When I look back to my high school graduation in 1960, I find I’ve forgotten some of the highlights, but 1960 was truly a year filled with much controversy. John F. Kennedy was elected president. He was the first Catholic to ever hold office. He had a glamorous wife, came from a prominent family, faced tragedy in his lifetime and would go on to be assasinated while riding through the streets of Dallas. Dr. Martin Luther King was an outspoken civil rights activist for racial equality. Race descrimination was at its peak The Viet Nam war was an issue. Women were lookinng for equality too. The feminist movement occurred during this time and women burned they bras as a form of protest. They could expect to work in very few occupations – Secretaries, Nurses, Waitresses, teachers and mothers. Most women stayed at home to raise their children. Some broke through the barriers and pursued medical careers or attempted to achieve success in areas which had only been reserved for me.
So much has changed in the last sixty some years, but a lot remains the same. You have a unique story to tell your children and grandchildren some day. You will be able to relate being isolated in your home for a year because of a worldwide pandemic. You can tell them of the time you had to wear a mask to work and disinfect everything you touched. You will have many stories of how people changed their normal activities, like eating out, going to church and sharing time with friends. Your last two years of school have been filled with disappointment, frustration, sometimes anxious moments and a time filled with confusion and not knowing the outcome. Those things will only make you a stronger person than you already are. You’ve learned to adapt to learning on line, giving things up, going with the flow and following some tough restrictions, but I know that is only going to grow your faith and build your character.
When you look back on this time, I hope you will treasure every moment you had going through them – yes even the yucky stuff. We are so proud of your achievements so far and know that you will succeed at whatever you do. You are strong, invincible, a woman of excellence, integrity and Christian values. All of those attributes will help you reach for your dreams even when they seem impossible. Always know that you are God’s precious child and He will love you when others don’t. He will guide you through difficult choices. He will walk with you in your journey. He will use you for a wonderful purpose.