appeal to alumni, who return from around the country to their Irving roots.
As a junior, I had only experienced Groundhog in the field behind the New Dorm, since inclement weather had kept the festival out of the “woods” for the past two years. Though I had never been to these woods, word had it that they were far better for the Groundhog festivities than the field behind the New Hall, so much so that the school issued an appeal for students to pray a Novena for good weather.
Some people wondered at such a petition from the school to pray that Groundhog return to the woods. As it seems, the main pro – or con, depending on your viewpoint – of having Groundhog in these woods is the lack of regulation and control that goes along with this location. Some worried that praying this Novena is tantamount to asking God to allow more drunken revelry. And at a Catholic school, that definitely shouldn’t stand.
I want to offer a view to the contrary. First of all, if one truly holds the belief that UD students are at their core Bacchanalian beings, then one does not have faith that his or her peers can control themselves. In addition, these thoughts that the woods will lead to people being “more drunk” and possibly less safe fails to take into account the logistical ability of the organizers of Groundhog.
More importantly, however, praying a Novena in order to have Groundhog in the woods reminds me of a story I heard at Mass once. There was a wedding party, and all the wine was gone, so a certain woman asked her Son to help the people have a great time. Not only did he get more wine for the partiers, but he provided it in an abundance of quality and quantity.
I think this is an indication that at the core, Catholicism is a religion of celebrating life. So what’s the harm in praying to our Blessed Mother to have Groundhog in the woods? After all, she asked her Son to provide gallons more wine when the guests had already drunk freely.