Graduates’ Mass celebrates gift of Catholic education
“Be good, do good,” Bishop Douglas Crosby encouraged graduating students at a special mass in their honour.
“Move forward with the confidence that good things will come from good actions, and that you have something to offer up, something valuable to offer the world to make it a better place for all.”
The bishop was celebrating a System-wide Graduates’ Mass at St. Mary’s Pro Cathedral on May 16 attended by more than 700 graduating students from across the system.
The mass, held annually to celebrate the gift of Catholic education, brought students from all seven of the board’s Catholic secondary schools together in what Student Trustee Mikayla D’Agostino called a fitting and final gathering.
“Over the past twelve years, we have lived and learned in Catholic community,” she said in words of introduction.
“Our Catholic education has provided us with the opportunity to learn and experience God’s grace in our studies and in our relationships with family, teachers, staff and friends.”
“Our Catholic education goes beyond the standard curriculum,” she added. “It is an attitude and it comes from a strong sense of pride. Every morning when we put on our school uniforms and represent our schools, we acknowledge that God is active and present in the classroom, in the hallways, in our participation of the sacraments, and in all other aspects of our lives.”
Likening the day’s reading from St. John’s Gospel to “a dying mother talking with her children before her imminent death,” Bishop Crosby suggested that the scriptural passage was the perfect reading for the occasion “because that is what we want to say to you as you complete your education with the God-given gifts and talents you’ve discovered over the past several years.”
“Make the world a good place. Be good. Do good. Make a difference. Care for others, especially those with special needs. Do us proud.”
Imparting one final teaching, the bishop reminded students that gratitude is the fundamental attitude of Jesus Christ.
“Thank you is a very appropriate word for you to use often in these next few weeks and especially as you leave the school,” he said. “Many people have worked very hard to help you get to this day. A simple thank you is a thoughtful acknowledgement of their generosity.”
Adding that thank you is the most important word of all, he noted that “it is precisely what we are doing here in this Church and around this altar – we are saying ‘thank you.’”
Blessing the graduating students, Bishop Crosby prayed, “As you set out on the next chapter of your lives, may you do so with confidence, instilled by your faith, by your teachers, by your own students and friends, and by the good gift of Catholic education.”
At the conclusion of the mass, Chris Esposto, Student Council President at St. Thomas More Catholic Secondary School, thanked the Bishop for his celebration of the Mass and for his leadership as shepherd of the Diocese.
“As we continue our journey, may we continue keeping the word of God alive in our hearts, minds and actions,” he urged his fellow graduates.
“It is now our time to step out into the world and share the values Catholic education has instilled within us, and fulfill our responsibility to be followers of Christ.”