December 4

Ron Barry

Notre Dame Stadium usher Ron Barry recalls the countless memories of sharing Notre Dame football with his dad and how these memories carried him back to Our Lady’s University and the presence of Christ.

“I arrived on campus and attended the game. Near the end, my section captain told me to follow him down the steps. The Monogram Club gate opened and we walked onto the field! As I stood in the end zone watching the last seconds tick off the clock, the sun broke through the clouds, and I felt a weight lift off my shoulders.”

This Advent season, let us never doubt that the Holy Spirit can lift us from despair and give us hope when we least expect it.



  1. Thank you Ron for your story. My Dad, ND grad of 1950 lived Notre Dame through and through. I truly believe Our Lord has allowed me to experience my Dads spirit of ND since his passing and also feel his presence anytime my family has been able to visit The Grotto, so I certainly can relate. Thank you for sharing your beautiful inheritance of the love of Notre Dame!

  2. Ron, Your beautiful, sacred story of how the Holy Spirit lifted you out of a place of grief while on the football field at Notre Dame made me cry happy tears. The loving, lifelong connection with your dad through the ND football program is, no doubt, one that transcends this world. My husband and I consider ourselves ND subway alumni just like your family. Thank you for helping me realize just how deep these connections go. And, how this ultimately leads us to a place of deep faith as we repeatedly witness all that the university stands for in the actions of players, coaches, fans, ancillary staff, etc., who so fully immerse themselves in the ND football program; not just for the game, but for the Spirit of the game that we know lingers far beyond the confines of the stadium. A very joyous Advent/Christmas to you and your family.

  3. Thanks Ron, you brought me great joy this morning as I remember my own father and his love for Notre Dame.

  4. Ron,
    While I am not connected to ND (Univesity of Georgia 82′ – Go Dawgs) except through my Catholic faith and the daily Gospel Reflections, you shared a great story that your father would be proud of. We shared similar experiences of our dads working long hours, committed to providing for the family. The limited times with our fathers were special and can help us through whatever challenges life has in store for us. Thanks for sharing your story. I hope you and your family have a wonderful Christmas season.

  5. Today’s video and words remind me of Father Ted’s words/prayer which he often used: “Come Holy Spirit.” He told me once he said these words before every conversation he had with someone so that he would know what to say. These words are in that basic Catholic prayer that I often use. May the Holy Spirit be with each of You.

  6. I was going to write a comment but Jolene captured my response! Thank you for sharing this beautiful story that honors your father and our lady’s university. I’m so glad to be a part of this big wonderful ND family and enjoy so much hearing the stories of how God works in the lives of my many Irish brothers and sisters in the world!

  7. Ron: Your beautiful, touching story moved me to tears. People like yourself are the epitome of what Notre Dame is all about. Your strong faith can be an inspiration to all of us, and you have done ND and your father proud. May God blessings be on you and your family.

  8. Ron, thank you for sharing your story, from one Western PA resident to another. I felt your emotion! Wishing you a Christmas filled with hope and joy.

  9. Ron: I just listened to your heartfelt story and I was moved by your relationship with your dad, and especially by your bonding through our Lady’s University. But I was touched most of all when you described going on the field at the end of the Blue & Gold game and feeling both the Holy Spirit and your Dad present. I can absolutely relate to how true and real that feeling can be as I held my Mom’s hand a few years back when she took her last breath. I saw the Holy Spirit leave her body. I feel closer to my faith after feeling and seeing the presence of The Holy Spirit and I imagine you do as well.

    Thank you for sharing your story.


  10. Ron, thank you. Beautiful, just beautiful. I’m sure your dad is smiling down on you. God bless you. Go Irish. Merry Christmas.

  11. Thank you Ron so much❗️Your story brought tears to my eyes. I was blessed to attend Notre Dame with the encouragement of my father (and mother). He was a subway alum Irish Catholic born in Brooklyn NY. Patrick ND ‘ 72.

  12. This one really hit home regarding my own father, who is now in heaven. A devout Catholic, subway alum, loving father and so much more. THANK YOU, Ron, and Merry Christmas!

  13. Thank you for sharing your story, Ron. I loved hearing the story of how your dad shared his love for Our Lady’s University and the beauty of our faith. Your own faith inspires, and I am moved by it! Thank you for paying it forward to us all. God bless you and yours during Advent and everyday!

  14. Thank you Ron. Your story is absolutely beautiful and faith affirming. There is no doubt that your Father is smiling in heaven

    Peace and God’s Blessings

  15. It is said Father Hesburgh started each day with the words – Come Holy Spirit- and away we go! Your story reminds me the benefit of doing the same. Thank you for the lovely reflection. I know your father would be/is so proud!

  16. Mr Barry,
    Thank you. Your devotion, faith and dedication are an inspiration. I seek to emulate your character and resolve in my daily life.

  17. Your story reminded me of all the years that my father ushered at the Notre Dame football games and how that started my bond with Notre Dame. My uncle lived out of town but came to our house to pick up my dad for every home football game so they could both get there early to usher at the games for years. My dad’s section was the senior student section with the band for years and I was near his section my senior year after my transfer as a junior to Notre Dame as one of the first women to attend there. He would often tell us about the stories that the guys made up before women were accepted to try to sneak their girlfriends into his section including that “she was Fr. Hesburgh’s niece”. It brought me close to my dad when I was lucky enough to be near his section and under the pressbox my senior year. When it rained, we didn’t get wet so it didn’t matter if “Ara couldn’t stop the rain”! Your story brought all of those memories back. I think I still have his Golden Pass to the games that he received when he retired from ushering. Thanks for your memories that brought all of mine back and my appreciation for Fr. Hesburgh who was responsible for allowing us women to attend there. When I was on the field for our picture at the celebration of 50 years of coeducation in June, those memories all came back then too. What a thrill it was to be on the field where we watched the games back then and now!

  18. Ron-what a touching reflection! Thank you so much for sharing your story and honoring your Dad in such a lovely way. For those of us Irish Catholics who grew up watching ND football every Saturday, we get what you’re talking about. Merry Christmas and Go Irish☘️!

  19. That was beautifully stated. I hope our Lord and the Blessed Virgin continue to bless you and guide you to peace.

  20. Dear Ron,
    While I appreciate all who have shared their sacred moments, your story hit home with me in a very special way. The first ND game I attended after my Dad died, I too could feel his presence several different ways – and it was magical! Thank you for reminding me of that wonderful experience! May God bless and keep you always. 🎄

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