Graduation Season

Every year, I move from Confirmation season to ordinations and conclude my busy spring with graduations. Admittedly, although at times very hectic, it is my favorite time of the year. During their graduation ceremonies, I told the 2024 High School graduates that I saluted their resilience, having begun their high school education during one of the most challenging times the world had ever seen; we are all very proud of you, I told them, and grateful for the gift you brought to our schools.

In my remarks, I reminded them that as we move through life, we encounter many situations over which we have no control. However, we can control our response to those situations. If you want to be happy and prosperous, be willing to help others. Be willing to share the gifts and talents you have been given and be prepared to make some sacrifices; the more we cross the boundaries of our comfort zone, the more we discover all the beauty life has to offer. Most of us must go through a “Copernican Revolution,” to realize that the world does not rotate around us and that we are not the center of the universe. True happiness comes from recognizing that we are interdependent and need to embrace an attitude of cooperation and charity. We were all born to help each other, no matter how difficult it might be. Life is good when we are happy, but life is even better when we also help others find happiness.

I reminded the graduates that they bring hope to our world, to our Church, to our country! For all of us, hope keeps us from discouragement. It’s the sustainable expectation of better days, a better world, and, finally, eternal life. As we face the challenges of life, to hope is to know we are not alone; it is to believe we can become better, that the world can be better, and that we can make a difference. You may not be able to change the whole world, but you can change your world and the world for those around you. So we continue dreaming and hoping; we continue growing and learning. Graduation is just the closing of one chapter at the beginning of another. I told them to take with them the values and lessons they had learned, along with all the knowledge they had acquired, with the certainty that they are special in God’s eyes—they are His beloved sons and daughters.

Finally, I encouraged them to be sure to take their faith with them wherever they go and in whatever they do. To build a successful life, but not just for themselves. To not be afraid to take risks but to let the Holy Spirit guide them. And I concluded by leaving with them these three simple thoughts:

  • “If life gets bitter, stir it up a little bit. Maybe the sweetness is at the bottom and might come up as you move.”
  • “Life isn’t waiting for the storm to pass. It’s learning how to dance in the rain.”
  • Lastly, “if you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.”

Congratulations to all students as they complete another year, whatever grade they may be “graduating” from. Be proud of your accomplishments, and enjoy whatever God has prepared for you next. Please know that I am praying for all of you. May God bless all of you! 

Lumen Christi Gala

One more quick reminder that this year’s 3rd annual Lumen Christi Cathedral Gala is a time to celebrate not only the Cathedral of St. Mary of the Assumption but also the Diocese of Fall River, which is marking its 120th anniversary. The evening will feature music by Vatican III, the Jazz band comprised of four priests from our Fall River Diocese, as well as the honoring of Patrick and Lillian Carney for their faith, service, and philanthropy.

All proceeds from this event will support repairs and renovations that will help us shine the light of our beloved Cathedral of Saint Mary of the Assumption for years to come. I hope to see you all there.

Yours in Christ,
Bishop da Cunha

*Feature image courtesy of the Andrade family.

The Most Reverend Edgar M. da Cunha, S.D.V., D.D.
The Most Reverend Edgar M. da Cunha, S.D.V., D.D.
The Bishop of Fall River