Monday, May 12, 2008

Some Thoughts on Gradual School Graduation

The weather was awesomely beautiful considering it was rainy and cold on Friday AND Sunday. All day Saturday it was Sunny with a nice breeze. We were really happy to have the great weather.

Our friend Felicity couldn't be with us because her father passed away on Friday. Please keep her in your prayers. We will share her joy next year when she walks for her graduation.

I got to be a Candle bearer for the processional at Commencement Liturgy in Abbey Church along with Susan (a colleague I have known from Diocesan work since before we started at St. Meinrad). As we were standing outside preparing to enter we both realized we were the only two women in a very long line of men of men. (all the monks who teach in the Seminary/School of Theology concelebrate the Mass with the visiting commencement speaker: The Most Reverend R. Walker Nickless, DD, Bishop of Sioux City Iowa.)

My dear friend John and his wife were able to join us because of a slight hitch in his recovery schedule. Claudette said that his first thought after being momentarily upset that his bone marrow transplant would have to be postponed was that he would get to share the day with Diane and me. They even got to the Hill in time to sit in church with us.

The angelbaby's comment on the resplendent liturgical vessels used in the Abbey Church: (said, wide eyed, just after she returned from receiving Communion): "Mom, really little hands, great big cup."

My kids who drove down Saturday had a really scary encounter with a gravel truck (we see a lot of those around these parts) but the only damage I have is a chip to my front windshield, so I feel very blessed.

There were extra places at our lunch table (Diane and I shared a table because we had so many common friends we wanted to invite, so we got to allow one of our professors, the associate director of our program and the administrative assistant in her office to sit with us at lunch. This was really great.

I had little boxes made up at a place here in town called The Chocolate Emporium that said:

Admit it

You'll miss me.

on top and each box was filled with a dark chocolate truffle. I painstakingly signed each and every box (now I wish I had taken a picture of at least one of the boxes). These I handed out at the luncheon to all of my friends, professors, the monks in the administration, Father Abbot Justin, and the seminarians that I have known since I have been coming to the school. The story behind the saying is that I am the one who brought chocolate candy to every class (to ensure that my chocolatarian side wouldn't starve on the weekends) they will miss me when I am gone.

I was very good at lunch, and even though the wine selection was top notch, I only drank one glass so as not to embarrass myself at the convocation.

I will freely admit now [mostly because 1) I have the signed diploma in my hands, and 2) the President Rector busted me after the convocation when my Pops got a picture I will post as soon as I get a copy]: that I actually wore my I love Jesuits t-shirt under my gown to the convocation.

I made it across the stage without tripping or hurting myself. I will admit to checking inside the diploma, just to make sure it was duly signed and official. My friend Diane, hadn't yet gotten her final grades and was expecting to get an empty one with Psych written inside, hers was signed too.

The Bishop's address was a bit offensive to me, the nicest thing I can say about it was at least it was short. I happened to be sitting in the front row of the auditorium and since it isn't air conditioned the outside doors were open on either side of the stage and I was smack in the middle of a very brisk cross wind and getting colder by the minute.

When we processed out of the auditorium we walked through a hallway lined with all of our professors who were clapping as we passed. If anything that happened that day was a moment that made me start to cry, that was it. Seeing my favorite professors, Damo, Clayton, Ryan, Fr. Richstatter, Br McDreamy all standing there wishing me well, was more than I could bear.

We sat with friends and drank champagne (not nearly as nice a spread as last year's) and chatted for a long time. I got some really cool gifts. Deacon John had Icons made for us: Diane is Perpetua and I am Thekla (it is a very long story, remind me to tell you) It was such a thoughtful gift. Every gift I got was thoughtful. Diane gave me a rosary bracelet from the Vatican Museum gift shop from her recent vacation in Italy. She has a matching one from Assisi. Pops and Pat got me a Harry Pickens CD (we have a mutual admiration for Jazz and specifically Harry Pickens, whom we have heard in concert together twice.

My kids got me a talking card of Vizzini from The Princess Bride saying that my achievement in graduation was "Inconceivable" and a copy of The Philosophy of The Office" Which may be the only Philosophy book I will ever enjoy reading. My kids; where do they get that sarcastically cruel streak?

In the evening we had a small dinner gathering of some of our lay student friends. We ate sandwiches and yummy home made potato salad and salsa and then we sang Karaoke. It was lots of fun.

I will post some pictures when I have time, but today is my library day and we are starting inventory and the librarian is out today (she took a surprise visit to Georgia for Mother's day to see her mom) so I have to get going so I can get things started.



Mimi said...

It sounds amazing.

Memory Eternal to Felicity's Father.

Adoro te Devote said...

What was offensive about the Bishop's address?

Anonymous said...

Hi Maggie,

Joyce finally found your blog address buried in her purse from graduation. Hope all is well; with exception to your lost vehicle. I can be found at...
God Bless from Joyce & boys too.
Dale Wittler