By Father Timothy Gollob
A while ago, I think it was 1951, I was in the graduating class of Tyler High School. We went through all the pomp and circumstance of graduation. Our valedictorian said the “good-bye speech” and the salutatorian made the graduating seniors aware that they were the honorees, but I don’t remember a word of either of the talks.
I do remember the admonitions of the preacher who was giving us advice at the baccalaureate ceremony. He told us that “five minutes early is just on time.” Those words have stuck in my mind for 62 years. I have repeated them to hundreds of people who have come a few minutes late for an appointment.
My forgetfulness of my graduation speeches makes me give this public affirmation of the special edition of The Texas Catholic that came out in June. There in all the glory and permanence of the printed word were the speeches of the valedictorians and the salutatorians of our Catholic high schools. No more will their fellow seniors have to admit that they did not pay attention to the wise words of their senior leaders. It will be in the archives for all to revisit in times to come.
Here are some of the pearls I have gleaned from the speeches:
“We must realize that life is a constant lesson.”
“We are the dreamers of today, but the doers of tomorrow.”
“Every class that crosses this stage every year holds a particular piece of God’s plan.”
“We change the world by first changing ourselves.”
“We will be tested; we will be challenged.”
“Our journey …. has demonstrated how we can impact others.”
“Jesus’ message that ‘he who is the greatest among you shall be your servant.’”
“We need introspection: knowing what we want to grow into.”
“We developed the lifelong skill of being able to cope with stress with a smile.”
“Some of our toughest battles will be against ourselves.”
“All of us need balance, especially in the real world.”
“It’s all about us! Not all about me.”
Thank you, young folks, for your enthusiasm and your hope.
Father Timothy Gollob is the pastor of Holy Cross Catholic Church in Oak Cliff.