Last evening we said fare thee well to the Class of 2014. The commencement was held at the Sullivan Arena at Saint Anselm College and as always was a wonderful evening. We have a nice tradition where the faculty and staff line up in a receiving line and say good bye to each student individually as they process in, I always look forward to it.
I had the privilege of saying the opening prayer and as I usually do at commencement, I bring the processional cross that we use at school Masses. The arm of Jesus broke off some years ago and I have left it off after hearing the story of Dr. Mary McDonald, the former superintendent of schools for the Diocese of Memphis. She prayed to Jesus to wrap His arms around students who live in tough situations and to help them in their need. Not long after that she came across two crucifixes, both of whom were missing the arms of Jesus. She got the point - she (and us) are the arms of Jesus and we are to do His work. You can read more about this story here.
I always tell this story and then offer a prayer. This year I offered one by Mother Teresa which you can read here, it's one of my favorites and I use it often for our morning prayer at school.
After the ceremony I hung around to chat with people and to take pictures with students. This was the first year I teared up as there are some amazing students and parents in this class that I will miss terribly. You tend to get used to students coming and going but this group will always be special to me.
The Union Leader did a story on the commencement which you can read here.