May 5, 2006

Soon-to-be Marian College graduate finds healing through music

By John Shaughnessy

Just days before graduation, Ryan Stone sat in the last pew of the college chapel, searching through a hymnal for the song that helped him through the toughest time in his life.

He had played the song on the piano in the chapel of Marian College in Indianapolis after the death of one of his grandfathers during his freshman year.

He had sung the same song as he walked across the Marian campus after the death of his other grandfather during his sophomore year.

“I was close to both of them,” Stone recalled. “I leaned a lot on my friends and family to help me through. My music ministry was also one of the main things that kept me going in my faith. I had always believed in a God that loves us and takes care of us. Those were the first times a close relative had passed away. So it was overwhelming when they happened.”

Stone paused as he found the song he was searching for, “You Are Mine,” by David Haas. He began reciting the song’s refrain:

“Do not be afraid, I am with you. I have called you each by name. Come and follow me. I will bring you home. I love you and you are mine.”

Stone closed the hymnal and said, “That was my constant prayer at the time. I felt a loss, and I felt lost. That was my answer, knowing it was OK to be frustrated, hurt and angry. And yet, at the same time, I felt comforted—to know I wasn’t alone in this.”

Now, at 22, Stone faces a different crossroads in his life. He will graduate on May 6 from Marian, part of the largest graduating class in the school’s history—366 students.

A theology major, Stone has earned minors in both chemistry and biology. He has been accepted into medical school at the Kansas City University of Medicine and Bio-Sciences—the next step toward his goal of becoming an emergency medicine doctor for children.

“I’ve always been intrigued by medicine and the whole idea of healing,” said Stone, a Greensburg resident who is a member of Immaculate Conception Parish in Millhousen. “The deaths of my grandfathers really solidified that I want to bring my spirituality into my health care work.”

Healing and hope have replaced tragedy and heartbreak for Stone.

“I feel that while we don’t know at all what’s around the next corner, there’s always one constant being that we can rely on to get us through. My faith is very much stronger. I’m ready to go on, get my medical degree and start to do what I’ve always felt called to do.” †


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