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Graduates Encouraged to be "Humble Witnesses"

by Dr. David Twellman

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To mark the high achievements of its honor graduates, the seminary held the Solemn Vespers and Awards Reception on Friday, April 28. At the event, thirty-seven degree graduates received honor cords they will wear at commencement. Four undergraduate students received the Who's Who Among Students in American Universities and Colleges Award, which was bestowed upon Brenton Cordeiro, Benjamin Rivard, Robert Voiland, and Jacob Wisenbaker by the College faculty based upon their academic performance, service, and leadership.

The evening concluded with rector Msgr. Todd Lajiness honoring those who have been called to the Sacrament of Holy Orders this year. Special recognition was given to departing faculty members Fr. Mathias Thelen, Fr. Robert Spezia, and Msgr. John Hall. Our prayers go with them as they enter new chapters in life and ministry.

The seminary hosted its Ninety-Third Baccalaureate Mass and Commencement Exercises on Saturday, April 29, with over four hundred in attendance, witnessing the awarding of seventy-eight degrees, diplomas, and certificates to sixty-eight graduates in the Class of 2017. His Excellency Allen H. Vigneron, Archbishop of Detroit, was the celebrant, with Monsignor Lajiness serving as the homilist.

Monsignor marked the occasion with the admonition that in the midst of recognizing significant academic accomplishments, we should celebrate "the joy of having been formed by Christ, transformed by his grace, and strengthened for the work of ministry." In his reflections on the Gospel of John, Monsignor noted the several instances where Jesus "turned" toward and encountered others, bringing about a transformation to faith, humility, and peace. And so, according to the wisdom of St. Catherine of Siena, "the greater we are, the more we should humble ourselves and recognize our own nothingness."

With these remarks, the rector encouraged our graduates with a sense of calling toward the humble witness, the humble work of ministry in the New Evangelization. The students, faculty and staff, administration, and the Board of Trustees of Sacred Heart Major Seminary congratulate all of the graduates and offer best wishes in fulfilling their call to ministry.

Dr. David Twellman

Dr. David Twellman is the registrar and assistant dean of studies at Sacred Heart Major Seminary.

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Sacred Heart Major Seminary is a Christ-centered Catholic community of faith and higher learning committed to forming leaders who will proclaim the good news of Christ to the people of our time. As a leading center of the New Evangelization, Sacred Heart serves the needs of the Archdiocese of Detroit and contributes to the mission of the universal Church.