Sunday, January 07, 2007

A Late Hooray for Blessed Andre

Like Brother John, Brother Andre (whose feast day is January 6th) didn't seem to "do" much, at least as far as important university stuff goes. When Andre took his final vows in February of 1874, he was assigned to the College of Our Lady of the Snows -- as a janitor! Andre spent 40 years there, never to be a professor or amount to much professionally (besides being a janitor, he also served as a barber, gardener and nurse's aide) but through his humility, charity and infinite patience (and devotion to St. Joseph), Andre began to work miracles for those he came in contact with. Brother Andre died in 1937, but the older brothers at Notre Dame still remembered him, and one or two did survive to see him beatified by JPII in May of 1982 -- which probably carried the same thrill for them as my son will feel if his Fighting Irish win the National Championship again someday in football. But no doubt Blessed Andre's Notre Dame connection worked for me yesterday when I was offered the opportunity to help write promotional material for the upcoming documentary on Catholic baseball players called (your guessed it!) Champions of Faith. Still the offer wasn't confirmed until Sunday, January 7th, which happens to be the feast day of ...

When I was still a student at the University of Notre Dame, a retired Holy Cross Brother, John Lavelle, used to take time to talk about life with me, encourage me with my faith and writing while recalling the kindness of another brother of the order that founded Notre Dame, (now) Blessed Andre Bessette.

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