Sunday, May 12, 2013

Before and After

Note: This is Mr. Weber's last assembly address of the year, directed especially to seniors six days before their graduation. 

The juxtaposition of these two pictures (click on each one)--one dated to 2001 as construction for JPII was just in its beginning stages, and the second dated twelve years later this year--gives dramatic “before and after” witness to the vision of our founders and the success by which that vision was brought to reality by the community of Boards, faculty, leadership teams and students who followed. 

But this isn’t the most important “before and after” shot at JPII. Seniors, in just six days you’ll be walking across the stage at Grand Ole Opry, and the bishop will be handing you your diploma.  Four years ago, most of you entered into this school a bit nervously, unsure of yourself, unsure who your friends were going to be, unsure in some cases if you could handle the academic program. Here you are now, on the cusp of graduation.

What kind of person are you becoming? Our school’s most important wish for you, our deepest desire, is that you strive to become the person God has designed you to be.  Therein lies your life’s happiness. No matter how beautiful this campus, no matter the quality of your teachers, the strength of the academic program, the fond memories, the affection you may have for your friends, the kind of person you’re becoming is the most important thing.

Embrace God’s plan for your life. And remember, attending Church next year is an important way to stay connected to him and hear his voice.  Our Church is not perfect—no church is. They are run by men and women who have the same tendency to sin as all the rest of us. But God is present there. The Holy Spirit resides there, despite however we may muck it up, and the Holy Spirit will help you through college and in all the choices you will make in the next 4-5 years: your major, your friends, where you will live, your career, perhaps even your spouse. It’s easy to be the critic of the Church from the outside. Think of the stained glass windows. All you see of the window from the outside of the Church are dull, blackish, ugly things. But from within the Church looking out, the stained glass windows tell the story of our faith in beautiful, majestic artistry. We can only understand our faith from the inside the Church looking out.

It’s been a real honor to be your headmaster these last four years. I am proud of all your achievements. I am proud of the people you’re becoming. 

Come back and see us. This will always be your school. This is your alma mater. God bless you.  

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