Dear Fellow Parishioners,
Both of our parish schools – SVHS and SVES – hold graduation ceremonies in our church. The beautiful, reverent and somewhat formal setting lends an appropriate air of solemnity to these milestone events. That doesn’t stop some groups of supporters from expressing their special enthusiasm for a favorite son or daughter as names are read and diplomas are conferred, which can add to the spirit of the celebration. Other students are making more incremental steps – from preschool to kindergarten, from one grade to the next, from junior high to high school, etc. – which are important markers as well, no matter where they attend school or a career training program. And we should not forget those young people who, with far less fanfare, leave throughout the year to serve our country in the Armed Forces.
This is a time of transitions, of one kind or another, for many SV parents and grandparents, and children and grandchildren. Years ago, I remember parents telling me about dropping off the last of their children at college. They unloaded the car, said their goodbyes, and drove off. Less than a mile later, they pulled off the road and had a good cry before returning home as “empty-nesters.”
Next Friday, June 9th, Christopher Girolo will be ordained a transitional deacon, the final step before being ordained a priest within the following year. It will be a moment of pride and gratitude not only for him, but for his family and our entire parish. In other news with a local connection, a former St. Rose parishioner and Cardinal Newman graduate, Mr. Mateusz Konieczny, will be ordained a permanent deacon in the Archdiocese of Washington, DC on June 3rd. He currently works in the Department of Homeland Security. His mother, Mariana, worked at St. Rose Parish years ago when I lived there. Mateusz was in high school at the time, and an accomplished musician.
By the time you read this, the final graduation of 2023 – that of our elementary school – will have taken place on Friday evening, June 2nd. Without being too personal it is, to the day, the 51st anniversary of my own graduation from SVES, which took place on my 14th birthday. (You can do the math.) I can’t attribute much special wisdom to my brand new senior citizenship, except the awareness that at some point it becomes too late to make old friends.
At all important events nowadays, thanks to smartphones, there are nearly as many cameras present as there are spectators. (They’re much easier to lug around than a Kodak Instamatic with flashcubes.) Nice as it can be to have pictures, the minute the shutter clicks, the moment moves on, never to be recaptured. And when do we have time to look at all of these pictures? No matter how often or hard we try, time moves on. That’s why it is important to take a moment, in undivided attention to the present, to live and celebrate with gratitude.
Fr. Bill Donahue