Father Augustine Wetta, O.S.B.
Congratulations, gentlemen. As of today, the Feast of Saint Bede, the Venerable, you are freshmen. In two years, you will be driving. In three years, you will receive a gold ring that bears a coat of arms registered with the College of Heralds of Great Britain. You will take your SATs, write a thesis, go to prom, dig your very own mud pit…and exactly four years from today, your valedictorian will stand in this very church and give a speech that will sound something like this (I’ve edited out the boring parts, and will just sazy blah blah blah instead:
Parents, faculty, monks, and esteemed students of the Saint Louis Priory School, it is a great honor to be here blah blah blah we will always be brothers blah blah blah ups and downs, blah blah blah insert funny story here blah blah blah something about God blah blah blah never thought we’d make it blah blah blah but with a Priory education you can do anything so long as you to put your mind to it. Blah blah blah Thank you.
I’ve heard a lot of graduation speeches. And not all of them sounded exactly like that; but enough did that I finally sat down and wrote my own graduation speech. Predictably, I’ve never been asked to give it.
So in leau of a sermon, here it is: my graduation speech to the class of 2023:
Parents, faculty, monks, and esteemed students of the Saint Louis Priory School, You are all going to fail. Over the next few years, you will all, inevitably, have your hearts broken, experience loneliness, miss a major opportunity, lose a game, lose a job, lose some money, be abandoned and ridiculed, be humiliated and scorned. You, my friends, are destined for failure. And that is very, very sad. But it’s also ok because your God had his heart broken and was ridiculed by his friends. Your God was humiliated and scorned and abandoned. And that means that your dignity is not bound up with your success. You are a child of God. You have been divinized. And in the end, when you lie on your deathbed as we all inevitably do, without trophies or diplomas or accolades or even your bodily health to comfort you, ALL that will matter is your existence as a child of God, and it will be enough. That will be more than enough. That will be everything.
Laus Tibi Domine
Praise to You, O Lord, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit