A salute to the graduates of the Class of 2020
It is a pleasure to celebrate and salute the graduating Class of 2020!
This school year has been filled with unanticipated experiences and a discontinuation of all that was routine. Many milestones that define the rites of passage of senior year were not to materialize.
Yet as students, you relied on your faith, personal grit, persistence and self-discipline as the future became apparent month by month.
We live in a complex world that needs healing on many levels. Health issues dominate the world as we search for a cure for COVID-19. Racism, rebellions, refugees and starving children across the globe are becoming commonplace. Our environment has been abused and stripped of natural resources. Threats appear to our economy and to national security.
How will these problems be addressed? Who will be called to solve them?
With graduation, it is likely that you look to the future and ponder questions such as:
“What will be my path in life? How will I contribute?”
“What kind of world do we want to leave to those who come after us, to children who are now growing up?”
As you reflect, consider these aspects:
Realize that we cannot improve and still stay the same.
Growth means change.
Change requires challenging the status quo.
If we want greater possibilities, we can’t settle for what we have now.
We must become a possibility thinker.
Your generation is called to think differently, to explore your creativity, to work in concert with others to find solutions to problems that cannot be resolved by the same minds that created them. Use your knowledge, your education, your resolve to direct change to benefit our world.
Reflect on the wisdom of St. John Henry Newman: “God has created me to do him some definite service; he has committed some work to me which he has not committed to another. I have my mission – I may never know it in this life, but I shall be told it in the next. I have a part in a great work; I am a link in a chain, a bond of connection between persons.”
As you graduate, I wish you wisdom that transcends knowledge. Wisdom to know that you matter as a fellow traveler on this journey on planet earth – a journey filled with life experiences of joy and disappointments; of failure and regret; of exhilaration and confusion. Through it all, you matter, because you are a miracle created by God. In his infinite wisdom, he knew that you are integral in the lives of others. You have a purpose in this world that only you can fulfill.
As you graduate, enjoy being you – find joy in each day of your life. Work as part of a team. View challenges and disappointments as part of living – like breathing – all part of the experience.
May your life be guided by faith. May it be lived with respect for all, recognizing the dignity of your own being and the dignity of others. May it be lived in such a way that you use your talents to benefit our world.
We are proud of our graduates, young men and women.
Congratulations and God’s blessings, graduates of the Class of 2020.