Spring’s rites of passage

By Sam Lucero | The Compass | May 25, 2013

Graduations top the list

Just when we thought it would never happen, spring finally arrived. The sound of chirping birds, the sight of blossoming plants and trees, and the feel of warm breezes blowing across grassy fields help put smiles on our faces.

There are other signs of spring, some good and some not-so-good. One of the highlights of every spring is the traditional rite of passage: graduation. In this week’s Compass, we feature listings of each diocesan Catholic high school’s graduating class, along with information from our local Catholic colleges.

Graduation is a time of tremendous pride for parents and grandparents, whether it is a kindergarten graduation, middle school, high school or college. Commencement addresses, baccalaureate Masses, reception of diplomas and family celebrations all make for memorable experiences.

This year my family joins countless others in celebrating multiple graduations, one from middle school and one from college. While Samantha now awaits life as a Triton at Notre Dame Academy, Dominic prepares for graduate school in North Carolina. These are transitions long anticipated, yet met with mild anguish, knowing that the empty nest is clearly in sight.

In the celebration and sadness of graduation, of children inching closer to adulthood, we Catholics turn to our faith. We give thanks to God for the miracles of life before us and the ability to pass along moral values instilled in us by our own parents.

It’s the faith equation that separates us from others; not in a condescending way, but in a grateful way. We know that, without God, raising children and preparing them for a world that is sometimes corrupt and uncaring is not an easy task. This is why we choose to send our children to Catholic schools or enroll them in religious education classes.

During his commencement address at the University of Notre Dame last Sunday, Cardinal Timothy Dolan reminded students, parents and faculty that the goal of Catholic education is more than a diploma.

“Here our goal is not just a career, but a call; not just a degree, but discipleship; not just what we’ve gotten but what we’re giving; not just the now but eternity; not just the ‘I’ but the ‘we’; not just the grades but the gospel.”

Parents and grandparents of this year’s graduates, congratulations on your accomplishments. Remember to continue sharing the message of faith with your children as they take the next step in their lives. Remind them again and again that it is not just about the grades, but about the Gospel of Jesus, our savior, who guides us along the bumpy roads.

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