The Past is Your Heritage; the Present, Your Responsibility; the Future, Your Challenge
THE ABOVE were the theme chosen by the St. Joseph's College (T&T) during their Graduation Mass on Friday 3rd May, 2013. Ninety-two (92) students graduated from the College with special awards presented in the areas of "prefects most dedicated to duty; most outstanding students; most improved students; good citizenship, most helpful; regularity and punctuality; most consistent student and the principal's award."
The Graduating Class was reminded that everyone needs some personal ties with the past to stabilize and enrich the present and to provide continuity into the future. What is a people without a story, without a history? A shared story is what makes us a people. In fact, it was Marcus Garvey who once said: "A people without knowledge of their past history, origin and culture is like a tree without roots."
Great emphasis was placed on the idea that if history is to be passed on, it must be taken up by our young people and then transmitted to other generations to come. The past is important to our economy but even more essential to our culture and our future. They were also guided by the fact that even as they embark on the quest for happiness, it involves some level of personal responsibility. Taking personal responsibility, according to one writer, means "not blaming others for our unhappiness but rather figuring out ways in which we can be happy despite all the negative influences that surrounds us."
Furthermore, the Graduating Class was told that while they may not know for certain what the future holds, yet each one of them can shape their destiny by the positive decisions or choices they make. They were encouraged to become men and women of faith. In fact, it was Pope Benedict 16th (Emeritus) who said: "Faith is believing in this love of God that is never lacking in the face of human wickedness, in the face of evil and death, but is capable of transforming every kind of slavery, giving us the possibility of salvation."
At the end of such a spirit-filled celebration, students were left with these encouraging words: "Whatever your journey, always remember that a new world is yours for discovery."