December 12

Maria Di Pasquale ’90

Making a life-altering move cross-country for Maria Di Pasquale ’90 and her family was a risk worth taking when surrounded by a life-giving community.

“Then we visited a place I didn’t know as well, the sundial in front of Jordan Hall of Science. My daughters were excited to find the spot that indicated how far we were from home, so much so that they took a picture of it. I was struck by how joyful and excited they were about every aspect of our visit. I was afraid of what we might lose in making such a big move, but my daughters weren’t afraid at all. Those days on campus with my family helped me to realize that we needed to take this leap into the unknown.”

During Advent, we remember the story of Mary and Joseph as they traveled to Bethlehem just before Christ’s birth. It’s scary to move your family when you don’t know what awaits you. But they teach us that some significant risks are worth taking. Trust your gut. You know what God is asking of you. And Notre Dame will be there to help guide you on your way.



  1. I love and enjoy all these stories each year… this is a wonderful creation and I hope it continues for years to come…

      1. Me, too. I love these personal stories that have such universal appeal. I also hope these Advent Sacred stories continue for years to come.

    1. I agree Sue! I start each day reading the Gospel, Reflection and Prayer and then watching the video. It’s such an awesome way to begin the day! Be safe. Be well!

  2. Me too!! And I really appreciate those people who have come forward to share their sacred stories for the benefit of all of us who savor this ND Advent ministry.

    Maria, Thank you for framing your family’s cross-country move within the example set for us by the Holy Family’s pilgrimage to Bethlehem. Life is a pilgrimage and we are pilgrims here on earth for just a short while. When we follow God’s will for our lives as your family did with your move to South Bend, we are most definitely blessed beyond measure. This is so beautifully obvious from your sharing. May your family continue to find deep joy within the ND and South Bend communities. A blessed Advent and Christmas to you and yours.

    1. Another fantastic story. Mary and Joseph were so brave and so were you and your family! The Lord shows us the way when we put our trust in him. Thank you for sharing!

  3. It seems to me Maria Di Pasquale AND her family(maybe even led by her daughters) made a wonderful and wise choice. May we all be so fortunate.
    “….and my trust has been rewarded in ways I would never have imagined during those uncertain March days.” Maria Di Pasquale.
    My prayer for myself and All of those who this may also apply to: May I release All Aspects of decisions that seemingly did not work out so well for me. And may I continue to learn from my past and present. Peace.

  4. “Trust your gut”… such good advice as we remember similar choices made along our journey guided by the Holy Spirit & our deep faith. LOVE your story. Thanks for sharing.

  5. “Trust your gut. God knows what you need.” Maria, thank you for this reminder. Thank you for this courageous story. I am grateful that you took the leap, trusting God, and moved to South Bend.

  6. Maria, My husband Dave Salvaterra and I began our faculty careers at Loras College when your father was President. Your mother, Charlotte and he were so very kind to us as we began our scary and new adventure with our fresh Notre Dame degrees. I couldn’t be more delighted to “catch up” with you through your Advent blessing story.

  7. What a beautiful story, very moving. I love Maria’s ability to listen to her daughters in a meaningful fashion, which I think was instrumental in her family’s decision to move to Notre Dame.
    It reminds me that I need to trust God as I move forward in life.

  8. Mike Whitney
    Farley 1959

    Thank you, Maria, for your wonderful reflection telling the story of you and your family’s return to the Notre Dame campus. These stories bring home in fullness the fact that we are a family at Notre Dame. Like any family, we don’t always agree on every aspect of living life but we all respect, and cheer on every one of our family members as they put their best efforts into living their lives.

  9. So enjoyed your sacred story. Our son was in the class of 2011 and we are from Pasadena. My wife and I just moved to Austin, Texas, leaving him behind in Pasadena.

    Moving to a new place is scary but I am looking for Christ’s purpose in bring me here. Your words really help.

    Thank you

  10. Maria, it is was so surprising to see you and hear your story this morning! I lived with you in Farley and although I have not seen you for years, it was wonderful to “re-connect” through your video. We are going through a tough week as my father-in-law started hospice care in our home this past weekend. It is especially hard for my husband and for my 17-year-old son, the last child still at home. But your words brought me comfort and reminded me God has a plan and does not present us with anything we cannot handle. You gave me strength – thank you, Maria!

  11. What a touching, heart-warming story! Several times you used the word “trust”…indeed, trusting in Christ will always take one down the right path. The analogy of your decision and journey to those undertaken by the Holy Family is a perfect example. And, I can’t help as a little smile comes over my face when I see the picture of your young daughters and the prominent role they had in your decision. God does indeed work in mysterious ways – “suffer the children to come to me”. I’m betting you agree!

  12. I ived in Far;ey in 59-60. Maria, thank you for your wonderful story. Monk Malloy took morning check in my time. We have been friends ever since. God Bless Maria and all Farleyites.

  13. Wow, so wonderful. Our family has also taken big leaps of faith into the insecurity of the unknown. And they have borne wonderful fruit. Notre Dame also guided me during these transitions
    Patrick ND’72

  14. What a beautiful reflection. Thank you so much. To simply trust in God’s plan no matter how hard. He knows what is best for us.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *