President Therber's remarks at Scecina's 61st Commencement on May 26:
Good evening. Again congratulations to our graduates and their families!
Because we have been charged by the Archdiocese of Indianapolis to serve since 1953, I first want to thank Mrs. Lentz. Mickey has been a faithful and energetic teacher and leader in the Archdiocese of Indianapolis for many years, starting as an elementary school teacher and then becoming one of the most nationally recognized superintendents of Catholic schools.
Thank you, East Deanery priests and principals, for your support of Scecina and your spiritual guidance. Thank you, Scecina board members, chaired by George Newhart of the Class of 1960, for the time and talent you give to help guide our school.
Finally, thank you to all our educators, parents, families, and friends for all you have invested in these young people and for the doors you have opened for them.
Class of 2017: Opportunities
One of the themes at the Baccalaureate Mass last night was, “What does it mean?” A similar question is, “What does being a Scecina graduate mean?” 5 things come to my mind.
One, it means you have attended Mass at least weekly during high school. If you retain nothing from the last 4 years for the rest of your life but that habit, your education will have been a good investment. Praying, giving thanks, and worshipping can determine your eternal happiness more than any scholarship, profession, or amount of money can.
Two, it means you have arrived from many neighborhoods and communities and have grown in compassion by learning a thing or two about different people’s gifts, challenges, goals, and needs.
Three, it means that you have experienced what Father Rick said last night, which is that “Life and the Gospel can be pain.” You have felt this pain through setbacks, confusion, even loss of life on earth. Yet you have continued and strived to go on, thanks to your friends, teachers, and community members.
Four, it means that you have set goals and achieved them. And that you have set goals and had the fortune to NOT achieve them, for, in not achieving, you have learned to ask for guidance, to reach out for help, to overcome. Your future goals are great. We need you. You want to save lives. You want to solve 3rd-world problems. You want to make money and do good with it. You want to defend our country. You want to marry and have families.
Interestingly, just yesterday, I learned that two of you have had a can of chocolate milk in your locker since freshmen year, moving it from yearly locker to yearly locker looking forward to the day this week when you would crack that can and drink the milk. We need attention to detail and practical goal setting like this. You remind me of a retired Navy SEAL officer, whose book on leadership says, “If you want to change the world, start by making your bed, for if you can’t do the little things right, you will never do the big things right.”<
Five, it means that you have Discovered Great Opportunities . . . Opportunities to find your passions and to connect with people who share them.
That might be playing in a band or choir or traveling out of the country for the first time. Maybe you discovered speaking skills through Student Ambassadors. You’ve been able to stretch yourself academically in Advanced Placement classes or Study Skills classes. You have been part of athletic successes and championships. You felt your faith deepen through service, retreats, and our weekly school liturgies. You have discovered that you care about the Eastside having a vibrant Catholic high school for years to come.
These opportunities have given you more than you expected, or maybe everything you hoped. In your essays for the Scecina Women’s Circle scholarship recently, I read several profound insights. 2 examples:
“My time in Mass at Scecina allowed me to recognize that my family and I had not been going to Mass very often. Ever since then, we have been going to Mass almost every weekend. Not only did Scecina present me with a new family, it also helped me grow stronger in faith.”
“I have learned that the team goal is greater than my own goal. I am but one player among many. Therefore, I play for the team first and myself second. Selflessness is just as important as confidence.”
Class of 2017, congratulations, and thank you for the contributions you have made to Scecina. In the history of the world, you are one of only 61 graduating classes from this school named for a dedicated Christian, patriot, and friend.
The Challenge Coin that we will present to you with your diploma is your tangible reminder from Scecina and our Veterans Committee that you are part of a powerful group, that you have met the challenge, and to live as Jesus did in good times and when life is painful.
I am very grateful for you. Please remain connected and involved. Thank you very much.