Notre Dame, Interview

A Tribute to Father Hesburgh | The Observer

This letter originally appeared in The Observer, a student newspaper serving the students of Notre Dame and Saint Mary's. Dan focused the letter on lessons of Life, Love, and Marriage imparted by Father Ted Hesburgh of Notre Dame. Published September 2015.  


It is with a heavy heart, that during the week my wife Diane and I are celebrating our silver wedding anniversary, we learn of the passing of a great man who played a part in our union and helped us stay together these 25 years.

On Feb. 23, 1990, we walked into Fr. Hesburgh’s office atop the Hesburgh Library to have our “Dutch Uncle Talk” (as Fr. Ted called it) with the man who was to marry us the following day.  Fr. Hesburgh was holding press interviews when we arrived, as El Salvador’s former President, Napoleon Duarte, a Notre Dame graduate and Fr. Ted's close friend, had passed away earlier that day.  When finished, Fr. Ted came into a room we waited in and told us he was going to fly to El Salvador to perform the funeral after he married us at the Log Chapel.

He then gave us advice about keeping a marriage together.  His most memorable story was about the need for open communication.  He told the story of a couple he knew well.  The wife had suffered for decades with her husband’s foul-smelling breath.  She never told her husband to brush his teeth or use mouthwash in fear of offending him or hurting his feelings.  He urged us not to keep things inside, to communicate openly.  Father Ted (we know you can hear us), thank you for some great advice.

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