Saturday, May 17, 2008

New Beginnings CUA Commencement 2006

Today the Class of 2008 processed in donned their academic hoods and left CUA. Some we just so happy. Some couldn't wait to get out of here and many left with tears in their eyes. It has been such a priviledge to be a part of their lives. I confess sometimes I fear that I don't invest enough time with them or I feel there is just not enough of me to go around.

The ceremony was beautiful all in all it was a fitting ending to four years of hard work and sacrifice for most.

Here are some scenes from Commencement 2008

This is the prayer I had the priviledge of closing the ceremony with.....

Lord as we finish this commencement
We are filled with thanksgiving for this university set for the 119th time
sends forth another class of fine young women and men.
Who are ready to take their place in our world

Some are excited
Some can't wait to be about their lives
Some have been ready to go for a while
As they peek out at the rest of their lives
Some may even be a little nervous
But every single one of them is ready.

They will care for the sick
They will teach, and inspire
and by doing so form the next generation.
They will build beautiful structures
And delve into the wonders of your creation
They will listen and give wise counsel
They will open up for us whole wide range of emotions
with their talents on the stage and screen
They will draw us into the mystery of your beauty
with their music and the gift of their art.

We are sad to see them go
They have been a part of our lives for four years
But with anticipation we can't wait to see
the good that they will do
with the numerous gifts that you have given them.

Thank you for our graduates Lord
Thank you for those who have brought them to this place
To this beautiful moment in their lives
Their parents and grandparents
Their siblings, spouses,
Their friends, teammates, classmates professors
Everyone who have inspired them on their journey
And thank you for The Catholic University of America
May we never waver in our commitment to You and our commitment
to truth.

We ask all of these things Through Christ our Lord Amen


Aric said...

I am an occasional visitor to your blog. Is there no end to your ability to infantilize undergraduates? For goodness sake, they're not children; they are at least 17 when they arrive. They are old enough to be entrusted with the vocation of a Catholic student, with four precious years to learn Latin, Greek and philosophy. But, judging from your blog, you baby them and encourage them to waste their time handing out sandwiches to poor people rather than fulfill their vocation as students.

Aric said...

I apologize for the pique of my prior comment. But if there's one thing I knew I could count on (this was before the Franciscans took over), it was that Campus Ministry homilies would talk down to me. The prayers and homilies here show that things have not gotten better. Read Father Bob's prayer and homilies, and compare them to what Newman preached to Oxford.

Fr. Bob, you must demand more of the students. Quote from patristic commentaries in the original languages. Presume they are familiar with the way certain passages were treated in Paris in the 13th century. For goodness sake, treat the students as a part of the Catholic intellectual tradition!

Dan D. said...

Aric, with the comments you made, I worry about your sense of what it means to be a "Catholic" student. Newman was an incredible preacher and the thirteenth century contributed many wonderful things to the Church, with the works of St. Thomas Aquinas among others. However, I do not know why you want to only go back to the 13th Century? Why not go back another 13 centuries prior to that and look at the example Christ set. "No one has greater love than this, to lay down one's life for one's friend." John 15:13. I have seen Fr. Bob lay down his life time and time again for those he loves, those students to whom he ministers. Love is the greatest commandment. It is not knowledge, not eloquence, not chivalry, but love. This is a love that goes beyond, "can't we just all get along", but a love of being willing to lay down one's life for others and to challenge others to grow in their faith on a very personal level. Fr. Bob does this better than any person I have ever personally met.

Further, I would like to respond to your comment regarding students not being encouraged to fulfill their vocation as students. Being a student is much more than just intellectual formation about facts. Being a student requires an overall personal development, which a large aspect is intellectual formation, but living inside a text book (even in the incredible writings of early church authors) cannot take the place of doing service and living the faith. The practice of faith must certainly be grounded in prayer, but being well versed in 13th Century writings, I don’t think is a requirement. Yes, there could be more done at CUA campus ministry. Absolutely, just as there can be everywhere, however I think the faith development at CUA has been incredible thanks to the love, sacrifice and prayer shown by Fr. Bob. Fr. Bob, thank you for your service, your example and your love for those you serve.

Miguel said...

as somebody intellectually was tempting to agree with you, aric, but faith without works is dead. the vocation of a student is to grow in more than bookishness, and if the eloquent homilies, the grandiose churches, the knowledge of latin, greek, and patristics, and the incredibly perceptive minds students might come out with at the end of four years do not result in conversion, elicit a desire to participate in servant leadership, or accompany an emotional and spiritual maturation allowing them to grow in charity, it is nothing and the University has failed.

So well done, Father Bob, for encouraging more than the purely academic. Campus Ministry needs to cater to the whole human person, not just the frontal lobe, and the Holy Spirit works with you.