Two months after high school graduation, I packed up my life and stepped onto a plane, alone. It would be disingenuous to say that I went confidently, but I wasn’t frightened either. When walking towards the next right thing, although fear flutters at the fringes, our souls know that all shall be well.
My very first Mass at the University of Notre Dame was held in the basketball arena. The first words of welcome by Fr. Monk Molloy assured us that even though we barely knew one another now, we would become part of the Notre Dame family. The skeptic in me scoffed, but by the end of Mass, I wondered if it could be true.
This place felt like home that moment I stepped foot on campus at the age of 10. Could it also be that I would find family here? That day, my hope intertwined with faith as I looked around at my classmates and prayed desperately that this place which had called me home would truly become the home my heart desired.
Fr. Molloy was right. Twenty-five years post graduation, a group of women from my graduating class are forming a cross-country book club. Some of us were friends under Our Lady’s gaze, others only met in passing at dorm parties, but just as families tend to do, we have made the choice to reunite.
The spiritual part of me wants to give credit to God and to Mary for our desire to be with one another again, and in part, I believe this is true.
Being in a place where we daily ponder the purpose of life does, by its very nature, allow relationships to deepen. A focus on faith does that.
But Notre Dame is not the only place where deep relationships form. I’ve found pockets of people who care about life’s questions and see one another as Imago Dei everywhere I have lived.
Tell me. Where have you found your people, your family in faith?