My fishing with Fr. Ted story
by californiadomer (2015-02-27 19:30:02)

In reply to: Fr. Hesburgh, RIP  posted by cousin eddie


Fr. Ted spent many of his summers at the 7500 acre University of Notre Dame Environmental Research Center (UNDERC) located in Land O'Lakes, Wisconsin. Every few Sundays he would conduct mass at UNDERC for the approximately twenty people in attendance. He also celebrated his birthday every year at UNDERC. The students would prepare dinner for him. My year, the students also prepared a cake and Fr. Ted blew out the candles.

As some of you may know, Fr. Ted was an avid fisherman. In particular, he enjoyed trying to catch the elusive Musky which reside in many of the lakes on the property. Anyway, at the culmination of Fr. Ted's birthday dinner every year, every student would place his or her name in a hat and Fr. Ted would pick one name to go fishing with. My name was chosen.

The day we went fishing he showed up with his personal assistant (he had macular degeneration and required a guide for most daily tasks), two fishing poles, and some bait. We boarded the small wooden boat and I rowed the boat out into the middle of a small lake. Fr. Ted and I fished for two hours. While out on the lake, Fr. Ted told me one or two of his stories (which many on the UNDERC campus affectionately referred to as "Fr. Ted Saves the World" stories) and coached me through a life decision I was making.

Near the end of the first hour, Fr. Ted pulled out a cigar and started to light it. I asked him for one, and he pulled another from his jacket pocket. We sat there smoking cigars and talking for the next hour. Near the end of the two hours, recognizing that we had not caught anything, Fr. Ted perfunctorily stated, "Well, I can't make them jump into the boat." I rowed the boat back to shore and we took a picture. That picture sits in my office today and it is an experience I will never forget.


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