Divine Mercy University celebrated the 16th Graduation Mass and Commencement Exercises on May 19th, with 62 new masters and doctoral graduates from it’s School of Psychology, the Institute for the Psychological Sciences. This year marked the first graduating class from the online Master of Science in Psychology program, which began in 2014, geared toward those serving in Church ministries and the helping professions.
His Excellency Archbishop Christophe Pierre, Apostolic Nuncio to the United States, was the principal celebrant and homilist of the Graduation Mass, along with Most Reverend Paul S. Loverde, Bishop Emeritus of the Diocese of Arlington, and long-standing DMU board member.
Archbishop Pierre offered his words of inspiration to the graduating students: “As members of the Church, especially you who engage in teaching, counseling and assisting individuals and families, it is important that we not impose excessive burdens on the unwanted and hurting. Rather, we must discern in the light of the Holy Spirit and the Gospel, how best to accompany these individuals in their journey of faith and healing. This is our life: a journey of faith and healing. Is there someone here who does not need some healing?”
In his remarks to the new graduates, Fr. Charles Sikorsky, L.C., president of Divine Mercy University, recognized the hard work, sacrifice, and generosity of the students: “It is very edifying to see how you have responded to God’s invitation, to follow Him into the professional field. It offers so many opportunities to serve others, to love others, to be Christ for others.”
The Commencement address at this year’s ceremony was delivered by the founder and CEO of the Fellowship of Catholic University Students (FOCUS), Mr. Curtis Martin. Martin, an inspirational leader and dynamic speaker, engages thousands of people every year in their journey of faith. Martin encouraged the graduating members of the Class of 2017 to have hope in the work that awaits them: “We live in an exciting time. I believe this University is perfectly positioned, in an anointed way. You [graduates] stand at a moment when piercing insights of the secular sciences are being shown through the very education you are receiving. There has been such wonderful advancements in the secular studies and that makes it a perfect time to be a Catholic. Because what Catholics are best at is looking into the beauty, truth, and goodness of the world, and with the Holy Spirit, mining those truths and bringing them home so that they can find their true place in the flourishing of the human person.”
Dr. Greg Kolodziejczak, IPS Class of 2006, was honored with the 2017 Distinguished Alumni Award, bestowed upon an alumnus who has shown great dedication and leadership in his field. He spoke to the graduates of the importance of the insights into human formation that they have received through their studies at Divine Mercy University.
He shared that the mission of the graduates is to “join people in their struggles, not just giving advice from on high, but accompanying them in their pain, in their distress, in their confusion and darkness, finding the light shining within them and nurturing that light, the same way you might nurture a glowing ember you are trying to grow into a large beautiful campfire. Joining people in their struggles is precisely what God did in the Incarnation. Such was an essential element of Christ’s vocation. Such is our vocation.”
The 2017 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 more information about the degree programs at Divine Mercy University, contact 703-416-1441 or visit www.divinemercy.edu.