The Graduation Ceremony

13 March 2015

A reflection on the Graduation CeremonyAt last the Institute of Faith Education Graduation Ceremony was held on Friday evening 13th March 2015 after the cancelation of 20th February due to bad weather. This accident brought a surprise coincidence, rather it is the will of God as the eyes of faith observes.
A journey towards this Ceremony reflects a little story of my faith. This is the journey in Hope towards joy despite many obstacles, difficulties or challenges you may say.
graduate2015Eleven graduands (included seven Sisters of St Paul of Chartres) and eight participants weren’t a big number for such a warm and solemn ceremony with the presence of the Most Reverend Archbishop Mark Coleridge. Everything has touched my heart with the sense of gratefulness to God’s mercy.
The keynote addressed by Archbishop is something I would love to share in this reflection. He begins to tell us the story of unexpected surprise of this very day two years ago. One could imagine how a good story teller like him who tells this story of how he relies on the Encyclopaedia to search for a Pope’s information he expected at 2 am. Finally, “Habemus Papam”, his feet were on fire to wait for the name appears: “Jorge Mario Bergoglio!”
Anyway, the point He wanted to communicate to us is the horizon to a new Evangelization in the new spirit of Pope Francis’ “Evangelii Gaudium - The Joy of the Gospel”. It seems nothing new, but it renews all things; it seems nothing has changed, yet it changes all in a new spirit which expresses the language of the present.
Let us simply recall the moment of history at 8:12pm on the 13th March 2013, when the newly elected Pope very homely walked out in white garment with black shoes, choosing a simple name “Francisco”. The climax of this historical moment to me is when He waves his hand greeting the whole world as the Pope saying: “Good Evening”. What! The eyes of the people opened and were astonished, for they were expecting a formal greeting from the Holy graduate2015Father, not just “good evening”. Get ready for a shock! The Pope begins his ministry by humbly bowing down to ask for prayer from his flock, “before the Bishop blesses his people, I ask you to pray to the Lord that he will bless me”.
The story of Pope Francis begins there and continues day by day waking up the world as our God is a God of surprises. And this is the challenge for us, those who want to participate in the work of evangelization.
In a nutshell, this lovely ceremony reminds me of the knowledge and experience of my faith which I have gained from the course “Foundation of New Evangelization” is not only for me, but also for the community, the Church and the world. The mission is always great as I have to learn to communicate to the world around me, the language of God, which is the language of life and love itself in the joyful spirit of hope.
My wish and prayer is that from the experience of this Course, we will be led to a “new being in action” which centres on Jesus Christ. Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit; as it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.
Sr. Theresa Maria Dao

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