Honoring Fr. Ted
Gabriela Leskur | Thursday, March 5, 2015
My freshman year at Notre Dame, I had the honor to participate in President Emeritus Fr. Malloy’s freshman seminar. In that class, we read Fr. Ted’s “God, Country, and Notre Dame” and had the opportunity to meet with Fr. Ted one afternoon. I have never been as proud to be a Notre Dame student as when I spoke with the man who made this education possible for me. And I have never been as proud to be Viewpoint Editor as when we covered Fr. Ted’s life and death this past week.
I knew the day would come when I would no longer have the opportunity to visit Fr. Ted or read to him. I just didn’t realize how soon. Whispers flew across the hallway last Thursday night, claiming that Fr. Ted had died. As Thursday night gave way to Friday morning, these reports were confirmed.
While my first stop was to the Grotto, my second stop was to the basement of South Dining Hall, where The Observer has its offices.
For the next three days, The Observer staff members would spend most of their time in that office, myself included, surrounded by individuals who we had come to know and love over our time at Notre Dame. But we weren’t simply there for each other, we were there for Fr. Ted.
In preparation for Monday’s special issue, we spoke with men and women across the United States and the world who had been touched by the compassion, drive, humor and heart of Fr. Ted. Letters poured in, recalling memories of his love for cigars, Land O’Lakes, justice, peace and his students.
As I pass on the position of Viewpoint Editor, I do so in a week where I have never been more proud of The Observer, the Viewpoint section, and the University of Notre Dame. Though Fr. Ted has left this Earth, he most certainly has not left our hearts.
Though future Notre Dame students will not be able to know Fr. Ted as we do, let us strive to have them know the unending love he showed to us by loving and respecting each other. We can keep his memory alive by rooting ourselves in the fight for peace through justice and the fight for love through understanding. For this man who gave so much to so many, it is the least we can do to honor his memory in this way.
The views expressed in this column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.