Friday, June 14, 2013 was the Graduation Day for 27 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.
Graduation Day! How exciting, particularly for our graduating students with all their future before them, and looking so wonderful and beaming on this special day, surrounded by their family and friends.
My friends – today and in the future you will hear from people that they want you to be successful in life, to have a successful career. They will want you to be someone they can be proud of. Your parents, your teachers, even your priest, will always want you to be successful. And that’s because all of us only want the best for you. So we define success in the best way possible: that you will have the best.
To be successful in life, to get a good job, to be popular, to be rich – these might be your goals in life. However, if that’s all you want to be, then we at the Academy have failed you. Why? Because our objective here was to give you a religious basis for your life. That is, that somehow in the plan of your life, God is at the heart.
You were coming into this church often in the hope that you might learn to pray to God and to worship him. But even more importantly, one of the things we come to church for is to listen to God.
Many people will say to you – Listen to me. They will say – hear what I am saying!
We tried to teach you to always listen to God in your life. God word should always be the most important for us if we want to be truly successful in life.
So find time to listen to him in church, in Holy Communion, in the scriptures, and in the traditions of the Church, though they may seem bizarre and odd. It is very important to have a religious basis for your life. Make an imprint on your heart “I am going through life with Jesus.”
I believe that you, graduating students of St. Stanislaus Kostka Catholic Academy, understand the importance of living by God’s words and gifts. He has given us many gifts to make us perfect people. He has given us himself so we can act like God’s people.
We are Christ using our gifts from God to help each other and all people.
This is the best definition of Christian there is. This is the best definition of Church there is.
You do not “BELONG” to the Catholic Church.
You “ARE” the Catholic Church. We ARE God’s people.
Jesus Christ has give us different gifts and talents so we can use them not only for our own sake but to help others. When you use your gifts, it isn’t always going to be easy. But, like Jesus, work hard, keep trying and don’t give up. Your family needs your gifts. People of this world desperately needs your gifts.
Your gift of kindness.
Your gift of generosity.
Your gift of honesty.
Your gift of trustworthiness.
Your gift of courage.
Your gift of fairness.
Your gift of friendship.
Your gift of prayer.
Your gift of love.
Be a good person. Please. Don’t hide your goodness.
Be so good of a person that people notice.
Be such a good person that people ask you, “Hey, why are you such a good person.”
Because when you are asked that question you will be given an opportunity to show a gift we haven’t mentioned yet tonight.
You will have the opportunity to show thankfulness, gratitude, because you will be able to give this answer to that question.
“I am a good person to others because someone was good to me.”
So, tonight, graduates let me give you one last assignment.
Always remember these three things.
You are a person loved by God.
You are a gifted person.
And you are a good person.
My dear SSKCA 8th Grade Graduating Class of 2013, on behalf of all your teachers that you have had all these years, and on behalf of your family, friends and this parish, I pray that our Good Lord blesses each of you tonight and always, and that you find in the years ahead, that joy and happiness that is only to be found by using the gifts God gives each of you. Amen.