April 19, 2017

Happy Easter!  The Lord is truly risen!  Let us rejoice and be glad!

I am happy that we are back together after our Easter weekend.  This semester is quickly coming to an end which is a bittersweet time for us.  It is not that the seniors are graduating, but all of us will be leaving either at the end of finals or for life after Notre Dame. I know I will be missing everyone in Ryan.

I have been asking many of you to reflect on some of the significant experiences you have have had during this year.  There have been amazing things that people have talked about.  They include study abroad, service trips, making friends in Ryan and outside Ryan, joining clubs and discovering some of your values.  These things as well as many more have helped all of you grow in believing in yourselves and growing to love others. It is most important to spend quality time with people who are special and talk about some of the things that have been significant in your life.

What are you grateful for as you think about this year?  Think about the significant people who inspired or encouraged you this year.  Have you ever told them thank you for what they have done for you?  Let me tell you how much a note or letter of thanking someone can make you feel good about yourself. There is a scholarship in the name of my parents that is given to a student every year.  I received a letter a couple of weeks ago from a student who wanted to thank my family for the scholarship.  I have received many letters from students who were recipients, but this meant more because I know the person.  I guarantee you that a letter that thanks your parents, guardians, teachers, mentors, coaches or friends will make them feel good and you as well.

Write a letter to yourself in which you reflect on some of the things you have learned about yourself.  How has this year helped you to learn to love, grow up or gain confidence in yourself?  It is something that is important for everyone to learn while at Notre Dame because your life will find meaning when you feel the strength and have the confidence to face the ups and downs of life.  Write about the challenges you have faced this year and how you learned and grew from them.

The three things I am suggesting you do as this year comes to a close is to spend quality time with friends, write letters of gratitude to significant people in your life and write a letter to yourself in which you reflect on what you have learned about yourself during this year.  This is something you can keep and refer to every year.  Your life is a gift that is a blessing for all of us.

I am praying for you!

Love you!

FJ

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