A Somber Anniversary

God Bless Our Swimmers

God is our refuge and our strength, an ever-present help in distress.
~Psalms 46:2

A bus full of Notre Dame’s best and brightest, the women’s swimming team, is headed back to campus after a meet, in a traditional South Bend snow storm. But this trip is different, and just miles from campus the bus loses control and rolls off the road, killing two women and severely injuring another. Today is the 20th anniversary of this tragic accident.

This past year at the Ladies of Our Lady Retreat in Denver, we were blessed by the presence of Haley Scott DeMaria not only as our keynote speaker, but as a retreat participant. Haley’s back was broken in the crash, and it was thought she would never walk again, never swim again. At 16, her life was changed forever. Little did she know in what way.

Haley walks, swims, dances, has children and does everything she’s ever wanted to do, thanks to miraculous surgeries and unprecedented healing. And she knows exactly Who was behind all of that. Haley is a changed woman; she is an embodiment of the phrase “state of grace”. She speaks as one who understands God’s love for each and every one of His children and makes every effort to bring the love she feels from Him to everyone around her.

Today, we remember with Haley, her lost teammates, her personal struggle, and we remember with University of Notre Dame, where this tragedy continues to feel so very close to home. And we thank God for letting us keep Haley, and for making her such a light for everyone around her.

You can access Haley’s story, book and blog here: http://www.haleybook.com.

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