GRADUATION 2012 – BROOKLYN

8gr2012Friday, June 15, 2012 was the Graduation Day for 24 students of the St. Stanislaus Kostka Catholic Academy in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. It was a greatly anticipated event for them. Dressed in graduations gowns they processed from the school to the church followed by their teachers and parents. At the church door they were greeted by the pastor of St. Stanislaus Kostka parish and altar serves who led them to the altar. The ceremony started with the Mass of thanksgiving for graces received during years of study and with pleas for graces and God’s blessings for the future. Father Marek Sobczak was the celebrant of the mass.

Members of the Board of Directors of the Academy, faculty and staff, parents and guest, children’s choir and schoolmates participated in the Mass. Students read the Scripture, general intersession prayers and brought gifts to the altar. “The Star-Spangled Banner” has begun the second part of the evening. Father Marek Sobczak CM, Principal Mrs. Christina Cieloszczyk, and 8 grade teacher Ms Stephanie Duggan presided during the graduation exercises and presented graduates their diplomas and awards. Many students received special awards from different schools, organizations or private founders. A few students received full four years scholarships from different high schools, as well as partial scholarships. Many were accepted to prestigious schools. At the end, graduates recited their pledge and the group photos were taken. Our congratulation and best wishes to the all! We thank all the parents who entrusted their children to the teachers of St. Stanislaus Kostka Academy. They made a great decision because their children are well prepared for a new educational steps.

Fr. Marek’s address to the Class 2012.

A man who lived on a farm noticed eagles flying in the sky above the forest. He wanted to have one. So he set up a trap and after few days he caught one. He brought the eagle to the farm and tied his leg to a pole in the chicken coop with a rope. The eagle, of course, after recovering from the shock of being captured, tried to fly away. But when he opened his wings and tried to fly up to the skies the rope knocked him back to the ground. The eagle tried this maneuver thousands of times but the result was the same. He kept landing hard on the ground. He tried to get rid of the rope, but couldn’t…

After a few months, the eagle gave up. He started to notice that the chicken food began to taste good to him, he found himself comfortable living in the coop with food and water provided… He did not even notice that the rope, being exposed to the rain and sun during summer time, and to the snow and wind during winter time – practically dissolved. The eagle could easily break it and fly away. But he stopped trying to get free, and to live the free life of an eagle …

By the way – This story is not about eagles. This story is about us, humans. We should be living like free eagles, flying in the high skies. Our souls which are created in God’s image should enjoy the freedom of God’s life. From the perspective of God’s life a person can discover love, goodness, mercy, patience and other positive value – much easier. We have a chance to live a life of freedom. You and I are given an opportunity to live a life free from any attachments to perishable values, free from sin. Unfortunately, we get caught. We fight for a moment struggling for our freedom, but then we give up. We become like the eagle who finally started to think why struggle for the high skies since I have a comfortable life here in the chicken coop.

It is sad to see how many people choose to live in a chicken coop – attached to the life of sin, away from God, away from beautiful dreams, away from true freedom. Money, immorality, escape from responsibility make us prisoners in a place that is not ours. Our vision becomes blurred, we can’t distinguish what is good and what is wrong, what is proper and what is not. Many of us do not want to make an effort to take an extra step up. We forget that we have souls and our souls have wings that can take us to the high skies, to the true freedom of God’s life, the life of God’s children.

Do not be like that eagle that was captured by a farmer. Do not fall into the conformism of life. Fly high in the true freedom into which you were created by God. You are a human person created by God in his image. Do not live a life of the eagle who became a chicken. Never.