A Sign at the Grotto

John Nagy ’00M.A. | December 30, 2018

Editor's Note: This piece is part of "12 Days of Classics," a holiday series drawn from the magazine's archives and published at magazine.nd.edu from Saturday, December 22, 2018, to Wednesday, January 2, 2019. Merry Christmas!

He remembers thinking it was kind of funny, the way the young man knelt there, perfectly still, snow piling up on his shoulders and along the empty kneelers to his right and left.

Funny, and yet deeply moving, how the large, wet flakes lilted down into the Grotto while this student, his hood, coat and backpack turning white on a Sunday afternoon in December — the day before final exams and Christmas just two weeks away — remained absorbed in prayer.

How many thousands of Notre Dame students have needed a quiet moment in the Grotto to pray like that? How many times since the winter of his own freshman year had he sought the comfort of the Blessed Mother while kneeling in that same spot?

The scene touched Bobby Kloska’s heart, so he pulled out his iPhone to take a picture. He stepped a few feet to his left to better compose the shot. Then he tapped the screen — and his phone snapped off.

It was strange, the phone shutting down like that, with the battery at 42 percent and the weather barely cold enough for snow. Kloska ’90 headed home to recharge it and get ready for the week, forgetting about the student, the moment, the missed opportunity, for a few hours.

Smartphones are unpredictable. So was the sharp turn Kloska’s life was about to take.

Read more here.


 by Daily Domer Staff

Posted In: ND Magazine