Divine Mercy University (DMU) celebrated the 18th Graduation Mass and Commencement Exercises on May 11th, 2019, with 87 new masters and doctoral graduates from the Institute for the Psychological Sciences (IPS) and the School of Counseling. This year marked the first graduating cohort from the M.S. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling program, which began in 2016.
DMU President, Fr. Charles Sikorsky, L.C., J.D., J.C.L. welcomed the graduates and families present and shared his enthusiasm in their great accomplishments and hope for the future. “We celebrate your commencement knowing that as your journey begins, whether as a licensed psychologist or counselor, as an business leader, helping professional, clergy or pastoral worker – you will continue to serve and empower others in your own distinctive way, and to live in the spirit of this university and of our God, as healers and bearers of hope in the face of suffering.”
Most Reverend Joseph E. Strickland, from the Diocese of Tyler, Texas, was the principal celebrant and homilist of the Graduation Mass and honored guest. He offered his words of encouragement to the graduating students:
“I commend you and all of this community of DMU, for entering into an important work that is very much linked with the Lord sending out those apostles to bring His light to the world. So when you become burdened, when the brokenness tends to overwhelm you, when you get bogged down in the darkness in the world, remember to look up and allow the Word of God to nurture you. Look up to the heights of grace, and hope, and mercy, and goodness – that is Jesus Christ.”
The Honorary Degree Recipient and 2019 Commencement Speaker was Mr. Daniel D’Aniello, Co-Founder and Chairman Emeritus of The Carlyle Group. D’Aniello, who has a long and distinguished career, shared with graduates his personal experience in encountering and working against the stigma of mental illness in his own family. “We are stronger when we know we are not alone and when there are people to support us,” he shared. He continued to address the graduates about the uniqueness of the integration of faith and the practice of psychology.
“You [graduates] are here to aid, to heal, to help in the ways that no others could otherwise do. Faith in God is not a neurosis, as Freud would have us believe. It is a critical component of understanding the person completely and treating the patient holistically. That wisdom will serve you well as you accept the invitation to the most private of all places – the mind of your patients. And of course, that privilege comes with the great responsibility of helping your patients comprehend the reality and shape their future.”
The 2019 graduates embark on their unique mission to accompany those who are suffering, to be present to those in need and to share the insights regarding the human person with everyone they encounter. For highlight photos of the 2019 Graduation Mass & Commencement Exercises, view here. For the full Livestream of the ceremony, view here.
For more information about the degree programs at Divine Mercy University, contact 703-416-1441 or visit www.divinemercy.edu.