December 19

Fr. Hesburgh’s Office

Reminisce about Fr. Ted Hesburgh’s great legacy as a force for good with Kathryn Valenti, Sr. Director of Resource Strategy and Administration in University Relations.

“Father Hesburgh did so much personally and on behalf of the University to be that force for good in his time, and his office remains a place that gives witness to the tremendous impact that he had and to his core identity as a Holy Cross priest and man of prayer. His simple, favorite prayer, “Come, Holy Spirit,” guides me as I live my Catholic faith as a wife, mother, colleague, daughter, and friend.”

So this Advent, as we recall those who laid a foundation for our faith and our success, how can we give thanks for their guiding light and take up the mantle of continuing their good work in our lives?



  1. Great memories of meeting Father Ted in that office as he signed a copy of his book “God Country and Notre Dame” back in the early ‘90’s. I was humbled.✝️🇺🇸🍀

  2. Wow. Thank you Kathryn for sharing this special preserved space & your Advent sentiments. I remember when Father Ted’s office was in the Administration Building and you could look up at his window at 2am and the light would be on. And his decision to admit women in the Fall of 1972 was so great. Patrick ND ‘72☘️

  3. What a beautiful reflection of a great priest and man. Your talk brought tears to my eyes and my memories of Fr. Ted. One time in the 1990s, I came to Notre Dame for an alumni Senate meeting. One of my children had severe problem with drugs that we were trying to help him with. I saw Fr. Ted and he immediately seemed to realize I was troubled and shooed everyone away so that he could speak to me one on one. I told him what was wrong and asked him to pray for my son, which he said he would.
    The upshot is that my son overcame his drug problem and is now a happy person who has been clean and sober for 27 years. I believe that Fr. Ted’s prayers were a great help in this crisis. He was truly a saint.

  4. When my son graduated from Notre Dame in the 80’s Father Ted gave the commencement address.He ended his speech with every morning start your day with “Come Holy Spirit” and you will be OK. I have been saying it for the last 40 yrs and it works.

  5. Great job Kathryn! You captured it beautifully. Thank you for sharing your thoughts, indeed a special place. Merry Christmas!

  6. Kathryn
    What a great reflection
    You are an inspiration and I am so proud to have been a part of your life

  7. John McCarthy

    A memory of Fr. Ted:

    No matter how late we’d get back to campus after our ‘away’ basketball games, the light was still on in his office…

    Among his many gifts, the man was indefatigable..

  8. Thank you for sharing such a special reflection. Fr. Ted was a blessing to our world! Getting a glimpse into the sacred space of his office is a blessing as well.
    Go Irish-
    Lisa, ’92

  9. I really like the recommendation I’m saying Come Holy Spirit every morning I plan to do that. Thank you Katherine for sharing your words Fr.Hesburg withme.

  10. That was beautiful, thank you for sharing this reflection and a great reminder of his simple, yet incredibly power prayer, Katherine!

  11. I shall implement the above mentioned practice of starting my day with Come, Holy Spirit.
    For several years I have each day said Come, Holy Spirit and then said 2 Hail Mary’s in union with Father Ted’s intentions and that of the Communion of Saints. I then think of my deceased parents(Ann & Robert), siblings(Dennis & Dianne) and niece Grace Ann. I also usually think of several deceased others(Ester, Bob, Peggy, Father Peter Mary Rookey, Jim, Joe, Henry, Julia, Leo, Rose, Frances, Delores, Harold, Leon, Charles, Wilbur, Lucius,…………) I knew. The communion of saints is one of the aspects of Catholicism I truly appreciate. This is a daily spiritual practice that has evolved, yet was sparked by a meeting with Father Ted in his library office.
    I met with Father Ted in this office twice; once with an appointment and once without one. This was many years after graduation. I was quite troubled when I made an appointment with him. He shared with me some of the troubles his Dad had in Syracuse. In the end, he pulled a worn, black, plastic rosary out of his pocket and gave it to me. You know a rosary has been used when plastic beads are worn. One arm of the cross on the rosary was also broken off. This may be my most cherished material possession. Thank You Father Ted and all of my Notre Dame brothers and sisters from the depths of My Heart.

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