Cardinal Wuerl Celebrates Archbishop Carroll High School Baccalaureate Mass
Thursday, May 26, 2016
WASHINGTON – Cardinal Donald Wuerl, archbishop of Washington, celebrated the Baccalaureate Mass for Archbishop Carroll High School in the Crypt Church of the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception on Wednesday, May 25.
The cardinal began his homily by congratulating the graduating class, along with their families, friends, teachers and the administration of Archbishop Carroll High School. “This is a culmination of a long, long uphill climb for so many of you and those of us who have tried to be of support along the way can only rejoice with you and your accomplishments that are represented in your graduation,” said Cardinal Wuerl. “None of us have arrived at this point all by ourselves. None of us have made our way through life alone.”
Cardinal Wuerl added that he hoped the students carried in their hearts the recognition of God’s presence in their lives. The cardinal told a story about an encounter he had with a student who was constantly texting, and the cardinal asked him the importance of the text messages he sent and received. Cardinal Wuerl recalled the student said, “You have to keep in touch.” The cardinal agreed on the importance of keeping in touch, and added, “For a person of faith, someone who has experienced the commitment at Archbishop Carroll High School, I would hope that you would also be committed to keeping in touch with the whole spiritual side of your life and therefore with God.”
God made us in his image and desires a relationship with each of us, said the cardinal, “God speaks to us. God does not use cell phones or text messages.” He added, “It might be easier if he did.”
“But what does God say to us? What is it that God offers us? One thing I hope we have all learned at Archbishop Carroll High School is that God is love. God loves us and that what is truly important in life is to love and be loved,” stated Cardinal Wuerl.
The cardinal recalled Pope Francis’ visit to Washington, D.C. nine months ago, and the way in which the Holy Father “showed all of us the smiling, inviting face of the Church calling us to recognize that God does love each one of us, that God cares for each one of us and that each one of us has an obligation to each other.”
He continued, “Dear young people, that power of the Spirit that you have within you is not just so that you can feel close to God, it is also so that you would have the strength, the spiritual energy to do great things, to make this world a better place, to change this world.”
The cardinal told the graduates that as they receive their diplomas and walked away from Archbishop Carroll High School, to remember how important it was they shared their talents with the world and to make a difference. “Each one of you newly graduated men and women has your own gifts, talents and abilities. Jesus calls us to be part of a world of justice, truth, kindness, compassion, wisdom, peace and love – and each of you, in your own way, has something to offer to help make our society better.”
The cardinal concluded his homily, “Because of your Catholic formation, you bring a vision of life and purpose rooted in the Gospel and enlightened by your faith. Be prepared to recognize and accept the fact that you can change the world. Now it becomes your turn.”
The commencement ceremony for Archbishop Carroll High School will be held tonight at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception. The graduating class of 2016, comprised of 104 students, has acceptances to over 90 different colleges and universities and over $2,387,600 in scholarship dollars have been awarded.
The Archdiocese of Washington is home to over 620,000 Catholics, 139 parishes and 95 Catholic schools, located in Washington, DC, and five Maryland counties: Calvert, Charles, Montgomery, Prince George’s and St. Mary’s.