Paul - Capelli





Meeting Notre Dame

My first semester has been fast and full here at Notre Dame. Four things that I have especially encountered are beauty, great challenge, the image of God, and sincere charity.

Part 1: “Eye has not seen, ear has not heard”

What glorious beauty! Experience His resplendent Creation in the natural environment: from the swans and ducks on St. Mary’s Lake—tending to their feathers, swimming slowly, and sleeping on the coast within themselves—to the familiar stars in the night sky. The benches at the Grotto, as the seasons permitted, were flanked by floral bounty—and wasn’t it nourishing? Finally, I remember dramatic fall sunsets; turn, walk, and see how the Basilica of the Sacred Heart basks in the red-orange rays.
My first semester has been beautiful. As a result, my sense of wonder and gratitude have received much cultivation.

Part 2: Ave Crux

Moments during this first semester have been challenging—on occasion to the point of sorrow. I am still struck by how much my professors and choir director attentively expected of me: very, very much! So many people saw such real potential in me and were willing to call me to realize it. They saw more in me than I did. In a sense, I felt deeply trusted to persevere. So as all this called forth from me wonderful works and writings, I can begin to understand Blessed Basil Moreau when he describes the cross as “a treasure more valuable than gold and precious stones.”

Part 3: “You have the words of eternal life.”

I have encountered many people: at least of different races, ethnicities, cities, states, countries, sexual orientations, religious beliefs, high schools, gender identities, and family sizes. 
And I have witnessed people with differences find stupendously deep unity as one Body of Christ Jesus. In the diversity is the image of God illumined, and it’s sublime and brilliant.

Part 4: “No longer I, but Christ lives in me

I have had radiant models of joyful charity in my first semester. They are the staff at South Dining Hall and North Dining Hall. They are the janitorial staff, especially Miss Cathy at Carroll Hall. They are members of the groundskeeping staff, outside with leaf-blowers and lawn-mowers. They help me check out books at Hesburgh. They are my RAs, who invest time in getting to know me. They are my Rector and my Assistant Rectors, who drove me to and from the hospital and waited while I picked up my prescriptions, after ten o’clock at night.
I am loved here. I can learn how to love here. And as for repaying these role models, should I have had the rest of my life to sufficiently do it, I still couldn’t.