Franciscan Way Magazine


Household Memories

More stories about unforgettable moments from the last 35 years of household life

  • The Friday before the Feast of St. Francis, 1987, I posted invitations to what I believed would be my last Lord’s Day as a member of Carae Domini Household. Most of the girls had graduated, so it appeared as if Carae Domini, one of the original households, would cease to be. Accordingly, I was attending Lord’s Day with other households, hoping to find a new one to join, but at none did I encounter the communal connection I had experienced when I had joined Carae Domini my freshman year.

    On the night of that “last” Lord’s Day, I returned from a Lord’s Day with another household that I had reluctantly planned to join and began setting up for the evening’s events. Then, one by one, 12 freshman girls crammed into my dorm room for the vigil celebration. Throughout the following days, the same girls trickled in at different times to declare their intent to join Carae Domini!

    Stephanie (Steckler ’91) Bryson

  • Before the turn of the century, when AMDG Household was two years old and 10 men strong, we needed new t-shirts. We had no cash, so we decided that the cavernous, abandoned roller-skating rink down by Wheeling Downs dog track was going to be our cow. Three stories of roller glory: wooden floors, skates still on the racks and records still in the DJ booth! My granddad was the dog track’s general manager at the time, and he knew the skating rink’s owner. One call, an “Italian favor,” and a few prayers to St. Lydwina—patroness of roller skating—later, it was ours! For food, Ferelli convinced every eating establishment in town to donate their wares “for the children.”

    More than half of campus showed up, and we netted upwards of tens of dollars… just enough for the new AMDG shirts. Fourteen years later, one of those shirts with the iconic AMDG cross is now hanging over the fireplace in Saints Kolbe and Clare Halls. I still wear mine proudly, and often pray for all the men who’ve ever worn (or ever will wear) those sacred letters across their chests: “AMDG.”

    Father Ben Dallas ’98

  • During the 1999-2000 school year, one of the members of Love of the Lamb Household, Lori (Jarboe ’01) Gehl, was preparing to enter the Church. Our excitement for Lori grew as the night of the Easter Vigil approached. We couldn’t wait to witness the powerful inflow of sanctifying grace into her soul. In order to get seats close to the altar, many of us volunteered to process in with banners and flowers during the Great Alleluia. The Mass was exquisitely beautiful and the joy of watching Lori be baptized, confirmed and receive her First Communion was beyond words. As the final songs were being sung, Lori, clothed in white and exuding tremendous joy, walked over to where we were all standing. Everyone wanted to congratulate her but no words were necessary; the tears streaming down all our faces said everything. In one 30-person hug, Lori was the embraced by her sisters and welcomed by Mother Church. In that eternal moment we were given a foretaste of the heavenly joy that awaits us when we finally come home to the Father’s house.

    Sister Faustina of Merciful Love, OCD (Kirstin Deppe ’01)

  • The Handmaids of the Lord Household started a prank war with the Brothers of the Eternal Song Household during fall 2003. It all started when one sister, Jess Podnar ’06, convinced Sarah Schultz to “borrow” her boyfriend Eric's household t-shirt. The girls took pictures of each member of household wearing Eric’s Brothers of the Eternal Song shirt, and made a collage with a picture of our Handmaids banner. They made 50 copies of this collage and distributed it all over campus! The next Friday, various members of the Brothers were spotted around campus in Handmaid household shirts that didn’t seem to fit to well. Then, while the Brothers were on retreat, the Handmaids completely redecorated the Brothers’ common room in flowery everything—including flowered couch covers! You wouldn't have recognized it as a common room for guys.

    Marie Kelly ’05

  • When I arrived at Franciscan University, I did not have a strong relationship with our Blessed Mother. I had a budding desire to know her better, but it still bothered me to see or hear public displays of affection for her. My roommate, whose relationship to Mary was in a similar state as mine, walked with me through the Household Fair in the J.C. Williams Center at the beginning of our first semester. We turned away from table after table, disappointed that everything seemed to be all about Mary. It did not take long for our Blessed Mother to win my heart, though. The following year, I joined Love of the Lamb Household, whose motto is “Loving the Lamb with the heart of Mary.” And my roommate? She joined Totus Tuus Maria! Ten years later, I am in Carmel, Mary’s order, and I am learning how to spend the rest of my life loving the Lamb with her heart.

    Sister Marie-Aimée of the Heavenly Father, OCD (Katie Martorana ’02)

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