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Thank you, Fr. Kevin Grove

| Wednesday, March 17, 2021

I still have the note you sent me from September 2019 hanging on the wall next to my desk. I’m actually looking at it right now as I type this column, continuing to find inspiration in your words.

I really didn’t think too many people were going to read that first Inside Column I wrote as a sophomore. Much like this one, it was hastily done the day before it was due and probably didn’t reflect the most thoughtful piece I could have turned in. I was also just an associate sports editor at the time who thought he was well out of his league trying to write for Viewpoint. To be honest, I didn’t even know how much longer I was going to stay with The Observer. Sure, I liked to write, but the arrogant and naive kid that I was at the time didn’t think it was worth the time or the effort to keep going.

When I got your note in the mail telling me how much you enjoyed my column, it was the spark I needed to keep going. Here you were on sabbatical in another country, taking the time to read a lackluster column I finished at 2 a.m. and write me a note of congratulations. Sometimes as a writer, it’s easy to just go through the motions and type away in order to meet a deadline, not realizing that someone might just find something in your work to latch onto. Your note made me realize that my thoughts did matter to someone, and I had concrete evidence to show for it.

There are so many other examples of your kindness that I have witnessed during my time living in Dunne Hall. Things like stopping to chat with residents about their weeks before mass, leaving your door open at night to invite conversation, or expressing confidence in underclassmen to lead important, philosophical discussions on Tuesday nights all display that you care deeply about everyone you encounter. I think it’s evident at this point that I am not a columnist by trade, but I always try to speak from the heart. I know for a fact that you’re going to see this column because you go out of your way to tell me how much you enjoy reading the paper we produce every day. I just wanted to take this opportunity to say thank you to Fr. Kevin Grove for all that you have done to support me and our residence hall community.

Over my past few years as a Notre Dame student, I have come to realize that college students often face a great deal of uncertainty. It’s a point in life where, to an even greater extent than in the past, we start figuring things out on our own and ask many important questions along the way. I think it’s also safe to say that this whole global pandemic thing has exacerbated this sense of uncertainty for many. For me at least, this uncertainty has often led to a lack of confidence and self-worth, and there have been plenty of times throughout my college years where I have felt lost. The most important thing one can have in times like these is a person like Fr. Kevin, who, no matter the circumstances, will be there to provide positive reassurance. I encourage anyone reading this to go out and find that person, whether it be a parent, rector, roommate, sibling, priest-in-residence or professor. They will provide you with the strength to keep going when you feel like you can’t or don’t want to anymore. Use me as an example. Without the support of Fr. Kevin, I wouldn’t be writing this column today.

 

The views expressed in this column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.

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About Colin Capece

Colin is a senior at Notre Dame, majoring in political science and minoring in Journalism, Ethics and Democracy. He hails from the great state of New York and currently serves as an Assistant Managing Editor at The Observer for the 2021-2022 academic year. You can sometimes find him on Twitter at @ColinCapeceND

Contact Colin