Today I will graduate (again) from the Washington Theological Union. Two years ago I completed an M.A. in Systematic Theology from the WTU and then taught for a year at Siena College during what we friars refer to as our ‘internship year,’ or what some communities call their apostolic year. I returned to Washington, DC, last Fall to complete my coursework for the Master of Divinity (M.Div.) degree that I had been concurrently completing while finishing my M.A. these last few years. A number of friars from my local community will also be graduating, including my profession and ordination classmate, Steve DeWitt (in picture to left with me and Fr. Jim Coriden, the renowned Canon Law scholar, after my M.A. graduation in 2010) and Frank Critch, who are also both receiving M.Div. degrees. Additionally, there is one friar, Ross Chamberland, who has earned an M.T.S. degree and two friars, James Hwang and Gerald Hopek, who have earned graduate certificates.
The day begins with a Baccalaureate Mass at the WTU chapel at 11:00 am, for which I will play the piano and Frank will play the guitar, in addition to the several graduates, current students and staff members who will sing under the direction of Julianne Wallace. The commencement exercises will take place on the campus of Trinity Washington University at 2:30 in the afternoon. It has been the tradition that the ceremonies take place in the Trinity chapel, a beautiful space, but due to ongoing renovations, we have been moved to a gym/auditorium space — not nearly as fancy, but I’m sure it will suffice.
I ask for your prayers for all of our graduates as they move on to new places and new ministries. Many of the M.Div. recipients from religious communities will be ordained in the upcoming weeks, other women and men will continue the tradition of WTU graduates, announcing the Word of God in word and deed as they minister to God’s people in a variety of settings. All of us are grateful for the ongoing prayerful support of our religious communities, families and friends. Peace and good!