Seniors Carry on the Pioneer Way

Dear Hill-Murray Community,

If you were on campus early this morning, you might have caught a whiff of freshly grilled pancakes coming from the student parking lot. The Class of 2023 gathered and made breakfast for each other on their last day of high school.  It was endearing and a great way to start the morning.  Wrapped in blankets, signing yearbooks, throwing the football around on the hill, and simply enjoying being together was just what our seniors needed to begin the process of letting go of the daily routine of high school.

We began this week with our All School Senior Mass.  Bishop Williams was our presider and gave our seniors a very special message.  He talked about how when he was in high school, he prayed that God would answer his prayers – which is a good thing.  However, Bishop Williams challenged the seniors to think about prayer in a different way.  Instead of simply asking God to answer our prayers, he challenged the seniors, and all of us, to listen to what God wants for us, not what we want from God.  God wants us to be happy and wants the best for us.  When we turn our hearts and minds toward Him, things get more clear.  Even though life can still be tough, there’s a realization that we are not alone.  I glanced over at the seniors during the homily and it appeared to me that Bishop William’s message resonated with the Class of 2023.

It’s been a bittersweet last week with seniors. Some tears with lots of laughs and hugs.  Sister Linda could finally be on campus for the first time since her foot surgery in April.  She made a special effort to be here on the seniors’ last day.  This afternoon we did what has become a favorite tradition, the “Senior Clap Out.”  Our students, faculty, and staff lined the halls minutes before the seniors finished their last final exam. Seniors spilled into the halls as everyone clapped and cheered the Class of 2023. Senior Clap Out Video.

Earlier this spring, I mentioned the Pioneer Way.  I wrote, “It’s a path that goes boldly into the future, guided by our values and illuminated by the light of Christ. It’s a path that meets the needs of the students God has entrusted to our care and provides them with the skills, mindsets, and values that enables them to become the kind of leaders our world needs.”  Today as I think about the Pioneer Way, I think about the Class of 2023.  I think about the leaders in the class.   I think about how these young people have overcome challenges, how they stepped up when needed, and how they have excelled in ways that even they never thought possible.  Soon the seniors will be walking down the aisle of the Cathedral to receive their diplomas.  What I love about the Pioneer Way is that it doesn’t end with a Hill-Murray diploma;  the Pioneer Way is a journey that lasts a lifetime. To say I am proud doesn’t say it allthe Class of 2023 will always have a special place in my heart.