Saying yes to ACE was, in a way, my very own fiat - nowhere near comparable to Mary's yes to be Jesus' mother but one that changed my life, nonetheless. Without ACE, I don't know where I would be right now. What I do know is I'd be minus some of my closest friends as well as a couple hundred friends/classmates & colleagues. (I also likely would have never engaged in a public debate, helped create a music video, ran several marathons, or realized what everyone's fascination with Notre Dame was really all about. But those are all stories for another time...)
This summer (yet again - thank you, ACE!), I will have the opportunity to be back on campus, assisting with some of the first and second year classes. It will be a chance to renew my own zeal for teaching and to keep reminding myself why I said yes in the first place. (And, hopefully, I'll help some newer teachers along the way...)
I'd like to close my post tonight with a prayer. I pray in a special way for all of those soon-to-be teachers who will accept the invitation (or challenge, if you will) to serve with ACE. May the experience bring them challenges, learning opportunities, friendships, insights, laughter, and wisdom. May their community dinners last a couple of hours around the dinner table, especially when grading or lesson planning needs to be saved for another time. May they make God known, loved, and served in their school communities. And may they always be aware of the greater ACE network of staff, graduates, family, and friends who are praying for them each and every day.