December 16

Bobby Kloska ’90

Bobby Kloska ’90, reveals a fascinating story that interweaves the South Bend community, Notre Dame’s history, and his family’s home.

“Back at the house in South Bend, shortly after Joe left for training, the Ruetz family installed a flagpole in our backyard. Then, with field stone collected from the property, they built a backyard shrine to Our Lady. There, they gathered often to pray the Rosary for Joe’s safe return. As other young men in the neighborhood went off to fight, their families would join the Ruetzs to pray. According to family lore, every soldier in our neighborhood came home safely.”

During Advent, we recall how the Holy Spirit acted powerfully in the life of Mary and Joseph to bring Christ into this world. The Holy Spirit was at work in Joe Ruetz’s life, too. How might the Holy Spirit be acting in yours?



  1. Mr. Kloska is a great guy, I know him, Also, a beautiful story, my brother is currently deployed.
    Notre Dame is such a special place.


  2. Bobby,
    Such a thoughtful and fascinating story. Hope you and the family are well. Nice to see you and Maria DP representing the class of 90 in this series. Merry Christmas. Go Irish.

  3. Robert you are from my FB group My Mother Mary.
    Wow what a great story. Thank you for sharing. And thank you for all that you do on our FB group page.

  4. Thanks for this story. I shall ponder all weekend, “How might the Holy Spirit be acting in my life.” Staying awake and aware. A wonderful story for all days. I am reminded of how Fr. Ted would always say “Come Holy Spirit” before he talked with anyone.

  5. Joe Ritz’s story will remain in my heart forever! We all can be Joe Ritz thru the power and belief in prayer and ourselves.

  6. Bobby, Thank you for sharing this incredible sacred story. So beautiful and inspiring!! It clearly portrays how prayers are answered in amazing ways when we surrender control to the Holy Spirit and pray for His intervention, as Christ instructed us to do before his Ascension into Heaven. I especially enjoyed seeing the picture of the homemade shrine to Mary that the Ruetz family built by hand. What a testimony of deep faith!! A blessed Christmas to you.

  7. Bobby with your story I begin my day with strength and hope and look forward with confidence. How great that Our Lady has a memorial on St. Peter street.

  8. Wow. Thank you Bobby. A beautiful tribute to the Advent & the power & grace of the Holy Spirit. I too have said to myself in very challenging times “You are a graduate of the University of Notre Dame”. Patrick ND ’72

  9. Bobby, what a phenomenal story. Your question regarding the Holy Spirit is one that I’ve often contemplated. As a 22 year Navy fighter pilot and combat vet, I KNOW with certainty that at least one of the answers, for me, is that I’m here today in very large part due to the Holy Spirit.
    Thank you and God Bless you.

  10. What a beautiful story. My grandmother did a similar thing in WW2. She and eventually the rest of my dad’s family didn’t eat meat on Wednesday as an offering to God in the hopes that the men in our family would return safely from the war and they all did! In thanksgiving, my father never ate meat on Wednesday until the day he died.
    The power of prayer is so great as Bobby’s story illustrates.

    1. Robert: thank you for sharing that beautiful story. I have so enjoyed getting to know you and I look forward to working together in our own way to carry that spirit forward as we discussed at the Church Properties initiative conference. Godspeed!

  11. Thank you, Bobby for your memories of such an amazing person and family.
    We are grateful that there are 7 Domers in our immediate family.
    Two of them reside near St. Marys College in Moraga and we visit the lovely
    campus for basketball games, Mass, and their magnificent art gallery.

    Notre Dame has inspired so many, students, former students, visitors, faculty,
    and particularly, my husband and I , class of 53′ . Our final resting place will be
    there in Cedar Grove Cemetery.

  12. Bobby, thanks for providing such an inspirational story at a time that we can all use it. I’m glad to have shared the halls of Carroll with you. Merry Christmas to all.

  13. Heartwarming story about keeping the faith, believing you are never alone with the Holy Spirit at your side and trusting in the power of prayer.

  14. Bobby, after listening to your story, I am convinced I am here on this planet in part due to your family’s prayers to our Mother Mary. My father was a Freshman at Notre Dame when the attack at Pearl Harbor happened. He was too young to join the war effort at that time. When the draft age was lowered, he joined the Army and was shipped overseas. His unit was dispatched to the “Front” in Northeast France where he was captured and eventually liberated by the British. Not only did every soldier in your neighborhood come home safely, so did my father. Thank you for reminding me of the power of prayer.

Leave a Comment

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