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COMMENCEMENT MMA 2018

Tue, Jun 5th 2018 02:00 pm

Well, I know what you are thinking?  what can an old lady, a nun, and a graduate from Mt. Mercy in 1960, yes, when dinosaurs roamed the earth, have to say to a group of young, beautiful women about to leave high school? Well, I asked myself that same question,

and realized I know a thing or two, because I've seen a thing or two! I am a volunteer at the Academy and I've seen these young women thrive in what Mt Mercy is most noted for, the reason most of you sent your daughter here- to grow in their dedication as a true Christian, to be an example of all they have learned wherever they go, to work hard to achieve Academic Excellence, and to be a compassionate, understanding person! Your daughter is now a woman who understands service toward others, is respectful to all, is articulate, strives for kindness, and is empowered to influence and change the world one day at a time.  I think your investment in Mt. Mercy and what you have sacrificed for your daughter is far more than you had imagined!  You, parents, relatives, friends began this work in her from the day she was born.  You began this journey of love and entrusted her journey to the faculty and staff of MMA,

Graduates, I hope you always realize the sacrifices that have been made for you because you are so loved by so many and that you realize that love for you will continue long after your Academy memories fade. It is now up to you to pay that love forward!

 

After graduation, I decided to see if being a Sister of Mercy was right for me and entered the convent when I was 17!

When it was time for me to receive the religious habit, one of my teachers was invited to the ceremony and she said to me "this is the last place I expected to see you!" So much for the great impression I made on my teachers in high school!

 

However, this wonderful class of 2018, (granted I am a bit biased, because my grand-niece is a member of this class) is leaving Mt. Mercy with so much more than when they arrived. Graduates, can you remember your first day at MMA? Nervous, excited but a bit frightened?  Look at you now-confident, enthusiastic, proud of who you are and what you have accomplished; looking forward to a future filled with opportunities, new relationships, new learnings!

Your foundation for the future is strong, limitless and hope-filled.

 

For the guests present, how many of you remember one word from your high school Commencement address?  How many even remember who your Commencement speaker was at your high school graduation? Me neither!

So... is there anything I can say tonight that you might remember down the road, a few years from now?  Probably not! But I do want you to remember how you feel this evening; very special, very loved and very proud! You may not remember the words, but hopefully you will remember the spirit behind the words when making future choices.

As Maya Angelou said, "I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel."

 

Here at Mt Mercy you have learned the Critical Concerns of the Sisters of Mercy and I believe you won't remember the exact words, but you will remember the feelings that permeate these concerns;  the feeling you have when you assimilate the practice of non-violence, the feeling that deepens your response to racism within our world, the feeling of knowing you must reverence the earth, the feeling that emerges when you embrace your concern for women and the feeling of standing in solidarity with immigrants.  Behind these concerns is generosity, personal integrity and love for others. As the late Barbara Bush said, invest in people, not things!   

 

I firmly believe you are more than ready to face the challenges awaiting you. You know a thing or two, because you've seen a thing or two  and felt a thing or two, during your four years at MMA.  You have a strong foundation, build the rest of your life yourself, take risks, enjoy life, be happy and appreciate every moment of every day!

And to paraphrase a great director: Eat delicious food, walk in the sunshine, jump in the ocean, say the truth that you're carrying in your heart like hidden treasure, be silly, be kind, be weird, there's time for it all!

And remember, it is the grateful heart that sees the blessings

in each new day

It is the peaceful heart the reviews the past without feeling guilt.

It is the inspired heart that looks to the future with anticipation and hope.

It the faith filled heart that lights up the world by blending the three.

And                         May goodness ever surround you.

                                May grace keep its arms around you.

                                May God, rich in mercy, grant that you'll be

filled with all the love your heart can hold on this day's road and forever!