Last night I snuck down to discover the secret of Notre Dame. Kind of a cool breeze off the lake; the voices of visiting families and friends, the songs, and laughter subsided as I got close; there were the candles, hundreds of them, with wax droppings to remind us of prayers of past generations; there many of you were, kneeling, standing, sitting on the ground; there was quiet, there was a welcome; there was light; there was peace; there was warmth; there was Notre Dame, Mary, our Lady.
There was Bethlehem, as I saw moms, dads and grandparents beaming over their babies of twenty-two years ago, now graduates; There was Nazareth, as families were united in prayers of thanksgiving; There was Cana, as students remembered miracles; There was Calvary, as one or two of you had tears in your eyes, perhaps recalling a past or present cross or crown of Thorns, made a bit more bearable by the one also called the Pieta. There was Pentecost, as this class whispered that favorite prayer of Father Hesburgh, united with Our Lady and the apostles in that Upper Room, Come, Holy Spirit!
There, I joined my prayers with yours, with hers, and entrusted her university, with her call, her mission, her Catholic identity, her excellence, yoked to the truth of the Gospel;
There I prayed for this class of 2013, their folks and families; (Click here to read full text)