There is no special secret sauce in doing this. To take a phrase from baseball, much of the work involves stepping up to the plate and tending to everyday matters. Home runs get the headlines, but much of what is important in life happens because of at bat singles - small unnoticed moments that have real meaning and add up over time.
The following are some examples of these small building blocks of community: driving someone to a doctor’s appointment, shopping for groceries, saving a dinner for a sister who will get home late, planning and participating in small and large gatherings and liturgies, handling details related to individual, community or ministry transitions, sharing a book, expressing gratitude to a colleague for a job well done, taking time to listen to others, helping solve a computer or phone problem, serving on volunteer committees and projects, setting aside time to enjoy one another’s company on ordinary days or special occasions. These supposedly routine endeavors are anything but mundane. They help to build and strengthen community which in turn helps sisters, associates and colleagues work together in a spirit of peace, hope and joy.
The images included with this story give a glimpse of a community spirit that is alive and well in Notre Dame. They were taken before so many restrictions were placed on getting together. While it has been difficult to meet in larger groups over the past eighteen months, it has been wonderful to see how creative people have been in finding alternative ways to connect through phone calls, letters, emails, streaming video, Zoom meetings, outdoor gatherings and other approaches. While we miss the ability to get together without restrictions or increased planning, it is remarkable to see how dedicated and resilient people have been in reaching out to one another.
Let’s be sure to notice and express our gratitude to those with whom we live and work for all they do to lift us up. Let’s each do our part to contribute to the many small and large everyday matters that help us all to experience the goodness of God and to share that goodness with others.