Sharing Joy

Author: Margaret Morgan

"What a monstrous inconsistency it would be if, all of us being children of the same Father, we were to live together as if we were strangers; if, all of us being sisters and brothers of the same Son of God, we were not united by such a strong and delightful bond; if, all of us wanting to be animated by the same Holy Spirit, we were to surface contrary desires and affections." – Blessed Basil Moreau

I had the privilege last week of attending the end of year Residential Life Mass and celebration. Like many other departments across campus this time of year, Residential Life sets time aside to pray together and share a meal as we celebrate the end of another academic year and honor all those who are moving onto their next adventure. This year, we had the opportunity to celebrate Fr. George Rozum, C.S.C., rector of Alumni Hall who, after 42 years of service to Residential Life, is moving on from his legendary role. This year, as a tribute to Fr. George, we invited members of the unit to share stories and memories of him from the last four decades. It was quite a night – heart-warming, genuine, and hysterical. At one point in the evening, I scanned the room and realized everyone was laughing so hard they had tears in their eyes. It was a beautiful moment. A moment of relaxation and joy, and a time of rest in laughter that was nothing short of pure delight: delight in one another, in the man we were honoring, and in the shared work of caring for our students.

As I read Fr. Moreau’s words on family and a common mission, the image of a room filled with laughter comes to mind. His words most strike me as a call to see one another not as strangers but as family, to not only work alongside one another but to respond to his challenge that we are to be united in a strong and delightful bond, in short, to name joy in our work and in one another.

We talk often about the importance of our work in Student Affairs, about the long-lasting impact and the privilege of sharing in the challenges and the struggles of our student’s lives as we walk with them through grief, discernment, conflict, and so much more. I am constantly in awe of the colleagues I work alongside in this division who work hard, who work long hours, and who do so with a selflessness and a generosity that inspires me every day. This time of year, with graduation now behind us and celebrations happening throughout campus, I am reminded not only of the long hours but most importantly of the joy that is found in this work of sharing life with our students and the importance of sharing that joy with my colleagues.

To be sustained in this mission, I have learned to name the ways that my spirit is renewed when I see a group of students playing leapfrog across North Quad, enjoying the sunshine, or coming together after a leadership banquet and celebrating a year of hard work. I hear Fr. Moreau’s call to rest in that delight and to share that joy with others. I hear his words as insight into how we cultivate family on this campus and with one another, and I’m grateful for the incredible people who share their stories—from the ridiculous to the profound—and I hear Fr. Moreau calling them all sacred. As this academic year comes to a close, I’m hopeful we can all find time to collect the joys and to steal moments to linger with one another in the successes, the challenges, and the absurd that filled our days, and to live more deeply in the “strong and delightful bond” that fuels us all in this crucial mission.

- Margaret Morgan, Director of Residential Life: Residential Education