May 22, 2017
Last Friday night the Class of 2017 at Bishop Chatard HS graduated. The following is a message I wrote for inclusion in the Commencement program, a quick final message to both the graduates and their parents:
To the parents of Bishop Chatard’s Class of 2017: You have wonderful children, gifted and intelligent. They have stretched themselves, tried new things, tasted success, and experienced some bumps along the way. You are, and you should be, very proud.
Forgive them if around graduation time they have already zoomed ahead. They will likely be thinking about the next step — college, moving out, new friends, new experiences, and the freedom and responsibilities of young adulthood.
Forgive them if in the midst of this flood of future-think they forget to say, “I love you,” or “Thank you.” Know that they are saying “I love you” by showing you their maturity and independence, serving as witness to the fact that you have done your job well!
To Bishop Chatard’s Class of 2017: You have unbelievably supportive parents who love you more than you can imagine. They have sacrificed, worried, waited up nights, and paved the way for your future success.
Forgive them if around graduation time you see tears in their eyes. While you are looking ahead with great joy to the future, they are remembering your past and the joy you have brought to them. Let them take pictures and hug you over and over again. If you are not a hugger, become one for a week or so.
Remember that when you walk across the stage to receive your diploma tonight, everyone else in the audience will see a mature, fully-grown 17 or 18-year-old. But your parents will see their baby boy or baby girl crawling or skipping or jump-roping across the stage and they will cry.
God bless the Class of 2017 — we are proud of you!