As high school seniors in the diocese pluck up their diplomas and head into a bigger world, they take with them a lot of accumulated knowledge.
Academics, of course: science and math, literature, history and theology — tangible concepts on which they were drilled and tested.
But what about all those intangible lessons? What are the most important life lessons every senior should know by the time they graduate?
There are countless answers to that question, from the practical to the silly. Here is a list of some of the most important lessons, compiled by principals, teachers and students from our Catholic schools.
1. God loves you, always. He will not abandon you or anyone.
2. We are meant for family and community.
3. The teachings of Christ and His church are the most reliable guide to living a good and meaningful life.
4. It is important to respect everyone, and experiencing other cultures, languages and traditions helps us understand what Jesus meant by “neighbor.”
5. Sacraments are vital to our daily life.
6. A commitment to lifelong learning is key to the pursuit of wisdom.
7. There is brokenness and evil in the world, which means that we need to forgive and let ourselves be forgiven.
8. Tragedy and loss should challenge us to grow and become more compassionate toward others.
9. Making a personal mission statement with achievable goals fosters success and helps us avoid procrastination.
10. The only good reason for accumulating wealth is to use it for the benefit of others.
11. The universe, human history, and we ourselves are more complex than we can know, but it is important to keep exploring that complexity.
12. Each one of us has a role to play in making the world a better place.
13. God has a plan for everyone, and we need to trust that He knows what is best.
14. Stand up for what you believe.
15. Be honest with yourself and others.
16. The Holy Trinity of Prayers: Our Father, Hail Mary, and Glory Be.
17. Service to others and to the Church.
18. Cursive — how else are you going to read what your grandmother writes and sign your name?
19. Give of your time, talent and treasures.
20. Times tables—the number one drill of Catholic schools across America in third grade!
21. The path to true freedom is through trust and dependence on God.
22.God became man in the person of Jesus in order to become our companion and friend.
23. Belief in God is more reasonable than unbelief because only God satisfies the true needs of your heart.
24. We are happiest when we talk to God regularly through prayer.
25. Suffering is an opportunity to be more fully united with Jesus.
26. Respect for leadership and a desire to be a “servant leader” by example, role or position.
27. The need to advocate for the integrity of creation and all life.
28. A commitment to participate in the conversations of our times in a thoughtful, reflective manner.
29. A love of religion — and of the place of God and prayer in our all too secular world.
30. Pray daily, be faithful to Mass attendance on Sunday, and serve others in the community.
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