Notre Dame community remembers Travis McElmurry
Lucas Masin-Moyer | Thursday, March 23, 2017
Students, faculty and administrators came together Wednesday to remember Travis McElmurry, a first-year law student who died March 12.
University President Fr. John Jenkins presided over a memorial Mass held in the Basilica of the Sacred Heart, during which Fr. Pat Reidy delivered the homily and talked about the pain losing a loved one often brings.
“It’s a fearful thing, to love something death can touch,” he said. “We fear to risk the pain, the sorrow. Of course, if we only love a little, we can only a little … [but] we dare to live with our whole hearts, our whole souls.”
This grief, Reidy said, is often indicative of how much a person meant to us on earth.
“When someone we know dies, we find out how much we really loved them — the more we hurt, the more we loved,” he said. “That hurt stays with us forever, it helps us to remember the person we so deeply loved and it reminds us that the person we loved will never forget us.”
One must remember this love, Reidy said, when remembering McElmurry.
“We bring Travis to the Lord tonight through our love and prayers,” he said.
Through this love, Reidy said McElmurry could truly be at peace.
“Travis McElmurry rests with God tonight,” Reidy said. “He rests from the problems, the doubts, the insecurities and fear, he rests from all the worries in his heart, he rests from all the brokenness of this world.”
Citing a reading from the Gospel of Mark read at the service, Reidy talked about how it is necessary to remain open to healing for the process to take place.
“[Those who sought Jesus] only half expected that healing was possible, as if their condition of brokenness was contingent on no one else seeing,” he said. “That’s the thing about darkness in the gospels — it’s always hiding somewhere.”
After the memorial Mass, the Eck School of Law held a reception in Eck Commons to honor McElmurry’s memory.
One of McElmurry’s professors, associate professor of law Bruce Huber, shared a reflection at this reception.
“I join all of you tonight in mourning the loss of our peer, our student [and] our brother, Travis,” he said. “… With our brother Travis, many of us had not yet gotten to know [him] well and had not yet experienced the joy of community with him, yet we still bear the burden of grief [and] certainly of dismay.”
Huber said the strength of the Notre Dame community would help it endure the loss of a community member.
“Communities suffer. It is as though, by sharing our lives with so many others we gain an enormous blessing, and yet simultaneously render ourselves that much more vulnerable to pain and to grief,” he said. “… It is often said, and for a very good reason, that one of the enduring hallmarks of Notre Dame is the strength of the community that exists here. The community brings us great good.”