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Bishop Burbidge receives honorary degree from Marymount

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Bishop Michael F. Burbidge urged Marymount University graduates not to settle for a bland and mediocre existence, but rather dedicate their lives to the pursuit of holiness.

“It will take away none of your energy, vitality or joy,” Bishop Burbidge said. “On the contrary, it will bring the fullness of life you seek.”

Bishop Burbidge addressed 440 bachelor’s degree candidates and received an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree at Marymount University’s 67th undergraduate commencement May 20 at DAR Constitution Hall in Washington.

He noted that the university’s vision statement includes the commitment that Marymount will distinguish itself by its engagement in the world.

“This is very important in a world marked not by engagement but by confrontation,” he said. “How often do we close ourselves off to what another has to say or seek? We drown out the voices of those with whom we disagree without even hearing them or engaging with them. Engagement might also be described as authentic communication.”

Bishop Burbidge encouraged the graduates to embrace a culture of engagement, beginning with those around them.

“Take time to notice those who need you to engage them, and also take time to notice in the presence of your daily lives those around you whom Pope Francis calls the saints around you, reminding us that it’s a journey always in community, side by side with others,” he said.

Bishop Burbidge urged the degree candidates to make time for prayer every day in order to avoid chaos and experience serenity, which will help them see God’s presence in their encounters with others.

Samuel Trostle, who received his Bachelor of Science in information technology, addressed his fellow graduates.

Thomas J. Donohue, president and CEO of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, addressed 269 master’s degree candidates and 53 doctoral degree candidates at Marymount’s Graduate Commencement May 19 at Constitution Hall.

“The older you get, the clearer it becomes that the best part of working hard and achieving success is making a difference in the lives of others,” said Donohue, who has been president and CEO of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce since 1997.

He shared a phrase he’s repeated throughout his life — and had inscribed on a window he and his wife donated to Marymount’s Sacred Heart of Mary Chapel: “If you can, you must.”

“If you can help others, you must — because most can’t financially,” he said. “They rely on those who can. So if you can achieve the success required to give back — you must. And trust me, each of you can to some degree, especially now that you’re graduating from Marymount.”

He said the graduates can do this through their work itself, time spent volunteering, financial generosity, “or all of the above.”

Marymount President Matthew D. Shank and Board of Trustees Chair Edward Bersoff conferred an honorary doctor of humane letters degrees upon Joseph Maurelli, retired board chair.



© Arlington Catholic Herald 2018