It started in the dead of the night on Monday, the time of day when mice become rats.  The low pressure centered cold front had Lake Erie in her sights.  Isobars tight as can be, the wind howled in a steady, dangerous northeast direction.  Gray clouds billowed up from the warm water, barely reaching two thousand feet before they began to drop snow, angry snow, at a frightening rate.  Four, five inches and hour.  Driving?  Impossible.  Stranded motorists.  Fear amongst the professionals.  This was bad, so very bad.

We remember two weeks ago.  It snowed steady all day Tuesday and Wednesday in a tight band over South Buffalo, Lancaster, Alden and other communities in the lee of this awful wind.  Thursday it drifted north for a bit and then Friday back south, more snow on the already entombed areas.  Cold Saturday but the warm was coming.  Shoveling, massive loaders, dozers and trucks worked round the clock to help the stranded, to restore order and faith to those who felt all was lost in the angry snow.  In a week’s time we went from a tranquil Sunday to venomous chaos for five days and then back to 60 degrees as the snow seemed to go as fast as it came.  Some collateral damage, roofs and lots of trees, can be found all over the affected communities.  But, they’ve recovered as best they can.  Looking forward, but remembering the destructive angry snow.

This snow event made me think of my own history with Catholicism.  Classic religious training and then a turbulent time in college where, like many if not most kids in their late teens and early twenties, I questioned almost everything- including and especially our Catholicism.  The storm of youth relented and, despite some collateral damage, my faith was restored as life went on.  Many, many of you in the Newman Center Permanent Community know this story for you lived a similar one.

Our mission statement is clear and we need a campus minister to help Pat minister to the thousands of Catholic students on campus.  We’ve asked you to consider on line giving as a way to help with the ongoing maintenance of our wonderful facility as well as help fund a campus minister.  The needed annual boost to the Newman Center budget is an incremental $80,000.  Please help in any way you can.  Let’s find a way to help as many of the students as possible avoid the worst of storm and maintain their faith in a safe, comfortable environment- right here at the Newman Center.

Sincerely, Dood Forrestel