Saturday, May 15, 2010

Farewell to our extraordinary seniors

Please pray for Taylor, a GW student who fell from the fifth story of a building last night and is is grave condition at the hospital. I just visited him and his family; they appreciate your prayers.

We are celebrating our amazing seniors here this weekend with Commencement ceremonies here at GW. It is a time of celebration and joy but with a touch of sadness in saying goodbye to these extraordinary men and women. Even though I've only been here a year, I have gotten to know well many of the members of the class of 2010 and will miss them tremendously.

There's no doubt that these students are very bright. What may be even more impressive about GW's seniors is how engaged they are. My experience with college students before coming here in July was that they were more apathetic about serious, real-world issues than caring. GW students present the opposite. I have found that more are engaged in and active with issues than aren't. Yesterday, at one graduation ceremony, the care, commitment, and passion of the students for justice and peace in the world was palpable. I don't agree with the ideology of all of the deans and students here, but I admire their passion.

Regarding our seniors at the Newman Center, I will speak to them tonight at our Baccalaureate Mass. They have been the glue that has held our Center together in the past four years, along with God's Grace and our former campus minister, Alecia. They have been led by three chaplains which would be a challenge for any group of people in such a short period of time. And yet, they have not only remained faithful to prayer and service, they have grown in their faith. They are truly an extraordinary group of leaders. They will be missed.

One of the least enjoyable parts of being a priest is saying goodbye. You never really say a final goodbye to anyone because of the communion of saints. But, it is challenging and painful to bid an immediate farewell to those you have gotten to know and love. We will miss their great service and leadership. But, mostly we will miss them. We will miss enjoying laughs over lunch. We will miss their presence at Tuesday dinners. We will miss their love for the Eucharist which has been so inspiring all year. We will miss their joy...their happiness...their kindness. We will miss God's beauty and peace coming through them.

Hopefully, they will return to the Newman Center before we can miss them! They are always welcome. Until we see them next here, we will see them in prayer.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I was sorry to hear on the news this morning that the young man died of his injuries. I pray for the comfort of those who loved him.