Friday, August 24, 2012

Destination Notre Dame {Day 6: Opening Mass and Farewell Hugs}

Opening Mass in Purcell Pavilion at Notre Dame for students and families at the close of new student orientation.
Knowing that only hours remained before our final farewell, we thoroughly enjoyed each and every moment with Zachary on Sunday.  Walking across campus together to the Purcell Pavilion after a brief wait in the 3rd floor study hall while he showered, we heard snippets of the events from the previous evening.  Upon entering the pavilion, the students were ushered to the main floor seating for the opening Mass, while the families were directed to the upper seats.   I asked the guys to be on the lookout to find 5 seats together as we climbed up into the stands, and Tim corrected me, "4."
Box lunch on the lawn, following the opening Mass at Notre Dame for the Class of 2016
Rev. J. King’s homily brilliantly illuminated the Gospel reading (John 6: 51-58).  He reminded us that so many thing Jesus taught didn’t seem to make sense, particularly the command to eat His flesh and drink His blood to have eternal life.  So many walked away at these words, these instructions of Jesus.  Fr. King encouraged us, “Dare to look upon Jesus as the ultimate answer to all your needs…for He has all the answers.” 
Assisted at the book store, Zachary locates $700 worth of  text books for his first semester at ND.
A gourmet box lunch picnic followed the opening Mass, and an errand to purchase Zachary’s first semester books allowed another hour together on campus.  Navigating the maze of shelves to find each course’s required purchases took a little doing, but the courteous staff made the job enjoyable. 
Dad, Firstborn Son, Mom
Leaving time upon us, we made one last visit to Zachary’s dorm room, inhabited with several new friends enjoying his roommate’s game system.  To allow for a few moments alone as a family, we asked Zachary to walk us to our van, which he willingly obliged.  Gathering together for a final prayer, we exchanged hugs and bid our boy farewell with well wishes for his freshman year.
Joseph, Tim, Zachary, Bridget and Peter
Further reflections on saying farewell to Zachary here.

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