A Conversation with Father Monk Malloy, Part 2

When you've been the president of a world-renown university, there are a lot of opportunities available, but for the man who presided as Notre Dame's president for 18 years, staying close to the university and its students are what's important.

Father Edward “Monk” Malloy is a full professor, lives in a student dorm and, donated a kidney two years ago. In spite of him and his nephew being the first in human history to swap organs with an unmatched pair, he says what he did is not "heroic." Monk says he uses his experience to spread the word about the need for organ donation.

“If you give blood, you give time, you give talent, you give money, you give an organ,” says Monk. That’s simply how he sees his kidney donation, which came about because of a family emergency.

“My nephew came down with kidney failure in his late 30's, seemingly very healthy. Several people got in the queue to be potential donors, they were all eliminated, so then his mother, my sister, JoAnne said, ‘how about you?’” says Monk.

Then, doctors at Johns Hopkins proposed Monk and his nephew switch kidneys with a mother and son who were not compatible with one another. They agreed and two years later all four are healthy.

Whether he thinks it's heroic or not, it's made a difference.

“What’s happening now is people with a variety of motivations, could be religious or humanitarian motivations, are starting to volunteer to be a donor. In Toledo, Ohio there was young person there that donated a kidney out of the blue and 30 some people had benefited by incompatible people waiting to get into the queue,” says Monk.

The topic comes up in his freshman seminar.

“If you can put it in the context of people thinking, ‘what kind of life do I want to lead, how do I want to look back on the things that I think might make a difference,’” says Monk.

He admits with all the sad and regrettable revelations about priest scandals, it's another reason to share his story.

“Those of us who are priests can only apologize so many times, and try to best live our life the best way we can. But it's nice to be able to, and I think that's the way a lot of priests feel, to be able to tell a positive story about a priest,” he says.

He'll continue speaking, but for now it's back to learning the faces of his new freshman class, and, like his students, he is looking forward to another Notre Dame tradition.

“I had a real nice session with Coach Kelly. I think there is a great enthusiasm for him and the program and let's give him some time, let's not impose the highest of all standards for the first year. But let's let him build the program back and let's savor the good things that are going to come from that,” says Monk.

If you would like to see Part 1 of Maureen’s Conversation with Monk Malloy, click here.

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