Dear Parish Family,
I recently attended my nephew’s graduation from the University of Connecticut. As I sat through the graduation, I couldn’t help but think about the many young men and women who would be starting a new and exciting chapter in their lives. I watched their excitement and enthusiasm and wondered what else was going on in their minds and hearts. Were they anxious or elated about the next step in their lives or perhaps uncertain what the next step would be? The very nature of change involves a wide range of emotions and I know many of our young can become overwhelmed with the many decisions they feel they need to make.
There were over a thousand-young people at my nephew’s graduation and they were sent out into the world with inspirational talks, spirited music, beautifully printed diplomas and thunderous applause - but not a single prayer. Perhaps it’s an occupational hazard, but I believe the most important thing we could have given those young people at that pivotal moment in their lives, was the gift of a prayer and blessing. It saddened me that God was never mentioned or even hinted at in the ceremony. These bright young minds should have been reminded that there is an even greater force in their life than their personal achievements. That this all knowing, all powerful, all loving God desires to walk the journey with them; in good times and in bad.
The organizers chose not to include God in the ceremony but we can certainly do our best to educate and remind our young people that God is the source of all life and the creator of everyone’s gifts and talents. We can model and instruct our young people on the importance of using one’s gifts for more than personal gain. It is our duty, as Christian men and women, to step up to the plate and talk to our young about God. We need to emphasize the role of faith in their lives and their unique call to mature into individuals of integrity, faith and compassion. Let’s make a concerted effort to wrap this year’s graduation gifts with the One who holds the key to their true future success.