Yesterday our church celebrated a Graduation Mass for our seniors. There were 5 students from Canby High School and my two homeschooled girls, a fairly large group for out here in rural America. Fr. Craig did a wonderful homily and it was right on, in my opinion. I wish I could have written down what he spoke to the very hearts of these young people! I sure hope the seniors were paying close attention because it was perfect advice that could make all the difference in their lives. At one point, I had to smile when Mario turned around, in the balcony where we sing, and asked me if it was true what Father had just said! I assured him that it was true!
Father explained that the seniors need to stay close to the Eucharist and be Pure in all areas of their lives and went on to give great explanations of both. He was able to explain it all so well, especially the purity part.
I took with me the point that no matter what these young people become or do with their lives, no matter how successful in the eyes of the world or to themselves, it would not bear much fruit or even happiness without God there beside them. These are not his words of course, but how I understood parts of them. I entertained the thought briefly of walking over to the organ, where there are pencils and paper, to try to write down what he was saying but instead I remained glued to the pew!
Below is the prayer that Fr. Craig Timmerman wrote for the graduates, having found other prayers somehow not to be exactly what he was looking for. That’s just like him, to want to make things just right.
A Graduation Blessing
God our Father, before you formed us in our mother’s womb, you knew us. Before we were born, you gave us a name
… and called us to be a light to the nations.
You have blessed these, your sons and daughters, with your grace at every stage of their lives: they were born through baptism, forgiven in Confession, fed and nourished by the Body and Blood of your Son in the Eucharist. At their confirmation they received the fullness of the Holy Spirit to make them fully disciples of Jesus Christ. Now, as they finish this stage of life in high school, bless these graduates with Wisdom to know your will and Courage to follow it as they step out to discover the path you have set for their lives.
Give them friends to be loyal and keep them strong in faith. Bless them with knowledge of your loving presence, especially in times of darkness. Bless them with the gift of Counsel to make good decisions and the gift of purity so their love for you will continue to grow stronger through all their relationships.
May they always turn to your grace for the help they need, finding strength in the Eucharist and forgiveness in Confession and protection through the Saints.
And wherever they are going, Lord, whether right here in our community or halfway around the world, may there be a Catholic Church there to welcome them and continue to guide them to their true home in heaven.
We ask all this through Christ our Lord.
How lucky we are to have such a good and faithful Priest here at St. Leo. The seeds of faith have been planted in our young people’s hearts and minds forever. Pray that they never forget.