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The story unfolds

The story unfolds

Michelle Tedford '94 September 25, 2023

She sat down at the table where I was seated, clasped together her hands and told me she loves to write. Seriously? 

Who loves to write? I often say with a raised eyebrow that I love having written. For me, being done is so much better than being in process, with your guts strewn on the paper for vultures to pick at. 

But the English major, so earnest and eager, told me she loves to write, and I believed her. We hired Rose Rucoba ’19 in spring of 2018 as a student writer for the UD Magazine. 

This summer, five years after we first met, I attended Mass in the Chapel of the Immaculate Conception during which Rose professed first vows to the Daughters of Mary Immaculate. 

Colored light streamed through the windows as Rose’s family sat in the front pews for a service that also celebrated renewal of vows for Marianist Sister Emily Sandoval, who recently completed work on her master’s in pastoral ministry.

Rose Rucoba, front row on right, with her fellow Marianist sisters. 

At UD, the depth and intentionality of the experience enhance our connection to community and our understanding of ourselves. This can happen through academic experiential learning opportunities, such as those we write about in this issue in the classroom and laboratory. Sometimes, it happens for a student like Rose when she writes for the UD Magazine or Flyer News. But it can also happen in the way we are immersed in the Marianist charism, in the opportunities we have to bloom and serve.

After her sophomore year at UD, Rose attended a discernment retreat with the Marianists. She met young sisters who shared her love of Harry Potter and the TV show The Office. The conversations were enlightening and welcoming. She ended the retreat thinking, “I could do this.” 

She ended the retreat thinking, “I could do this.” 

She took a look back that revealed all the ways Mary, Mother of Jesus, has been present to her throughout her life. This includes a childhood picture book on Our Lady of Guadalupe that she’d pull off her bedroom bookshelf and thumb through until the story was written on her heart. 

The day after she took her vows, Rose embarked on a process of ministry and discovery of how she might be called to serve the sisters and the wider community through religious life. She believes her four-year English training at UD will serve her well, no matter what she chooses. For Rose, being in process is not some messy, scary exercise that threatens to reveal her weaknesses. Instead, she is using it to model her strengths for a journey that will be constantly unfolding. There are exciting chapters waiting to be written.

Leading with a Marianist heart