Below:- Speech from the Dean- Photo Collage- Closing Benediction- Charge to Graduating Students
Speech from Dean Mark. S. Markuly, PhDThursday, May 30, 2013 | Chapel of St. IgnatiusSeattle University "Welcome graduating students, and welcome family and friends of our graduates. Thank you for joining us in this Graduating Student Liturgy. This liturgy marks the beginning of the end of our students’ degree seeking status with Seattle University's School of Theology and Ministry. In just a little more than two weeks we will celebrate Commencement at Key Arena. These ceremonies are called Commencement because they mark the beginning of a new phase in our students’ lives. It is paradoxical that graduates begin with an ending or closure ritual. The kind of education your loved one or friend is completing has invited him or her not just to learn new things about God, the history and nature of religious traditions, and the impact of religion on society, which has been profound over the centuries. The education has also asked your friend or loved one to change, to become a different kind of person – one more attentive and aware to God’s activity in the world, one more thoughtful about the complexities of reality, one more compassionate to the struggles of every human being, but especially those in the human family who are not allowed a place at the world’s table of plenty. It also invites students to become more courageous, more daring, and more sacrificial, to spend their life energy in ways that many in the world might consider “foolish” because a faith-based and Gospel orientation doesn’t lead to American culture’s traditional “markers of success.” This is a kind of education that proposes a different set of markers by which to measure your life. It is a ruler or measuring stick with a wide-angle and telescopic vision on life. A graduate theological education does not lead you to an idyllic world of perfection. The world remains what it is, grossly flawed at every level. But, this is the kind of education that teaches students to look beneath the surface, beyond the incidentals, to a deeper reality beneath the dysfunction. It challenges them to commit themselves “to dream things that never were and ask why not,” as Edward Kennedy said in his brother, Robert’s, eulogy, rather than to “see things as they are and ask why.” And, it teaches them to begin to work toward realizing those dreams. This graduating class is a remarkable group of people. They have impressed their teachers and wowed their internship sites. They are going to literally change the world around them. Virtually every student who comes through the school accepts our degree programs’ invitation to become a different kind of person. And, in the process of changing themselves, they also invite change in those around them, including the faculty and staff. There is not a person who works in Hunthausen Hall who hasn’t been changed through our association with one or more of these graduates. As we hope that we have impacted your life in significant and profound ways in your time here, you have also deeply impacted us and you have left a mark on the school that will endure in our future teaching and programming. You may see you imprint in some of the things we do in the future or not, but I assure you, your imprint is there. In the Catholic tradition there is an old saying that the definition of a martyr is someone who has to live with a saint. And so, we need to offer congratulations to all family and friends, who have worked with the graduates through their programs. You have stood beside them as they have changed and wrestled with they were learning about the life of faith, the world, and even themselves. Thank you for supporting them. I have often felt that we should create a t-shirt for family and friends: “I survived a loved one’s completion of a theology and ministry degree!” All of the faculty and some of the staff have completed such degrees and we have loved ones in our lives that deserve to wear such a t-shirt. So, we know the full measure of what you have contributed to the accomplishment of those people graduating this year. We offer you congratulations as well, and our thanks. The world needs more people like the students completing degrees this year and you have helped to make them who they are. Well done, friends and family."
Charge to the Graduating Students“As you offer the best of yourself to God in the following charge, answer heartily those questions which speak to your specific ministry or work. We have different gifts according to the grace God has given us."If your gift is service, live to serve others. Will you? With God’s help, I will.If your gift is the heart of a teacher, teach what is good and true. Will you? With God’s help, I will.If your gift is in spiritual discernment, inspire confidence and calm. Will you? With God’s help, I will.If your gift is to listen and reflect the innermost working of hearts, bring the compassionate touch of the Healing Spirit. Will you? With God’s help, I will.If your gift is to sing or dance or play,enable others to hear the music. Will you? With God’s help, I will.If your gift is to preach and handle holy things in the holy assembly, be present in body and transparent to the Spirit. Will you? With God’s help, I will.If your gift is in ministries of reconciliation, work gently both within and outside the church. Will you? With God’s help, I will.If your gift is to minister among peoples of many faiths, pray that grace and reverence will meet in you. Will you? With God’s help, I will.If your gift is to witness to other cultures, give thanks with open ears and hearts. Will you? With God’s help, I will.If your gift is to work for peace,offer justice and mercy a home in you. Will you? With God’s help, I will.If your gift is to serve the poor, the oppressed, and the forgotten, reach out in compassion and grace. Will you? With God’s help, I will.If your gift is to help transform human organizations, speak clearly and lead creatively. Will you? With God’s help, I will.
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