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Gifts So Ordinary: A student pilgrimage to the worksite of a saint reveals the grace in the details of daily living

Author: Tara Hunt ’12

Published in Notre Dame Magazine, Summer 2015

We, a group of 19 Notre Dame students and three chaperones, have been chosen by Campus Ministry to visit a site that formed these modern saints and literally follow in their footsteps. We’re asked to do more than sightsee and work on volunteer projects while on the island; we’re also asked to be open to conversion and grace as we each discern our vocation and aspire to sainthood. It is a tall and ambiguous order.

And so, the Friday before the March spring break, we find ourselves on a bus, barreling toward O’Hare airport at 5 in the morning, groggy, nervous and uncertain of what’s to come. It seems most of us signed up for the same reason: to see a part of Hawaii we may never otherwise experience. But as for what we hope to take away, that part is less clear.

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