April 12, 2017

We are in the midst of many different things as we celebrate the very special days of Holy Thursday, Good Friday, Holy Saturday and Easter Sunday.  These are days that enable us as the Church to grow in our faith and our invitation to love God and our neighbor as ourselves.  I pray that everyone who is travelling has a safe journey.

Today is a special day for Theresa Finneran who is know as T-Finny and who is one of the most generous, selfless and loving of the many people I have known at Notre Dame.  She is helpful to anyone who needs help and goes out of her way for others.  T-Finny is celebrating her birthday and I invite everyone to wish her well. Shower her with messages and cards of love because she deserves it.  We have been blessed to have her living in Ryan.  Thank you Kay and Dan Finneran for bringing her into the world and teaching her how to love.

Today is one of the most important days in my life as this is the anniversary of my ordination as a priest 48 years ago.  It is hard to believe that it was that long ago.  Mary Carroll, Jenny Moore and MK Williams asked me what have been some of the significant moments of my life. That question is one that I think about often.  I come back to seeing that my vocation has been a call to minister and share life with young adults who are people between the age of 18 and 35.  Let me explain why this matters so much and how I have discovered joy. It is though all of you.

I can remember when I was a young priest that I saw the importance of serving people during college and the years after.  It is during this time of life that most people learn important lessons about life which lead people to grow in love of God and others. I love Notre Dame which calls me to work for ACE and live in Ryan Hall.  You are among the most special blessings of my life and I have to say thank you for letting me share life with you.

I met with some of the transfers last night.  We are blessed that we have so many who live in Ryan and they remind us how special this place is.  It is easy to take things for granted and there may be times when you wonder about all of the work that you have.  I suggest when you feel that way to take a walk, look at the beauty of campus and look at the golden dome.  It is amazing to look at and think about the fact that you have been given the opportunity to be here with great people.  I know that the friends that you make here will be your friends for life and you will continue to support each other in good times and challenging times.  It is good to appreciate what you have and thank God for it.

Your lives give my life as a priest meaning and I thank God for all of you.  You are special and I celebrate today with all of you in mind.  I am praying for you.

Happy Easter!  May the risen Lord bless you every day.

Love you!

FJ

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