"Far from complaining of these trials, we must learn to love them, for if we bear them as we should, they are worth their weight in gold. These nails and thorns will be changed later into the many precious stones which will make up the crown of glory reserved for those who have been faithful to the duties of their vocation and have worn lovingly, even to the end, their Savior’s crown of thorns." – Blessed Basil Moreau
For seven years, I spent the better part of my summers at a local ballpark watching my son and his friends play t-ball. During my time on the bleachers, I cherished the conversations I shared with fellow parents, which often centered on the challenges we faced and the trials of raising spirited kids. Over time, our conversations evolved, with the one constant always being our hopes and dreams for them as adults.
I recently had the opportunity to host several of my son’s former teammates at our house and I marveled at how grown-up they all were. The next day, as I responded to emails from students, I realized the adage, “parenting is the hardest job you will ever love” is not only an accurate description for my role as a mother, but also equally applicable to my calling as a program director in the Family Resource Center.
Like so many of my colleagues in Student Affairs, I am blessed to work with students as a vocation. Similar to parenting, our work in the formation of our students has brought us many trials and tribulations and a great deal of hope too.
At Notre Dame, April 1 is commonly known as officer transition day. It’s a bittersweet day for those embedded within student leadership — be it as a rector, club advisor, or campus minister. As exciting as it is to welcome new leaders, we often find it tough to say goodbye to the men and women who have just begun to flourish. As educators in the faith, we know and believe in a student’s potential and work tirelessly and lovingly to teach our students to see those gifts in themselves.
Some “cherubs,” as I affectingly call them, who begin the year as diamonds in the rough, end up true gems by the end of their terms. Still, there are times when we are faced with “that student” who challenges us in ways we never thought possible and forces us to sometimes utter Ave Crux Spes Unica under our breath.
Regardless of the student though, our hopes and dreams remain unwavering as we strive to educate both their minds and hearts. The foundation of our drive to work in the formation of college students originates with the Congregation of Holy Cross, and the charism that we are called to have hope to bring.
As we near the next transition, may we continue to remember, “(we) must learn to love them, for if we bear them as we should, they are worth their weight in gold.”
- Peggy Hnatusko, Program Director, Family Resource Center