December 21

Keo Pangan

The Notre Dame Alma Mater never loses its potency for junior Keo Pangan as he shares it from the football field to the Basilica to his dorm chapel.

“On a typical gameday weekend, I get to partake in Notre Dame’s great tradition through four means. … You might think I’d get tired of all the repetition, but I’ve seen how powerfully these five lines create horizontal and vertical connections. Horizontally, it connects alums, family, and friends of Our Lady from long ago and far away with those here and now. Vertically, it intimately connects us to God and Mary, our Mother, in heartfelt prayer.”

In this time of preparation and waiting, what traditions have drawn us closer to each other and God and, by extension, to the love of Christ?



  1. The 5 lines are clearly part of our tradition. Thank you Keo for nudging me to ponder the traditions that draw me closer to Our Divine Creator. The following words do stimulate: “what traditions have drawn us closer to each other and God?” ……and the God within us.

  2. Love thee Notre Dame! Blessed to be a member of this wonderful community. As a former employee and graduate of the MSA program I too proudly praise thee Notre Dame

  3. Keo, Thank you for sharing your sacred story and reminding me how powerfully the ND Alma Mater connects us with others here on earth and in Heaven above. Too often repetition can lead to the loss of potency, but I totally agree with you that the alma mater is an exception. When sung – in the Basilica, in a sports facility, or elsewhere – I am always left with a deep sense of connection to Mary, Jesus, and fellow ND supporters. Thank you for reminding me how precious this tradition really is. May you fully enjoy your Christmas break and return to campus in 2023 renewed and ready for another semester full of opportunities to enjoy ND’s alma mater and other meaningful university traditions and experiences.

  4. Though not a member of ND in any way, I was totally moved by this beautiful testimony and wished I were connected. It’s the same tearful pride I feel when I hear or sing our National anthem.

  5. Keo, thank you for sharing your beautiful story of our University’s inspiring alma mater. Thank you also for sharing your many musical talents. I only hoped that I might have heard the Liturgical Choir sing Our Lady’s song. That would have been a wonderful way to start my day.

  6. What better way to praise God than to sing our beautiful Alma Mater which proclaims our for His mother, Our Lady. Keo, you are a treasure with your musical abilities which you use so well when you play and sing our Alma Mater. Thanks for your wonderful share during this advent season.

  7. How fortunate those are who experience these ND traditions. God bless.
    Parent of ‘19 grad and former Band of the Fighting Irish member

  8. Thank You Keo for reminding me of and also making more real my vertical and horizontal connections everywhere in and around the Universe.

  9. Keo, thank you for your insight into this beautiful hymn to Notre Dame, Our Mother. One of the most moving times that I have sung the Alma Mater is at the conclusion of a funeral Mass for other ND alums. It always brings tears to my eyes at that moment. For all the times that we have asked Mary to intercede for us, I feel we are asking our Blessed Mother, this one last time, to welcome our recently deceased friend or relative who has loved Notre Dame throughout their life into God’s Kingdom. What a beautiful hymn that captures the very heart of our beloved Notre Dame.

  10. Keo,
    You have reached out to and connected with many of us grads, student, family, and those to whom our Alma Mater brings joy and happiness. We’ll done and keep that connection close in your heart.
    David Martin ‘68

    1. Hey #56 Merry Christmas.. there are sooo many great things about Notre Dame but the lasting friendships is near the top. God bless.
      Tom Feske ‘69 Trainer

  11. I first heard the Alma Mater in 1955 as a freshman. It had an emotional impact on me then, as it has ever since. I never hear it (yep, on my iPhone play list!) without “clouding up!”
    Love Thee, Notre Dame!

  12. Thank you, Keo! As a guest on your beautiful campus I have savored the sweetness of your Alma Mater. God love you. Merry Christmas

  13. Keo, thanks for an absolutely fantastic story. Your four occasions are such vivid, tangible and devotional examples of how God calls us to His community. Sure seems to me that you have a terrific start on becoming the person God intends you to be…Blessings and the Luck of the Irish!

  14. Keo, outside the other good things you are involved in, playing the ‘horizontal glockenspiele‘ in THE BAND is probably the best activity You have done to this point in your life. I played the glock there In the Marching band in the late 50s. Each fall, For the last 62 years, when I have gone to a game I try to catch a rehearsal and share a story or two with you terrific current musicians. Best of luck to you in your studies at Dillon Hall in UND.

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