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New beginning for a new year

Filippo Gianferrari, Brandon Cook, Jack Greaney, Nancy Paul | Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Arriving at the Opening Mass for the year, everybody immersed in his or her thoughts about the new semester, we were struck by the life of Blessed André Besset who will be canonized this coming October. As Fr. Jenkins brought to our attention, Blessed André was a very simple man who gave his entire life to Christ — a poor porter who simply opened the doors of his home, his heart and his life to welcome people and to help them draw closer to the presence of Christ. But what more does this ask of us? The crucial implication of Blessed André’s life is that everyone’s destiny is to become a saint, which means nothing other than the complete fulfillment of our humanity. And this shakes the bedrock of our mentality. This is because the experience of the saints reveals to us that the answer to the ultimate human question lies not in what we do (we may simply open and close doors), but in the discovery of a reality that is more concrete than the visible one and that sustains it.

This reality is the answer to all the desires that a new beginning always carries with itself — happiness, fulfillment, success, the joy of new discoveries, etc. All the saints testify that with Christ we can say “You” to this mysterious reality. And this, in fact, is the reason why Notre Dame can be a family. Not simply because it is a tradition, but because the meaning of our life has become something — a someone — to whom we can say “You.” How can we stay together even in the face of human limitations, illness, and death? Not simply because this is ND, but because we have met the meaning of everything. Because of Christ, who, through the faces of our friends in the Church, says to us: your life, everything (everything!) has a positive meaning.

We want to write this brief note in order to start our year recognizing this gift, at the heart of which is a new provocation: “For me, to live is Christ.” Now we cannot open our books anymore without wishing that every line carries the possibility of meeting this Presence of Christ who is the real answer to what our hearts desire. We are friends who want to live everything, especially our university life, helping each other to recognize that “to live is Christ.” Everyone who has this desire is our friend.

Filippo Gianferrari

graduate student

off campus

Brandon Cook

graduate student

off campus

Jack Greaney

sophomore

St. Edward’s Hall

Nancy Paul

junior

off campus

Aug. 29