TAYLORS – Thirty-three seniors graduated from St. Joseph’s High School May 31 at commencement exercises held at Prince of Peace Church.
Father Edmund F. McCaffrey, Ph.D., gave the commencement address. The former pastor of Holy Family Church in Hilton Head and abbott of Belmont Abbey is a longtime acquaintance of Mother Teresa. He told the students a story about a conference he attended with the soon-to-be saint who encouraged people to become saints themselves.
“She said the purpose of life is simply to become holy and go to heaven,” Father McCaffrey relayed.
When someone asked Mother Teresa how to become holy, she said that everyone could become a saint if they belonged to Jesus.
“She said that first you must love the Eucharist, you must love the little white host because if you can’t see Jesus in bread you will never see Jesus in others,’” Father McCaffrey told the graduates.
Her second requirement for holiness was that people must love confession.
“She told the audience that ‘I will never establish a convent of my sisters in any diocese unless the bishop promises to send someone for confessions every week,’” he said.
Her third condition for holiness was for people to be obedient. She said that people must love obedience to the Holy Father and the teachings of the church.
Father McCaffrey also had some advice for the young people. He urged them to read Pope John Paul II’s apostolic letter on the rosary.
“Mother Teresa always had a rosary in her hand,” Father McCaffrey said. “Great people love the rosary. The Holy Father calls it ‘my favorite prayer.’ The rosary is the way to change America the ugly to America the beautiful. It is a weapon to bring people to Christ, peace to the world and peace to families.”
And his final piece of advice for the 2003 graduates of St. Joseph’s High School came again from Mother Teresa.
“You might ask ‘who am I, I am just one person,’” he said. “But Mother Teresa was once told that what she did was great, but it was just a drop in the bucket. She said, ‘that’s my drop and if everyone put a drop in the bucket it would overflow.’ That is a way to bring peace to the world and peace to families.”