Earlier this week, I shared with you my remarks from our annual Scholar Athlete Awards program. It was one of several May events where we honored our students for their outstanding achievement during the 2013-2014 school year. Today, I invite you to read my remarks from the 2014 Commencement Ceremony.
58th Commencement Ceremony
"Good evening. In the midst of all these wonderful accomplishments, I would like to thank our guests.
Bishop Coyne: For your ministry and for representing Archbishop Tobin’s support and the people of the
Archdiocese of Indianapolis.
|Bishop Coyne addresses the audience at Scecina Memorial's 58th Commencement Ceremony.
Sister Lavonne Long: For representing the Sisters of Saint Francis and the school staff on which you served for our first graduating class in 1957.
East Deanery pastors, principals, and members of the Scecina Board of Directors: For envisioning a bright future for our students and knowing that our school is an anchor for the people of the Eastside and our city.
Our graduates’ family members, friends, and teachers: For encouraging, guiding, and believing in the Class of 2014.
Parents: For being our graduates’ first and primary teachers. Last night at the Baccalaureate Mass, Father Noah opened the Mass by suggesting that you should be invited to receive diplomas with your seniors, which is a really good idea. We will not ask you to do tonight what you are not prepared to do, but please know that we appreciate ALL the sacrifices you have made from before your children’s birth until now.
I would suggest that one of the greatest assets in our community is the commitment, unity, and continuity among Scecina families. More than 1/3 of the Class of 2014 have parents or grandparents who are Scecina alumni, or are at least the fourth family child to graduate from Scecina Memorial."
Class of 2014
"To the Class of 2014, you have attained great heightsand measurable results in academics, athletics, service, and the arts. Your grades, prayers, scholarships, awards, championships, acts of kindness, worship, service, conduct, and attendance throughout high school—these are now facts in the history book of Scecina Memorial High School. At the same time, so much of a Catholic education is not measurable, but is real and transformational--like the friendship, courage, commitment, discipline, and prayer that each of you has in your life. All of these successes are God’s and yours forever.
I have heard it said that we all have a “dash” in our lives—that time between the year of our birth and the year at the other end. And so we ask, “How will you live the rest of your dash?”
In the words of Pope Francis speaking to students just like you at World Youth Day, “Be revolutionaries. Swim against the tide; it is good for the heart and takes courage. Rebel against this culture that believes you are incapable of responsibility, that you are incapable of true love. The Church needs you, your enthusiasm, your creativity, and the joy that is so characteristic of you. The measure of the greatness of a society is found in the way it treats those most in need. Go and bring Christ into every area of life, to the fringes of society, even to those who seem farthest away.”
That’s an AWESOME challenge. But because you are CRUSADERS, I know that you are up to the challenge!
You will walk outside very soon as alumni. You are privileged. I hope your dash through life will be longer than Father Scecina’s was. And when you meet success, may humility and gratitude be your first responses. When surprise greets you, may you be graceful and composed--just as your classmate, Abel, was upon hearing his name called to receive a prestigious student-athlete award at Awards Day this week! When you experience a setback, may hope and determination be your companions.
I recall the story of Aimee Mullins, who was a college student in the 1990's. When having both of her legs amputated at about age 1, she had no input into that decision. Rather than see herself as disabled, Aimee decided that prosthetic legs would give her superpowers of which others could only dream. She proceeded to become an NCAA track and field record holder, fashion model, actress, and on the list of People Magazine's 50 Most Beautiful People.
You are fortunate to bear the “Scecina” name, the name of a devoted, even saintly, Christian and patriot. The destiny that God intends for you is just as noble as Father Tom’s. Remember that you are a CRUSADER.
Last night at Baccalaureate, Father Noah reminded you that people whom you have never seen have helped you receive this education. One day, you can make the same difference by returning that favor and experiencing the same joy.
On behalf of our entire community, thank you, congratulations, and may you live the greatness that God sees in you.
Thank you all once again."