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Christendom Graduate School commencement
The Christendom Graduate School recently held its 2012 commencement ceremony awarding 17 Master of Arts in theological studies.
Fathers Paul de Ladurantaye and Mark Pilon, both graduate school professors, celebrated Mass before the ceremony. Five students — Sister Bernadette Caron, Sister Huyen Do, Father David Gonzalez, Roland Millare and Stephanie Pacheco — graduated with distinction for exceptional performance on the comprehensive exams.
During the ceremony, each graduate received the academic hood, signifying their master’s degree, from Graduate School Dean Kristin Burns, and their diploma from Timothy O’Donnell, college president.
Pacheco, who also serves as the school’s administrative assistant, gave the valedictory address. She shared her own conversion story as an example of how knowledgeable and faithful Catholics can change hearts and said that she and her fellow graduates must now seek to change hearts.
“We, as well-formed graduates, have the chance and the duty to deliver Christ’s message of hope and salvation to all mankind,” Pacheco said. “And through us, and through the whole church, the mystical body of Christ on earth, God communicates His grace and His call today. All our training, studying and practice benefit us in our life of faith, but it also shores up the body of Christ.”
Pacheco said that despite much of the misinformation about Catholicism, she and her fellow graduates are armed to fight the good fight, “for the sake of truth and love of God and neighbor.
“We are older, younger, local, distant, consecrated and lay faithful, but we are united by something more important than all of these — a love of Jesus and the Church He founded,” she said.
The graduating class included four consecrated religious, four converts to the faith, one alumnus of Christendom’s undergraduate program, two ordained deacons and one man in the diocesan diaconate formation program. Seven graduates attended the residential summer program in Front Royal, earning their degrees over the course of four summers. Many of the graduates took advantage of the convenience of both classes held at the campus in Alexandria and online.
The 17 Master of Arts degrees were conferred on Caitlin Bootsma, Brian Brodfuehrer, Sister Bernadette Caron, Dawn Carpenter, Daniel Clough, Vanessa Cowart, Sister Huyen Do, Father David Gonzalez, Veronica Hermary, Taylor Hughes, Donald Libera, Deacon Dave Maurer, Roland Millare, Stephanie Pacheco, Deacon Dave Powers, Matthew Rose and Sister Eileen M. Sullivan.
For more information about Christendom Graduate School go to christendom.edu/graduate.