From the Pastor’s Desk,

We have been in the celebration mode here at St. Agnes and at Springfield Catholic High School. We celebrated crowning of Mary followed by the celebration of First Holy Communion. Then came graduation of the high school seniors on Friday evening, followed by the Vietnamese celebration of crowning of Mary and First Holy Communion last Sunday. On Tuesday evening we celebrated the 8th grade St. Agnes Graduation Mass. As those young people walked into the Church for the last time as a class, they will never be the same. A few will transfer to public high schools, while the majority will enter Springfield Catholic High. Wherever they go, they will be beginning a new life. They will be making new friends, having new teachers, studying new subjects, or subjects much more in depth, all the while struggling to figure out who they are and what they are really all about. It is an exciting time and a scary time. A time of discovery and a time of growth on a more adult level with more adult consequences for their actions. My prayers are with them as they begin this new life. As I watched the seniors receive their diplomas from the Bishop at Catholic High’s graduation on Friday evening I wondered where they would find themselves in five or six years. There were 88 who graduated, of which 97% plan on higher education, while 3% are joining the U.S. military. The combined scholarship awards for the class was a little over $11,000,000.00. The class collectively had performed more than 22,414 hours of Community Service. The Valedictorian was Michael Bodenhausen from our parish, while the Salutatorian was Alex Thuro from St. Elizabeth Ann Seton parish. Over the years as chaplain and director of the theater I had gotten to know many of these students, their hopes and dreams. Much of what I have said concerning the 8th grade graduates can be echoed for the seniors. They will truly never be the same after graduation. They will be attending colleges and universities all over the country, from California to Massachusetts. Some may even study abroad to get a much larger view of life. I applaud those entering the armed forces of the United States to help keep our country strong. Regardless of where they end up for the next years of their lives, their lives will never be the same. They are moving into the adult world with adult consequences for their actions. May they keep their faith in God strong and know that He is always with them.

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