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President's Remarks | Senior High School Baccalaureate Mass

Our University Chaplain Father Jayson, honored pioneering graduates of our Senior High School—there are 1,568 of you—and distinguished faculty and staff, good morning. It is my pleasure to address you all today.


Commencement is one of those great occasions when we get to celebrate our young people – their perseverance, their achievements, and their successes as they grow up. For our parents and teachers, it is one of those times you can take a break and reflect, feeling good as a parent or a mentor, knowing that the students you care about are doing just fine and they are on the right path.


I will resist the temptation of imparting the usual graduation message that today is the first day of the rest of your lives because everyday is always the first day of the rest of our lives. Most of you will continue on to pursue college at Holy Angel University. Some of you will either pursue your college studies elsewhere or possibly join the workforce, fulfilling the promise of the K-12 Basic Education Reform. The message that I would like to impart to you is “Once an Angelite, always an Angelite.”


An Angelite is a person of conscience, competence, and compassion. All three C’s are important; good moral character and exemplary conduct toward others are just as important as academic achievement. Our Creator has endowed us with the means to ensure that we will travel on the right path. You might call it your conscience, others call it their CCTV, while I call it my Guardian Angel.


As a person of conscience, your Guardian Angel expects you to do the right thing even when no one else is looking. The wrong thing is usually the easier way out and the most comfortable. Constantly choosing to do the right thing is what the true exercise of human freedom is about.


As a person of competence, your Guardian Angel expects you to do your best in every work that you do. Your gifts and talents are God-given and are unique to you; your parents and teachers simply enabled you to discover and cultivate them. In every work that you do, whether it is schoolwork or household chores such as cleaning the dishes, do so with the greatest possible human competence. Commit to saying that I will always be better today than yesterday, and, tomorrow, I will be better than today. For what you are is God’s gift to you; what you do with your gifts and what you become is your gift to God.


As a person of compassion, your Guardian Angel expects you to recognize the presence of God in every person because God created every person in His image. Therefore, every person is precious; people are more important than things. Whatever you do, you should consider how it might affect the most vulnerable members of our society.


Today would be a good day to start hugging your parents, grandparents, and siblings, and thanking them for supporting you, because as much as graduation is your achievement, this is also the achievement of the people who care about you. They want you to be your best and live up to your potential. Just as your teachers, parents, and loved ones are proud, each one of you should feel proud of yourself.


So congratulations to all of you … and, together, let us all say our university motto, “Laus Deo semper!”


Date Posted: 04-10-2018