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Congratulations Graduates! Welcome to Your New Springtime

3 minutes

Summary

Dr. Mary Kay Clark sees the springtime of the Church in the 2018 Seton graduates’ faces. They are what Pope St. John Paul II was talking about: new Faith, new Hope, and new enthusiasm.

From Dr. Mary Kay Clark’s 2018 Graduation Speech:

Congratulations, graduates! Congratulations, parents!

Thank you, every one of you, for coming here today to make this graduation so special.

In most graduation ceremonies throughout America, the graduates and teachers walk down the aisle together, all dressed in caps and gowns. Their caps and gowns are a sign of great achievement for both. But this homeschooling ceremony is a bit different.

Yes, the students come on stage. And there is no doubt that their achievement is wonderful.

BUT the most important teachers, you homeschool parents, remain sitting in the audience. I want you parents to know, that as I look out into the audience today, I am looking at some of the best teachers in America. In fact, I am looking at some of the best parents in America. It is you parents that made the graduation today possible.

A New Springtime of the Church

And God bless you students who have worked so hard to reach this graduation day! Today, I am overjoyed with a sense of hope for you and for our nation, and for our Church. Years ago, Pope Saint John Paul II assured us that a new springtime is coming for the Church. With all the troubles in the Church and sadness in the world, this springtime can sometimes be difficult to see.

But I believe this new springtime is here.

Today, I can see the springtime of the Church in your faces. Today, I understand what Pope John Paul was talking about. He was talking about you. About you young people bringing new faith, new hope and new enthusiasm to the Church and to our American society.

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We at Seton are so happy and blessed that you let us be part of your lives for the past few years. As we graded your essays over the years, we had the privilege of watching your Catholic Faith grow. You may not have realized it, but that inspired us at Seton. We set out to help you grow in your faith, and along the way, you helped us to grow in ours. Thank you for that.

Today, the most important thing I want you to remember is that you have been a recipient of the grace of God. And wherever tomorrow takes you, however God calls you to be involved in promoting your faith, remember to pray for more grace. Because whether your mission in life takes you thousands of miles across the world or just as far as your hometown, you will need grace.

The world needs you more desperately than it knows. The world needs modern day saints filled with grace. And today, perhaps more than at any time since his own life, the world needs a modern Saint Paul.

Saint Paul’s Message

Paul was born into a world in which hate was answered with hate, in which evil was answered with evil. But Paul, following Jesus, had a different response to the world. It appears in the Book of Romans 12:21. Here it is:

Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

Twenty centuries later the answer is unmistakably and exactly the same: overcome evil with good.

If Saint Paul were here today, we might ask his opinion about what to do. But his answer to all our observations and complaints and worries would always be the same.

To a world of unbelief and heresy and apostasy,
St. Paul would say: Be faithful.
Overcome evil with good.

To a world of despair and waywardness and presumption,
St. Paul would say: Be hopeful.
Overcome evil with good.

To a world that is cruel and mean and callous,
St. Paul would say: Be charitable.
Overcome evil with good.

To a world of imprudence, of rash judgment, of negligence,
St. Paul would say: Practice prudence.
Overcome evil with good.

To a world that oppresses the poor, that oppresses the family, that oppresses the Catholic Church,
St. Paul would say: Practice justice.
Overcome evil with good.

To a world of impatience of materialism and of instant gratification,
St. Paul would say: Practice fortitude.
Overcome evil with good.

To a world of pride of immodesty and dishonesty,
St. Paul would say: Practice temperance.
Overcome evil with good.

Toward the end of his life, Saint Paul could look back and proclaim: “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.”

You graduates are just beginning your lives in the outside world. But make no mistake, the good fight awaits you. With the Sacrament of Confirmation, with the renewal of your baptismal promises, you signed on for that good fight.

As difficult as life gets, stay in that good fight. Finish the race as St. Paul showed us.

The heart of Jesus beats with Godly love for each of us for all eternity. His love is the reason you are here today. His love is the reason for everything that is good.

Parents and graduates, once again, on behalf of everyone at Seton, Congratulations, and God bless you and your family.

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About Dr. Mary Kay Clark

Dr. Mary Kay Clark
Director of Seton for more than 25 years. Dr. Clark left Mater Dei Academy and began teaching her children at home at seeing firsthand the opportunities and the pitfalls of private schooling. Meet Dr. Clark | See her book
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