Home is Saint Mary’s College
Kelly Burke | Wednesday, August 30, 2017
In an age of instant gratification and endless technological advancements, a phone call feels like dusting off an old typewriter. The clouds of earthy smoke obscured my vision as I scrolled through my contact list to find the receiver of my ancient ways. Fortunately, a thin “hello” traveled through the phone lines and unpacked its luggage in my ear. The delicate voice that inhabited my ear belonged to a girl who I thank God for everyday.
Her name is Ally and her hair is golden like a lion. Her soul speaks in mellifluous rhythms that shelter all those who feel lost. That’s exactly what she did the night I called her. Utilizing her calming nature, Ally revealed a new instruction on God’s path for me. Our conversations, lately, had been dominated by vacillating colleges and realizing that soon we wouldn’t be singing show tunes in our math classes together. As we discussed the heartbreak we would soon endure, Ally mentioned a college visit that she just returned from.
Ally vocalized a beautiful illustration of engraved trees, buildings adorned with character, lofty dorm ceilings, and wholesome hearts that walked the Avenue. As I listened to the enchantment escape from her heart-shaped lips, I envisioned a castle where a princess might wed her prince. The castle I imagined fit harmoniously with land that Ally depicted. Her musical words continued and she spoke of traveling to Rome, magnificent basilicas and Jesus’ image with arms spread like a dove ready to catch whatever comes his way.
A community of women, she said, uniquely reflecting the image and likeness of God; just follow the road along the Grotto at Notre Dame and you’ll get there. At these words, my mind scrambled in various directions. I had visited Notre Dame on two occasions: once on a camping trip to South Bend with my family and the other when I hopped in my friend’s mini van to visit her brother at school. However, Ally was the first person to unveil the mystery across the highway. Before our conversation, I only knew that Notre Dame holds a rich Catholic history and scholarly academic track. It never occurred to me that this community of believers could one day be feasible for me.
I collected my dismembered thoughts and realized the instruction I had just received. If I hadn’t been placed in the same small group with Ally on our Kairos retreat, if we hadn’t bonded and become best friends and if I hadn’t called her that one night, I would have never known of the place I call home. Home is Saint Mary’s College.
The views expressed in this column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.